225th Founding Anniversary

In 1805, Daniel Boone’s sons Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone, discovered a salt lick 100 miles west along the Native American trace in what would later become Howard County. The little Indian trace would soon become the principal road for pioneers, hunters, and traders looking to settle the west. Thousands of wagons packed with their belongings and families tending to their livestock, stagecoaches with passengers and mail delivery riders would pass thru Cottleville on the Boone’s Lick Road. Often, travelers became stranded at the point where the Boone's Lick Road crossed the Dardenne River in Cottleville, because of the frequent over-flowing of the stream and the muddy condition of the bottom lands through which the road passed. Many places of business came into existence including hotels, general stores, blacksmiths, and wagon repair shops. The Boone's Lick Road was the route followed by those who branched off to follow the Santa Fe Trail, Oregon and California Trails.

225 years ago from their lodging in St. Charles, Capt. Warren Cottle Sr. and his son Ira would ride out into the wilderness in search of a potential home-site. On this occasion they followed a native American trace to a bluff overlooking the Dardenne River. Impressed with the beauty of the countryside with large trees, game and birds, Capt. Cottle selected this site for his future home. Capt. Cottle received a land grant from the Spanish government for 640 arpents (541 acres). In 1799 Capt. Cottle led a party of 100 family members and friends on the 1,200 mile trip to what would one day become Cottleville, Missouri. In 1800 Capt. Cottle wrote a letter back to his brother-in-law in South Woodstock, VT, and soon another group arrived in Cottleville in 1802. These early settlers constructed several small log cabins as temporary homes, some of which remain today, many started farms or other businesses, while others received their own land grants and founded other towns.

In the 1850's, a timber plank toll road was built from St. Charles westward along the Boone's Lick Road as far as Cottleville. The road was known as the Western Plank Road. Ultimately, the road project failed because the timbers soon began to warp and rotted away after just a few years.