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The small city of Bagnell is located in Miller County, Missouri. The city was platted in 1883, and named for William Bagnell. The Jefferson City, Lebanon, and Southwestern Railroad was extending its tracks southward, and it was expected that the railroad would bridge the Osage River at the Bagnell townsite, then continue through Lebanon, and Bill Bagnell, who owned the property, granted the railroad a right-of-way in exchange for a grading contract. The railroad did come, but it stopped. A railroad bridge was not built across the river, and there was no connection to points further on. The Bagnell location became a dead end branch line of the Missouri Pacific, which served as a shipping point for railroad ties, which were produced by Bill Bagnell. Until the 1930s, a ferry crossed the river, and the old wagon road became Highway 54. The Bagnell Dam was completed in 1931, and Highway 54 was routed over the dam, ending ferry operations. Much of Bagnell was destroyed in three separate fires in 1931 and, rather than rebuilding the Bagnell High School, a new school was built across the river in Lake Ozark, Then, in 1943, a flood wiped out much of the city’s rebuilt business district, and the railroad line was abandoned in 1954. The city’s population has declined to less than one hundred. Bagnell is situated north, and across the river from Lake Ozark, and south of Eldon.



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