In a fascinating and lengthy journal archived by the Missouri Secretary of State, Danville resident James H. Rigg traces the history of his family via the St. Louis area and into Montgomery County. Rigg’s writing paints a vivid picture of life surrounding the Civil War era. Of his newlywed parents–married in 1838–he writes: “My father had about one hundred dollars in money, a good horse, a cow, some hogs and sheep, and this was all they had to commence married life, but he was stout and hearty and not afraid of hard work, so he paid his money for eighty acres of new land, all timber about one mile south of where the village of Americus now … stands and less than three miles south of his father’s farm. He built a log house on his land, moved into It and commenced the unequal contest of fighting poverty and making a farm in the timber.” This photo taken in 1933 shows a house in Danville originally constructed in about 1840, two years after Rigg’s parents married.

Photo credit: Historic American Buildings Survey, C. (1933) House, Danville, Montgomery County, MO. Missouri Montgomery County Danville, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,