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Here where the Ozark Highland borders on the Western Prairie region of Missouri, Cedar County was organized in 1845. The name is for the trees along Cedar Creek. Stockton, the county seat, was platted in 1846 on land given by Zimri and Marian Crabtree was first named Lancaster. Another town in Mo. also took this name, so Cedar Countians called their town Fremont until, displeased with political views of Gen. John C. Fremont, they took the name honoring Mexican War Commander R.F. Stockton in 1859.
Cedar County, furnishing troops to both sides, was torn by violence in the Civil War. In Aug., 1862, Union Majors Douglas Dade and Samuel Montgomery drove Confed. Col. J.T. Coffee from Stockton and on July 11, 1863, Confed. Major T.R. Livingston and Union Lt. W.A. McMinn were killed in an affray there. Gen. J.O. Shelby routed a Federal garrison and burned the courthouse on Oct. 5, 1863.
The present courthouse in Stockton is a handsome monolithic concrete structure. It was dedicated in 1940. The first courthouse, 1855-63, was replaced by a second in 1867 which was torn down in 1940.
(Continued from other side)Cedar County, 317,440 acres of woodland and prairie, is a livestock, grain, and dairy area. Osage tribes ceded the region in 1808 but Indians roamed in the county into the 1830's and some 95 mounds and a village site remain in Cedar County. First settlers were John Crisp, Robert Graham, Thomas English, and a "Mr." Crump in 1832. They located two miles east of Stockton where a big hollow sycamore gave them partial shelter. Early settlers came largely from Tennessee.
In Cedar County is El Dorado Springs, one of Missouri's health resorts. Mineral springs were discovered by the Joshua Hightower family and a town laid out there by N.H. and W.P. Cruce in 1881. To the south, about the same time Jerico Springs grew up near another spring. A number of Germans and Bohemians settled in that area. The spring in Stockton's City Park issues from a cave which underlies the town.
Stockton is the birthplace of the noted veterinarian J.W. Connaway (1859-1947); and soldier, congressman, Lieutenant Governor of Missouri Joseph J. Gravelly (1828-72) lived in Cedar County.