Early Sturgeon

"Sturgeon Missouri Then and Now, 1856-1981"

Sturgeon owes its existence to a $6,000 deal with the railroad company.

(From 1956 Centennial Edition of Sturgeon Leader)

Many years ago a town called Buena Vista stood two miles west of the present site of Sturgeon. The place was also called Bourbonton. At one time it contained 150 inhabitants, with two stores, two blacksmith shops and a saloon. When it was determined that the North Missouri Railroad would run through the site where Sturgeon is now located and miss Buena Vista, Lemuel Dill, a noted housemover, started moving the houses to Sturgeon, using a huge wagon with oxen.

The town of Sturgeon was laid out in July and August 1856, by the Sturgeon Depot Co., whose trustees were John B. Smith, Henderson Davis, and James E. Hicks.

The site for Sturgeon was purchased from John Rochford (grandfather of Dr. A. R. McComas), N. B. Burks, and J. B. Smith.

Only a short distance away on the northwest was the town of Prairie City, but it was absorbed by Sturgeon after it was refused a depot by the railroad company.

John Rochford owned the principal portion of the land on which Sturgeon was laid out. He was an engineer and a contractor for the North Missouri Railroad Co., and built about 20 miles of the railroad in this vicinity.

Six pioneers in the early days including Rochford, Burks and Smith obligated themselves to pay the railroad company $6,000, contingent upon the location of the depot at this point. The following is a copy of the obligation:

We hereby obligate ourselves to pay to the North Missouri Railroad Co., three thousand dollars on the first day of August, 1857, provided said railroad company locate a depot on said railroad between Station No. 5772 and Station No. 5790, being on the east end of Section (referring to railroad sections) 129 and the west end of Section 128, west of Saling Town Creek, and further provided that no depot be located within five miles of this point. Given under our hands and seals this, the 3rd day of July, 1856
Signed: John Rochford, John B. Smith, Peter G. Booth, N. B. Burks, John M. Booth, and S. M. Riggs.