Friday, November 24, 2017

Clay County Archives

and Historical Library

Liberty, Missouri

Preserving the Past for the Present


"The Covered Wagon" Has Been Reprinted

We have reprinted the 1922 book, "The Covered Wagon" and it is ready to be purchased on our website or at the Archives.

This classic American novel was written by Emerson Hough tells the story of a group of pioneers who made their way from Missouri, across the plains, through the mountains to Oregon and California. Real life and fictional characters from Clay County, Missouri are central to the story.

You can order it by clicking here.

Divided Loyalties Addendum Update

As of August 12, 2016, a new addendum of the Divided Loyalties book has been released.  Please refer to this webpage for information.

Volunteers and Interns Needed

Volunteers and Interns for summer help are earnestly sought. We would love to have extra help with our work here at the Archives. Please contact Jane Shepherd by calling 816.781.3611 Monday through Wednesday or emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks so much!

"History of Clay County Missouri" Published

Today's Date - April 12, 2016

Our newest book, "History of Clay County, Missouri", is now hot off the presses!   You can find it on our Merchandise page here.

The History of Clay County, Missouri was originally published in 1885 by the National Historical Company of St. Louis.  Over the years, this comprehensive work has proven to be an important resource for anyone wanting to explore the fascinating history of the frontier days in Clay County and northwest Missouri.  We have now reprinted it so that you can have your own copy of this essential work.

The book sells for $25 (on site) and $30 (mailed).  Please come by to pick up your copy or order it from us by a phone call (816-781-3611) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Archives on Display at Smithville Mid-Continent Public Library

Through the month of April 2016, Clay County Archives information is on display at the Smithville Library.    The Archives’ collection is illustrated in photographs, posters and placards.  Thanks to the Mid-Continent Public Library, which offered the Archives this opportunity to share its mission and activities.

Archives display at Smithville MCPL.04-01-16 SandC

The display was assembled by Bob Hazlett, Jane Sheperd and Jane Sharon.  We want to thank you all so much!

Archives Display installers.Jane.Jane.Bob.04-01-16

Board and Committee Changes for 2015

Today's Date - December 18, 2014

We would like to announce the addition of Keith Nelson to our Board of Directors.  He has been a volunteer for a few years now and has been a vital part of our two most recent publications.

Also, Carol Olson is stepping down from her TWO Committee Chair positions for a well deserved rest.  In her place we'll have Nancy George as the Records Use and Preservation Chair and Jane Sheperd as the Volunteer Coordinator.  Both Nancy and Jane have been volunteering for a few years as well.  Nancy has been instrumental in organizing many of our events and doing other important projects at the Archives.  Jane has taken on the job of maintaining our Photo Collection.  Both have done an excellent job.

Tony Meyers will join Keith Nelson as co-Chairs on the Way and Means Committee.  Tony is Keith's co-hort for producing the "Divided Loyalties" and "Discovering Clay County" books and is the point man for much of the activity on the publication front.

We are very happy with these appointments and look forward to an exciting 2015!

2014 Winter Holiday Schedule

We will be closed from December 18th through the end of the 2014 year and we will re-open on Monday, the 12th of January.

We hope everyone has a Wonderful Winter Holiday!

"Discovering Historic Clay County Missouri" Published

Today's Date - July 29, 2014

Our newest book, "Discovering Historic Clay County, Missouri", is now hot off the presses!   You can find it on our Merchandise page here.

The Historic Sites Map project was started many years ago by Kevin Fisher from the Gazeteer he compiled.  Then he and Shirley Fansher completed the companion detailed index.  Years went by until Tony Meyers discovered this "uncompleted" project and so he put the map and index together into a published book in which he added photographs, illustrations and geographic explanations.

The book sells for $25 (on site) and $30 (mailed).  Please come by to pick up your copy or order it from us by a phone call (816-781-3611) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

2013 Holiday Hours

Today's Date - December 10, 2013

The Clay County Archives and Historical Library take our Christmas break from Monday, December 23rd until Monday, the 6th of January, 2014, when we will reopen.

For all of you who will be experience withdrawl symptoms during the closure, we sympathize.  But be of good cheer, for you can be at our door at 9am on the 6th to re-acclimate yourself to the facinating world of history!

If you have extenuating circumstances and find you must come in during that time, give us a call and, if it is a reasonable request, we'll see if we can accommodate you.

Otherwise, Merry Christmas!

Clay County Soldiers and Sailors

Today's Date - May 29, 2013

“...It was a great price to pay, and the supreme sacrifice of our boys and the broken hearts of loved ones here at home demand greater honor than we know how to give. Their gifts are not for today alone, but for the future of America and the nations of the world.”

