Warren County, its founding and significant residents and buildings

Elizabeth Davis

Founded on Jan. 5, 1833, Warren County was named after Revolutionary War hero General Joseph Warren.

The largest city and county seat is Warrenton. Warren County is located in the eastern part of the state, north of the Missouri River, and part of the St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its population in 1840 was 4,253. According to the 2010 census, the population has grown to 32,512.

Warren County is rich in history. At least two famous people have been born there.

George H. Middelkamp, Missouri’s 24th State Treasurer, was born in Warrenton on April 20, 1880. He served in that position from 1917-1921. Rand Brooks was born in Wright City on Sept. 21, 1918. He and his mother moved to Los Angeles when he was four. Brooks is best known as Charles Hamilton in “Gone With the Wind.”

Nine properties and districts within the county have at one time been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two of them have been delisted.

The Borgmann Mill in Marthasville was a grist mill built between 1847-1850. It was powered by mule-teams or oxen. When it was listed on the National Register in 1970, Borgmann Mill was the only “barley huller and corn grinder” made entirely of wood left in Missouri or the Middle West. It was delisted in 1994.

The Flanders Callaway House in Marthasville was built about 1812 by Flanders Callaway who was Daniel Boone’s son-in-law. Although the house was dismantled in 1968, it was listed on the National Register in 1969. The Flanders Callaway House was sold in 1979 and moved to St. Charles County for reassembly. It was delisted in 1994.

The Warren County Courthouse and Circuit Court Building were listed on the National Register in 1972. The Circuit Court Building was built in 1866 and the County Courthouse was built between 1869 and 1871. They have both since been demolished but remain on the Register.

The Ernst Schowengerdt House was listed on the National Register in 1980. Located in Warrenton, it originally was built in 1866. In 1892-1893, it was remodeled and enlarged. The home was continuously owned and occupied by the Schowengerdt’s or their descendants until the death of Margaret Carol Schowengerdt in 2002. It is now the home of the Warren County Historical Society.

Elizabeth Davis was born and raised in Cooper County, Missouri, and has written HISTORICALLY YOURS for the Boonville Daily News for over ten years. She has covered the Civil War, US history, and Cooper County history. In celebration of Missouri’s Bicentennial, she has syndicated her column statewide and encourages readers all over the Show Me State to submit topic suggestions for future columns to HistoricallyYours.davis@gmail.com.