Pettis County, Missouri This is the home of the Pettis County MOGenWeb Project, which is part of the MOGenWeb and USGenWeb projects. This is not an official site for any county agency, or genealogical or historical society.

Your County Coordinator is Kris. I am a volunteer. While I may contribute information to the site, I do not live in Pettis County and cannot help you with your research there. I maintain the website and manage submissions from other researchers -- like you.

All of the information here is provided free for personal use, but may not be used commercially or sold without the specific permission of both the original submitter and the County Coordinator.


Organized January 26, 1833, from Cooper and Saline Counties, and named for Spencer Pettis, a Missouri congressman. Sedalia is the county seat and also home of the annual Missouri State Fair. Pettis is a strong rural county, but Sedalia was closely tied to the railroad lines passing through it. Those times are almost forgotten, except for the annual Ragtime Festival held to commemorate the partnership in Sedalia of music publisher John Stark and ragtime composer Scott Joplin.

Pettis County Courts first met at St. Helena (Pin Hook), circa 1833-37, at the home of James Ramey, and then moved to Georgetown in 1837. A small courthouse was built there and served until the county seat moved to Sedalia in 1865. (The Georgetown courthouse structure was destroyed by fire June 22, 1920.) Temporary structures were used in Sedalia until 1884 when a contract was allowed for bid. The winning dimensions were 100 by 145 feet, with a 22-foot tower. Carthage stone was used for the base; the upper portion had stone veneering. Crossing halls and public offices were tiled; two courtrooms occupied the second floor. Walls of the courtrooms were frescoed, and the ceilings were painted with allegorical scenes by Italian artists. The oak furniture was hand carved. The courthouse was heavily damaged by fire on June 16, 1920. Restoration and renovation took 4 years and were completed in 1925. But all of the above indicates an obvious records chase in Pettis County for researchers.

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