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In 1820, Ralls County was the cradle of northeast Missouri civilization. Ralls was a “Benton Baby,” born from a political deal brokered by the powerful Thomas Hart Benton and named for an ordinary New London farmer and state representative. In fact, no other US county is named Ralls. One citizen became a Texan patriot serving defenders at the Alamo, while a slave from the county was ordained as America’s first African American Catholic priest. Ralls is blessed with springs, salt licks, farmlands, wildlife, abundant hardwood timber, coal, sand, gravel deposits, and limestone, and most importantly the Salt River passes through it. Development progressed slowly, but Ralls became a major north-south thoroughfare and had the first direct rail route from Hannibal to St. Louis. The Atlas Cement plant produced millions of barrels of cement that were used in the construction of the Panama Canal and the Empire State Building. Today, the Clarence Cannon Dam prevents flooding while providing recreational opportunities rivaling more prominent Missouri lakes.
|Publisher:||Arcadia Publishing SC|
|Series:||Images of America Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
The timeless photographs within are drawn from the Ralls County Historical Society in Perry, the author’s personal collection, local history collectors, and everyday Ralls Countians. K. Allen Ballard is a former quality assurance engineer, current business owner, New London city alderman, and student of history.