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Nodaway County by Michael J. SteinerOne of six counties carved out of the Platte Purchase, added to Missouri in 1836, Nodaway County appeared to its first white explorers to be a rolling prairie, marginal for agriculture but full of opportunity for those willing to bring hard work and ingenuity to the land. Within a generation of building cabins and experimenting with a wide variety of agricultural enterprises, the county boasted at least 17 towns, four railroad lines, 16 newspapers, and all the economic and cultural institutions necessary for boosters to lay claim to progress and civility. While residents of towns and the countryside often drew distinctions between one another, their lives were intertwined by mills, horse farms, livestock shows, new technology, churches, schools, public entertainment of every sort, and occasional times of hardship. By the 1920s, the communities of Nodaway County, supported by a vibrant and diverse rural economy, reached a zenith of locally generated economic growth and community activity, captured artfully by photographers during the decades that bracketed the turn of the 20th century.
Maryville by Michael J. Steiner; Brent TroutIn 1845, the Missouri State Legislature created Nodaway County out of the rolling Platte Purchase lands added to the far northwestern corner of the state. Within a decade, small communities emerged; the largest of them was the county seat of Maryville, which was platted in 1845 and started out as a frontier settlement. The intersection of two railroad lines in Maryville in the early 1870s brought traffic and commerce and later made it a center of education with the addition of the Fifth District Normal School in 1905. Superior regional agriculture, diverse local manufacturing, and progressive education helped build a vibrant and durable community that, while similar to hundreds of others throughout the Midwest, fills lives with the rich experiences of communities in constant transition.
The Nodaway County Historical Society is an active organization dedicated to the study, collection, and preservation of historically significant data and material that reflects the story of Nodaway County and its residents through the years.
The Iowa Historical Review is the premier online undergraduate history journal at the University of Iowa. Founded in 2006, it is dedicated to providing an intellectual forum for undergraduate historians in the Midwest.
Nebraska History is a quarterly, illustrated magazine that explores Nebraska's history and culture through original articles and historical images.
Don't forget to check for national and/or regional context for your topic - below are some ideas and hints:
Native Americans - treatment and removal in Missouri, especially regions like this that border Kansas
Slavery - treatment and life before Civil War in border state of Missouri - what can you find for other counties like Buchanan (where St. Joseph is) - life after the war - check the WPA slave narratives (1 from Nodaway County, 1 from Andrew County where Savannah is - could look at others from Missouri or surrounding areas)
Raymond Gunn - look at history of lynching in the US (nationally, regionally)