Information Requested - Jasper County, Missouri in 1860


Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Here is the deal. Been researching some family history. It seems Joe Thurman packed up his family in Jasper County sometime around 1859 or 1860 and left. Didn't bother to sell off his property, had debts and left the land to his creditors after living there about 8 years. I suspect Jasper County was a hot environment during those years. Anyone?


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
Jasper County was only organized in 1841. By 1861, the county seat of Carthage had a population of less than 500 people, so it was probably still a rough frontier environment. Besides Carthage the county had only nine or ten other towns (only seven of them platted) plus scattered other camps and settlements. There must have been significant growth in the region in past years because Barton County, to the north, broke away from Jaspar County in 1855.

Jaspar County was divided over the slavery question. Jasper County's delegate to the state convention in 1861, John Chenault, voted to remain in the Union but soon moved to Texas. The delegate from neighboring Lawrence County, Robert Crawford, also voted to stay in the Union but later commanded Confederate troops. Crawford would also later move to Texas. Two Southern sympathizers voting to remain in the Union was probably indicative of the complex political situation in SW Missouri at that time.

Jasper County, Missouri - Wikipedia
Carthage, Missouri - Wikipedia

Thurman's departure was not necessarily driven by the slavery debate. Abandoning his debts and seeking a new start elsewhere was ample motivation to leave.
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