The Early History of Trading Post
by William G. Cutler (1883)
This town is located on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes, about four miles from the State line, and is one of the oldest settlements in the State. The land where it stands was purchased at an early day of a Frenchman named Jarien, by another Frenchman named Chouteau, the latter carrying on a heavy trade with the Indians; hence this post was called the Chouteau Trading Post. There was no town laid out here until 1865, when the Montgomery Town Company was organized, and the town of Montgomery laid out and platted October 17, that year, just east of the present town site of the trading post; but the town not being a success was finally abandoned.
Trading Post is located on Section 5, Township 21, Range 25, and was laid out and platted in March, 1866, by Dr. Massey and George A. Crawford. But everything in this town dates from the Marais des Cygnes massacre. Previously to this time, John F. Campbell was keeping store here. Soon after it, Dr. Massey & White opened a store in a log house near the bridge. A grist-mill was erected in 1857. It has been purchased and much improved by J. & A. Brockett, and is now one of the finest mills in the State. It is two and a half stories high, and has two run of buhrs. There is a saw-mill attached. During most of the year, it is run by water, but during the dry season, in August and September, the motive power is steam.
It is not ascertainable who preached the first sermon at the Post, but John R. Williams, a Baptist minister, preached to an outdoor congregation, in August, 1856. There are two church organizations in this vicinity, one Baptist, the other Southern Methodist, both of which use the "Swayback" church, situated three miles north and one mile east of the Trading Post as a house of worship. There is also a United Presbyterian organization, four miles east, known as the State Line Church. The present schoolhouse, a two-story frame, was built by the Masons in 1865, and the lower half sold by them to the district.
The first birth in the vicinity was that of Jasper and Newton Nichols, twins, in 1855; the first marriage that of Samuel Brown to Miss Hobbs, in 1856; and the first death that of Mrs. Bartemas, in 1856.
Blooming Grove Lodge, No. 41, A., F. & A. M. , was organized in 1862, with twelve members. Its charter officers were: A. C. Doud, W. M.; William Goss, S. W.; W. W. Silsby, J. W.; Samuel Brown, Secretary; Jackson Lane, Treasurer. The present membership is fourteen.
Trading Post contains at present three general stores, one drug store, two blacksmith shops, one agricultural implement dealer, and about 100 inhabitants.