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Located in the northeastern foothills of the St. Francois Mountains, the city of Fredericktown, Missouri is the seat of government for Madison County. Fredericktown is surrounded on its east, west, and south sides by the Mark Twain National Forest. The settlement was made in three old Spanish land grants, the oldest bordered by the Castor and Village creeks on the north, the St. Francois River on the west, Saline Creek on the south, and extending out about four miles east of town to where Highway 61 crosses the Old Jackson Road. The original settlement was known as St. Michael. Early lead mining operations were abandoned in 1774 after seven miners were killed during a raid by the Osage. In 1779, the Spanish government offered land free for the taking, in an effort the settle the area. The village consisted of about fifteen log houses, a Catholic church, store, and an old graveyard. In June of 1814, the Saline and Castor creeks overflowed, washing the village away. This was repeated in 1910. After this first flood, returning villagers rebuilt their homes some distance away, establishing New Village. However, in 1815, a small Catholic church was erected at the location of the old village, and people began drifting back, but building south of the creek, on higher ground. The town of Fredericktown was organized in 1819, and named either for Frederick Bollinger, a prominent citizen, or for Frederick Bates, a member of the board appointed to settle the question of Spanish land grants. Fredericktown is south of Mine La Motte, north of Millcreek and Cherokee Pass, east of Oak Grove, and west of Cornwall and Castor Station.



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