The above quote is from the book CLAY COUNTY SOLDIERS AND SAILORS by G. A. Puckett, which the Clay County Archives and Historical Library has recently received as a donation. This Honor Roll, published in 1919, lists the names, home towns and military units of Clay County men who served in World War I. It also includes a memorial section for the men who gave their lives, with a short biography of each man and most of those have photographs.

If you would like to look through the book, we invite you to come in on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 9 A.M. To 3 P.M. There is no charge for looking at the book but copies are 15 cents per page.

We look forward to seeing you at 210 East Franklin St., just two blocks east of the square. Look for the tanner's wheel in the front yard beside our sign.

"Divided Loyalties" Book Presentation

Today's Date - April 15, 2013

The Clay County Archives and Historical Library is proud to announce the upcoming release of a new book that will be of interest to history and genealogy buffs alike. "Divided Loyalties – Civil War Soldiers Buried in Clay County, Missouri" has been written in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.

A book release discussion and presentation, hosted by the Archives, will be held Thursday evening, May 2nd, at 6:30 pm. Members of the project team who researched and published "Divided Loyalties" will highlight some of the interesting stories that are included in the book. The research methods that were used and the steps that were followed in creating content for the book will also be discussed.

"Divided Loyalties" includes brief biographies of 800 Civil War veterans and 600 photographs. The 350 page book examines the effects of the war on the citizens of Clay County, the battles that occurred, information about the military units that were involved, and more. The book was produced in honor of those who served and sacrificed.

Copies of "Divided Loyalties" will be on sale with all proceeds to benefit the ongoing operation of the Archives, which is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization.

The Clay County Archives and Historical Library is located one block east of the Liberty square in the Frank Hughes Memorial Library building at 210 East Franklin Street. This event will be free and open to the public.

"Lost Voices on the Missouri" Book Signing

Today's Date - April 3, 2013

Clay County Archives and Historical Library will host a reception for Mark Kelly who will present his new book, "Lost Voices on the Missouri" and sign copies for all those who purchase them.  This book follows the life of Major John Dougherty and his exploits on the Indian Frontier.  Mark has many interesting stories about the subjects and events in the book, researching the book, interviewing so many people and traveling to so many states in the process.

The book signing will take place at 6:30pm on April 18th, 2013 at the Liberty Christian Church, 427 E Kansas St, Liberty, Missouri.  The event will take place on the lower level so please enter on the Mill Street side.  There will be refreshments provided by the Archives.

We have a new Website

Today's Date - December 20, 2012

Our domain name ( ) hasn't changed but we now have an updated, modern website representing our mission to the world. Please surf over and check it out.

It has been in the planning stages for a long time and we have worked on it in our spare time for about a year.  Stuart Elliott, Steve Hatcher and Neale Shour have all contributed greatly to the project.  We have also received input from other volunteers to provide content.  We realize there is more to do but we wanted to get this new version up and running before the end of the year.  We'll take a little breather for the holidays then start working on the additions and enhancements in the coming months.  Keep checking back.

2012 December Board Meeting

Today's Date - November 29, 2012

The December board meeting will be held in the afternoon of the 18th at 4:30 at the Hughes Library Building.  

Chris Sizemore will attend the meeting and take a few minutes at the beginning to brief the Board on the recently erected Liberty Arsenal Marker and maybe solicit a donation from the CCA/HL to help with the cost.  


Today's Date -- October 5, 2012

The Archives will be closed for the Christmas holidays from Thursday, December 20 to Monday, January 7, 2013.
Our volunteers work hard year round, so a little time off is well deserved and we appreciate everyone’s understanding.


Today's Date -- September 20, 2012

The 2012 Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 17, at 10am at the Atkins-Johnson Farm House in Gladstone.  The new entrance is on Antioch Road right across from the parking lot of D. W. Newcomer's Sons White Chapel Funeral Home and Cemetery.

There will be refreshments provided by the Archives.  The program will be provided by Gladstone Public Information Coordinator, Richard King about the history of the farm, Big Shoal Cemetery and the surrounding area.

2012 Mt. Memorial Cemetery Walking Tour

Today's Date: September 2, 2012

On October 6th there will be a Living History Tour and celebration to highlight Liberty’s oldest cemetery.  The tour is free and open to the public. Reception and Tour begins at 9:00 am. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. For more information call 816-439-4537.

