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County Commission Communications
A Periodic Column Written by Ed Douglas, Presiding Commissioner

August 2016

Our County Commission is developing a brochure for the general public and visitors that contains information on Livingston County history and the courthouse, the grounds, and other information. We thought you might be interested in some of the information that will be going into this brochure. The information below regarding county history was taken from the 2015 Livingston County Plat Book prepared by Midland GIS Solutions which has a section regarding county history.

Livingston County History
Livingston County came into existence on January 6, 1837, when Governor Daniel Dunklin signed legislation enacted by the Missouri General Assembly. The county is named for the Hon. Edward Livingston, the eleventh U.S. Secretary of State under President Andrew Jackson.

An old Native American trail crossing what is now known as Medicine Creek and traveling north to the mouth of Honey Creek was used by the Chippewa, Sac, Fox and Pottawatomie tribes as they followed game in the area. In the early 1800's, the Missouri tribe began settling in the area. One city was located one mile west of present day Chillicothe with another located on Medicine Creek. Numerous small villages were located throughout the area, one located three miles southeast of present day Springhill and another just west of Farmersville.

In the late 1820's, settlers from Carroll and Ray counties began setting up camps in the timber bottoms between the two forks of the Grand River to collect honey, collecting barrels full within only a few days. In the spring of 1831, Samuel Todd chose a spot just west of present day Utica to become one of the earliest white settlers in the area, and Joseph Cox built the first log cabin in the Chillicothe area in the summer of 1832. The first term of the Circuit Court of Livingston County was held in that home later that same summer.

In August 1837, the first steps in laying out the town of Chillicothe were begun. The name Chillicothe comes from the Shawnee and means, "the big town where we live." Livingston County's first courthouse was built in 1838 with a second, more functional building erected in 1841. The current courthouse was completed in 1914.

Livingston County Facts
Livingston County has a land area of 534.5 square miles. Two-thirds of the county, or approximately 268 acres, is in cultivation. About one third of the county is covered by timbered land.

The 2010 US census lists the county's population at 15,195. There are 5,871 households in the county and 3,834 families in the county. 62% of the population in the county resides within one of the county's six incorporated communities.

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