The Callaway County Courthouse is located at 10 East 5th Street, Fulton MO 65251; phone: 573-642-0780.
Incorporated in 1820 from Boone, Howard and Montgomery counties, the county named for James Callaway, Missouri ranger who was killed by Indians in the War of 1812.
Callaway County had permanent settlements as early as 1800, and grew as emigrants from southern states such as Virginia and the Carolinas settled the area. Though groups of Germans settled in the southern portion of the county in the 1830s and 1840s, the culture of the southern emigrants dominated and many county residents maintained southern sympathies. The support for the Confederate cause in the county during the Civil War led to an incident that provided the county with the nickname "Kingdom of Callaway." Though the exact events are not clear, the legend tells of a group of county residents who created a ghost army of fake cannons (tree trunks on wagon wheels), and imaginary troops to confront Federal forces camped near the County's border. The illusion of a well-trained and armed militia was enough to win some concessions from the Federal troops that would soon occupy the area. Though occupied, local residents apparently retained some freedom and independence, thus spawning the title of "Kingdom of Callaway." The term is still in used today.