Read more: 2012 Mt. Memorial Cemetery Walking Tour

2012 Walking Tours

Today's Date -- April 15, 2012

All guided tours are free and open to the public.  Tours begin at 10 am. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.  For more information call 816-439-4537.

  • Saturday, August 4 - Dougherty Historic District - Tour meets at Rotary Park, corner of Franklin and Gallatin Streets
  • Saturday, September 8 - Historical Murals - Tour meets at the Lewis & Clark Mural, corner of Mill and S. Water Streets
  • Saturday, October 6 - Mt. Memorial Cemetery - Tour meets at the entrance to the cemetery. (Enter William Jewell College campus from Miller Street and continue up the hill.)

To the City of Liberty

Today's Date -- March 2, 2012

The Board of Directors would like to express our sincere appreciation to the City of Liberty for the repair and restoration of the front steps. The appearance and safety has been greatly enhanced.


Today's Date -- September 29, 2011

The Clay County Tourism Bureau has launched a membership drive for most of the historical sites in the county. Between September 1st and November 1st, if you join or renew your membership with a participating organization, you will be entered in a drawing for a prize package.

Join or renew at more than one organization and have multiple chances to win.  The Archives is participating in this endeavor. If you join or renew during the time period shown above, your membership will extend from that time through 2012. WIN -- WHEN you join!!


Today's Date -- September 20, 2011

All members and people interest in local history are invited to our annual membership meeting be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 19th at the Tighe Center at Our Lady of Mercy Country Home, 2115 Maturana Drive, Liberty.

There will be an election for the Officers of the Board for next year. There will be a presentation by Stuart Elliott, our current president, on Cyrus Curtis an early merchant in Clay County.

Breakfast will be catered by Mary Ann Pfeiffer. The cost will be $12.50 per person, payable to the Clay County Archives.  Reservations are due by November 9th and may be made by calling the Archives at 816-781-3611 or Carol Olson at 816-452-3450 or 816-916-6381. Please contact the Archives for more information.


Today's Date - May 23, 2011

The Archives Board of Directors invites you to attend our annual picnic on July 19, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.  Located at Mt. Gilead School and Church, 15918 Plattsburgh Road, Kearney.

Please bring a covered dish or dessert; table service and drinks will be provided. Dinner will be held indoors.

Please RSVP at 816-781-3611.


Today's Date -- May 10, 2011

Two events of interest to Archives members are coming up on September 10th.

The Friends of the Atkins-Johnson Farm will hold an Old Time Country Fair from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., followed by a potluck dinner at 5:00.  The dinner is for members only, but the Fair is open to the public. There will be music, food, games and craft demonstrations and sales. For more information, contact the City of Gladstone at 816-436-2200.

The Shoal Creek Living History Museum will hold a reenactment of the Battle of Liberty from noon to 3:00 p.m. The Civil War battle was fought near Liberty on September 17th, 1861. Senator David Rice Atchison led 600 Missouri State Guard troops against the 3rd Iowa Infantry. For more information, call 816-792-2655.


Today's Date -- April 15, 2011

The City of Liberty and Historic Liberty, Inc. have announced their schedule of Walking Tours. All tours begin at 10:00 a.m. and generally last about an hour. There is no charge and the public is invited to attend. Tours are on foot, so wear comfortable shoes.

  • July 9th - New Hope and Fairview Cemeteries. Tour begins at the stone arch entry on Shrader Street.
  • August 6th - Historical Murals. Tour meets at the Lewis and Clark Mural at the corner of Mill and South Water Streets.
  • September 10th - Historic Trees. Tour meets at Rotary Park, corner of Franklin and Gallatin Streets.
  • October 1st - Mt. Memorial Cemetery. Tour meets at the entrance to the cemetery. (Enter the William Jewell College campus on Miller Street and continue up the hill.)

If you have any questions, please call the City of Liberty at 816-439-4537.


Today's Date -- March 10, 2011

Commemoration of raid on Liberty Arsenal.

  • April 20, 7:00 p.m., Liberty City Hall: Presentation by Jay Jackson. 
  • April 23, 2:00 p.m., Missouri Highway 291 and Seven Hills Road: Outdoor ceremony near site of the arsenal.

“Return to Lake Maurer”

  • May 21, Beginning at 9:00 a.m.


Today's Date -- January 15, 2011

The Atkins-Johnson Farmhouse in Gladstone recently received the Preserve Missouri Award from Missouri Preservation. The award, one of only seven for the state of Missouri, was presented during a ceremony at the capitol building in Jefferson City.  The Friends of the Atkins-Johnson Farm and the City of Gladstone are working to restore the site to resemble a working farm from the early 1900s.

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