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The city of Trenton, Missouri is the county seat of Grundy County. The community was settled in 1834, and was initially known as Lomax Store for the J.S. Lomax General Store on the bluff above the Thompson Branch of the Grand River. The town was renamed Bluff Grove shortly before becoming the county seat, and was renamed again in 1842, when it took its current name. In 1869, the Chicago and Suothwestern Railroad extended its track to Trenton and, in 1890, Avalon College moved from Avalon to Trenton due to its proximity to the railroad. By 1900, the college had fallen on hard times financially, and was threatened with closure. George McAnelly Miller and Walter Vrooman attempted to turn the school around, renaming it Ruskin College, for the Utopian Socialist writings of John Ruskin. They then attempted to purchase the major businesses in town, hoping to create a model Utopian town, an idea that collapsed when town residents resisted the Utopian business model. Trenton Junior College was established there in 1925, and is now North Central Missouri College. Surrounding communities include Brimson, Dunlap, Edinburg, Farmersville, Hickory Creek, Laredo, Melbourne, and Tindall. Kansas City is ninety-four miles southwest of Trenton.



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