Large marker that tells the history of Stoddard County.
Front: The largest of Missouri's six southeast lowland counties, Stoddard encompasses 837 sq miles. Organized 1835, it is named for Maj. Amos Stoddard, first American civil governor of Upper Louisiana. In the 1808 Osage Indian land cession, the county was utilized by Delaware and Shawnee Indians in early 1800's. Southern pioneers began to settle the area about 1817.
Bloomfield the county seat, was laid out in 1835 near the site of a Delaware and Shawnee Indian Village on 50 acres given by Absalom Bailey. In the Civil War, the town was a Union Post. At the newspaper plant there, a company of volunteers from Illinois printed a soldier's newspaper titled "Stars and Stripes". Nov. 9, 1861. The town was burned during a Confederate raid by Gen. John S. Marmaduke's troops, Sept., 1864.
Throughout the war, Bloomfield and the county suffered much troop activity and many guerrilla raids and all growth came to a halt. Post war years brought modern development as the county's vast timber resources were harvested, railroads built, towns founded, and swap land reclaimed.
Back: Fertile cotton, grain, soybean, cattle, and poultry farming county, Stoddard lies east of the St. Francis River and west of the old channel of the Whitewater. St Francis River drainage began 1893, and the county is also in the Little River Drainage District, established 1905. In the county is Crowley's Ridge, remnant of an ancient coastal plain.
Dexter, the county's largest town, on what are now Mo. Pac. and St. Louis Southwestern railroads, was laid out 1873. Two terms of court were held there yearly, 1896-98. Also on the Mo. Pac., laid out when it was built in 1873, is Essex; and Dudley was a sawmill camp by 1890. On Frisco route, built 1884 are Advance and Puxico. Bernie and Bell City date from 1890's when the St. L. SW. R.R. was built. Other communities include Charter Oak, Brownwood, Grayridge, Powe, Leora, Kinder, Idalia, Baker and Painton.
Northwest ar the scenic Lost Hills rising high above the Castor River drainage area. Through the county ran the Natchitoches Trail, ancient Indian path to the southwest, and a Shawnee trail to the south. Many prehistoric mounds remain in the county.
Erected by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission. 1961