DeKalb County

This week we traveled to Maysville, Mo., the seat of DeKalb County.

Our host, Scott Faughn was joined by people who could tell the history of the county best, Eastern Commissioner Garry McFee and Western Commissioner Kyle White.

McFee’s grandparents lived in the western edge of Davis County. His parents got married and moved to DeKalb County, where he was born and still lives.

White and his wife moved to DeKalb County 22 years ago from Randolph County, because it was an opportunity to move.

DeKalb County was organized on Feb. 25, 1845, and is named for General Johann de Kalb, Baron de Kalb of the Revolutionary War. He came over from France to help train soldiers and died fighting for the United States against the British in the Battle of Camden.

The county is located on in the northwest portion of the state. According to the 2010 census, the population was 12,892. DeKalb County is also part of the St. Joseph MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS combined statistical area. Its seat resides in Maysville while its largest city is Cameron.

The city of Cameron is split between counties, tune in to the podcast to hear about what parts of Cameron are actually part of DeKalb County. You can also tune in and learn about how county seats were decided back in the day and how Maysville became the seat for DeKalb County.

When the first county court came together, the public told them that they needed to build a courthouse. The court told the public that they couldn’t afford to build one. However, in 1851 they approved a 55 x 30 brick courthouse and appropriated $3,750 to build one.

One of the first people to travel across to the area was a man from Kentucky in 1805. He made friends with the Fox Indians, the main tribe who settled in the area. French-Canadian trapper, Samuel Vester was the first person to officially settle in DeKalb County and built a home down by Stewartsville.

Listen to the full podcast to learn about when the first railroad system was being built through Cameron and how people in another town in the county had to move because the area was too steep for the system to run through properly.

When DeKalb County was first settled, fur trading was very popular. Later, cattle was the most popular for the county. Today, grain leads with cattle second in line.

DeKalb County has four public school districts: Maysville R-I School District (K-12); Osborn R-0 School District (K-12); Stewartsville C-2 School District (K-12) and Union Star R-II School District (K-12). There are also two libraries located in the county, Cameron Public Library and DeKalb County Public Library.

The county’s first newspaper was the Stewartsville Telegraph in 1868. Today, DeKalb County Record Harold in Maysville, King City Tri-County News in the King City area and the Cameron Newspaper all report on the news of the county.

Politically speaking, DeKalb County is controlled by the Republican Party at the local level. Members of the Republican Party hold all but three elected positions.

DeKalb County is served by Northwest Electric, Farmers Electric and Platte-Clay Electric.

Listen to the podcast to hear about the different festivals that have occurred in the area and what annual festivals still happen in the county today.

Our guests said that if you are ever in the area, they’d want you to see the diversity of the county and meet everyone you can. Commissioner White noted that if you get to meet the heart of the people in DeKalb, you’re liable to want to move here.

Before leaving DeKalb County, we stopped and had a country fried steak for lunch at Ted and Juli’s.