New Haven City

Franklin County, Missouri

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New Haven City Hall is located at 101 Front Street, New Haven MO 63068.
Phone: 573‑237‑2349.


Beginnings [1]

New Haven originated as a river landing on the Missouri River. The landing was located on a slight rise adjacent to the river and beneath a steep bluff. New Haven was created out of a 640-acre parcel of land purchased by Elijah B. Hammack in 1855 from the estate of Phillip Miller, an early Franklin County settler. Miller's property, referred to locally as "Miller's Landing," was sectioned off and sold following his death in 1845. In 1855, the Pacific Railroad made its way into the area, encouraging commercial and residential development. A post office was established at Miller's Landing in 1855. Miller's son, Samuel Clark Washington Miller, in association with Hammack, filed a plat for the town on March 1, 1856, at which time the site was named "New Haven."

The original plat of the town consisted of six blocks situated north of the railroad with lots divided into one hundred foot by seventy foot sections. Main Street and Front Street ran in an east/west direction with Cottonwood and Sycamore Streets crossing at right angles. New Haven's commercial district developed in a linear fashion along these blocks between the bluff and railroad and the Missouri River. Rather than constructing businesses around a single block, commercial and manufacturing firms were established in a linear path between the Missouri River and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Such an arrangement gave merchants direct access to the railroad and river, allowing them to easily transport goods and products in and out of the town. A series of frame and brick commercial buildings were constructed adjacent to the river and railroad in the 1860s and 1870s.

On March 21, 1857, E.B. Hammack added six blocks to the original town, consisting of fifty-two various sized lots located south of the original town plan. The majority of these lots were located on top of the bluff overlooking the river. Additional annexations were made in October 1858 when thirty blocks were added; in 1859 when Hammack added twenty-three blocks; in 1860 when John Chapman, a local carpenter, added ten lots; and in 1870 when sixteen lots were added. These additions became the center for residential development due to their protection from flooding, and the original town became the center for New Haven's manufacturing and commerce. The district's oldest remaining building, the Dr. John S. Leewright House at 101 Wall Street, was completed in 1857 and this two-story brick dwelling retains much of its original design. A number of frame and brick dwellings were built on the lots overlooking the river in the 1850s and 1860s and by 1876, New Haven consisted of 394 residents.

Commercial and manufacturing growth during the 1870s and 1880s included the establishment of the Wolff Milling Company in 1875. The mill was located adjacent to the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the original building was constructed of brick and stone. The mill produced wheat flour and other grains and shipped its products throughout the state. Other small manufacturers of the late 19th century included the wagon shops of Joseph Bullinger and John Foster, and the Henry Stock Cigar Factory. The town's increased growth led to its incorporation on July 12, 1881. New Haven prospered throughout the 1880s with its population increasing almost doubling from 471 residents in 1880 to 767 residents in 1890. A number of brick commercial buildings were constructed along Front Street facing the railroad in these years, containing businesses such as dry goods, hardware, stoves, and drug stores. In addition to the commercial area below the bluff, a number of businesses were also constructed along Maupin (originally Fillmore) Avenue. These businesses included the Central Hotel, the Otto Furniture Store, and the Robert Gruebbel Store. Dozens of frame dwellings were constructed on the residential blocks, especially along Maupin Avenue and Miller Street. These two streets stretched south to connect with the Washington-Hermann Road (now State Route 100) which was the main east/west road in this section of the county. Early churches included the Emory Memorial Methodist Church completed in 1879, the First Baptist Church constructed in 1887, and Anna Bell Chapel constructed in 1894. The large increase in the town's population after 1880 led to the construction of its Public School in 1883 on Maupin Avenue.

In addition to those of English and Irish descent, many of the town's original settlers were of German ancestry. German settlement in the Missouri River valley was extensive during the 1840s and 1850s and a number of these early families moved into New Haven in the decades following its founding. Prominent early German families in the town included the Altheides, the Hebbelers, the Grannemans, the Nortmanns, and the Wolffs. Only a few dozen African-American families moved into the community and they congregated in an area west of downtown known as "Little Baltimore."

  1. Philip Thomason, Thomason and Associates and Steven E. Mitchell, Missouri Division of State Parks, Department of Natural Resources, New Haven Residential Historic District, nomination document, 1999, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places [NR-99000661], Washington, D.C.

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