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Western Historical Manuscript Collection

Audrain County Holdings


Missouri, Audrain County, Justice of the Peace Docket and Record Book, 1856. (SUNP 619) Contains one small brown, bound book. 1) Law and Judiciary


William Bishop (1817-1879), Papers, 1839-1891 (C3894) 4 linear feet


Papers of a commander of a Union cavalry unit in northeast Missouri during the Civil War, and State Treasurer of Missouri following the war. The papers consist of personal and military correspondence and miscellaneous documents, and State Treasurer records.


The William Bishop Papers were donated to the State Historical Society of Missouri by Clayton P. Bishop, Jr. on December 6, 1991 (SHS Accession No. 2865).


William Bishop was born in Martinsburg, Virginia, in 1817. By 1846 he had settled in Clark County, Missouri. Active in the Republican Party, Bishop was a presidential elector for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and attended the Presidential inaugural.

A staunch Union supporter, he organized numerous Home Guard regiments in northeast Missouri during the months of June and July 1861. All units of what were to become the 1st and 2nd Regiments, Northeast Missouri Home Guards, were recruited by Bishop or his deputies.

In July 1861, Bishop was authorized to recruit and command a battalion of cavalry in northeast Missouri. Colonel Bishop chose Warsaw, Illinois, as the recruiting and training camp for his unit, which was designated the Black Hawk Battalion. The unit was then posted to Hudson City (now called Martinsburg), Missouri, where it was in position to protect the North Missouri and Hannibal, and St. Joseph Railroads.

Plagued by supply and other administrative difficulties, political intrigue within the battalion, and conflict with state authorities, Colonel Bishop was brought before a court martial in February 1862, and charged with falsifying a muster roll, neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer, and incompetency. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and though acquitted, lost command of the battalion. The unit was eventually incorporated into the 7th Missouri Cavalry. Bishop resigned his commission and was mustered out of service in April 1862.

Undeterred, Colonel Bishop gathered support and documentation and traveled to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1862 hoping to revive his career with a new command or political appointment. Failing to procure either, he opened a business in his hometown of Alexandria, Missouri. He was later appointed Port Surveyor and Provost Marshall before he was elected State Treasurer in 1864.

William Bishop was married to Mary Ann Lapsley and had six children. He is buried in Kahoka, Missouri.


The Bishop Papers document the personal and professional life of a prominent citizen of Clark County, Missouri, and to a lesser extent his family, during the Civil War and shortly thereafter. The collection consists of three series:

Harrison, Jack S. (1866-1941), Papers, 1882-1941 (C48) 7 linear feet


Papers of an Equine Research Specialist on the staff of the Missouri State Museum and former horse breeder. The papers consist of research materials gathered for a history of Missouri livestock, the bulk of which concern horses. A small quantity of personal papers is included.


The Jack S. Harrison Papers were loaned to the University of Missouri by the Missouri Department of Resources and Development on May 22, 1945 (Accession No. 234).


Jack Harrison was born on May 28, 1866 in Audrain County, Missouri. The Harrison family had relocated to Callaway County, Missouri, from Virginia in 1817. Having been stock breeders in their native state, the family continued the business in Missouri. Until 1899 the Harrisons bred horses for racing, show, and farm work at the Montrose Stock Farm near Auxvasse. Jack Harrison continued in the family business, showing horses and earning the reputation as a reliable dealer. He also became an authority on saddle horses and authored Famous Saddle Horses and Distinguished Horsemen, which was published in 1933. Mr. Harrison was researching a comprehensive history of Missouri livestock at the Missouri State Museum at the time of his death in 1941.


New Hope Baptist Church, Audrain County, Missouri, Record Book, 1869-1924 (C3075) 1 roll of microfilm
Records of a church organized in 1869. Contains lists of members, articles of faith, minutes of church business meetings, and other information about church activities.

Keeton, Henry R. (1812-1890), Memoir, 1880 (C2684) 11 pages An account of Keeton's religious experiences and association with Methodist churches of Audrain County and Mexico, Missouri. Includes a description of a church split caused by the Civil War.

Prairie View Presbyterian Church, Audrain County, Missouri, Records, 1881-1921 (C1361)
1 volume
Records of the organizational meeting; minutes of sessions from 1882-1917; a record of congregational meetings; membership records; record of infant baptisms; and a petition for dissolution in 1921.



United Daughters of the Confederacy, Missouri Division, Records, n.d. (C3188) 9.2 linear feet; also available on 33 rolls of microfilm MICROFILM


Records of Missouri Confederate veterans, compiled for the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Missouri Division, by local chapters. Records include four page record forms of biographical and historical data, arranged alphabetically by veteran's name; copies of rosters and muster rolls; and miscellaneous lists and records.

Folder 301 contains a roster of deceased soldiers--one time residents of Audrain County--with their command and place of burial;


Vanarsdale, Susan D. (1824-1856), Diary, 1847-1855 (C1283) 1 volume, typescript Typescript of a diary kept by Vanarsdale while living in Audrain County, Missouri, and teaching school and then while living in Illinois and Indiana. In addition to recounting daily events and local and national news, the diarist records her private thoughts and feelings about her life and her interactions with family and friends.