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Rural Missouri Magazine


The home of generals
Greatness springs from tiny Keytesville

by Bob McEowen

From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow. Likewise, great men rise from humble beginnings. Tiny Keytesville, population 564, was home to one congressman, a state Supreme Court judge and two great warriors — Civil War Confederate Gen. Sterling Price and Gen. Maxwell Taylor, who saw duty in the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

Founded in 1832 by Englishman James Keyte, Keytesville quartered Union troops during the Civil War but was surrendered to Confederates, who burned the courthouse. A replacement courthouse was also destroyed by fire in 1973. Today Keytesville, though much smaller than nearby Brunswick, remains the judicial seat of Chariton County.

Visitors to Keytesville, located along Highway 24 near the Chariton River, can see a number of antebellum homes, including the Redding-Hill House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

A small park in town (shown on our cover) features a gazebo and a memorial to Gen. Price. A nearby city park is named in honor of Gen. Taylor. A small veteran’s memorial (shown at left) stands in front of the courthouse. Nearby, the Chariton County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence is also on the national register and is slated to become a museum.

A small museum honoring Gen. Price is located at 412 W. Bridge St. For information about hours of operation call (816) 288-3204.

 

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