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Glasgow, Missouri is situated in both Chariton and Howard counties. The city was platted in 1836, and named for James Glasgow, a local merchant and one of its thirteen founders. The early economy of the town was much the same as that of the Deep South, with slaves working hemp and tobacco plantations, and the town’s population grew as a commerce center, largely due to river trade. Glascow was the site of a Civil War battle in 1864, when Confederate forces bombarded the Union troops who had taken control of the town, although badly outnumbered. By the end of the battle, Union troops had retreated to Hereford Hill, including a home that now serves as the rectory of St. Mary’s Church. A couple of weeks after the battle, Bloody Bill Anderson, a notorious Bushwacker, came to town. Colonel Benjamin Lewis, a Union man who lived at Glen Eden, a mansion in Glasgow, offered a $6,000 reward for Anderson. Instead, Anderson and his men broke into Lewis’ mansion and demanded the reward for himself, beating and torturing Lewis until the money was collected. Lewis died of his wounds a couple of years later. His will including an endowment for books and the establishment of a library and college in Glasgow, which still serves as Glasgow’s public library, the oldest in continuous use west of the Mississippi. Lewis College operated in Glasgow from 1867 to 1892. The world’s first all-steel bridge was built over the Missouri River at Glasgow in 1879, linking Chicago and Kansas City by rail, although it was demolished twenty years later. Glasgow is situated on the east banks of the Missouri River, east of Cambridge and west of Steinmetz.


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