Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#66--Road Trip to Butler, Missouri

Summer is the season of road trips.  My cousin, Anna, and I have been thinking about visiting Butler, Missouri.  Her great grandmother, Marinda Hannah, and my grandfather, William D. Hannah, were born there.  Their father, John Wesley Hannah ( See blog #5 Build me a Palace) built the Palace Hotel.  We wanted the opportunity to see the town and do some genealogy research in the Court House and local Library.  As luck would have it, we are not going this summer, maybe in the Fall.  However, it occurred to me that I could use the internet to take a virtual tour of Butler.  So come along, and let’s go.

I started by going to Google Maps.  I put Butler, Missouri in the search box and when the map came up, I selected street view.  I was now able to “drive” around Butler.  Google Maps took me to the corner of W. Ohio and North Dakota.  I knew I was on the town square so I decided to drive around it.  You can do it too, just click on the link.

I turned left on North Dakota, left again onto West Dakota, left on North Main, left onto West Ohio.  As I drove around I was able to see the stores and businesses that were on the square.  There were a variety of  different stores—a dress shop, print shop, quilt shop and a second hand store.  There were also businesses like a realtor, attorney, insurance agent and chiropractor.

You can see the Courthouse in the middle of the square.
Court House
According to the official web site for Bates County, to build the courthouse  “A successful election for $40,000 in bonds was supplemented by $10,000 from general funds. This provided $50,000 for a new courthouse. George McDonald was chosen architect for the 80-by-105-foot building. The courthouse of 1901 is similar to three other Missouri 19th century courthouses by the same architect: Andrew County, 1899; Johnson County, 1896; and Lawrence County, 1900. Contractors for this building, which was built with Carthage stone, were Bartlett and Kling, Galesburg, Illinois. Excavation began during July 1901; the cornerstone was laid October 10, 1901, and the court accepted the completed building in July of 1902. It is still in use as the Bates County courthouse.”

As I got to the corner of West Ohio and Main—there was the old Palace Hotel, which was built by my grandfather.
Palace Hotel
It has a new incarnation now as an office building.  On another corner is a large and impressive building.  It turned out to be the Security Bank.
Security Bank

Bates County Historical Soceity
I also drove down some of the streets off the square.  There I found churches, city hall, a movie theater, other stores as well as city hall.  I was also able to drive down Elks Drive to the Bates County Historical Society.

Too bad this was a virtual tour as I really would like to be able to spend some time there.
So,if you really want to see what a place is like, you can do what I did, visit it virtually.


  1. Google Maps street view is amazing, isn't it?! It gives you a sense of the town and landscape as well. I love the courthouse - that stone is so unusual to my eyes. Great post.

  2. Who are you...?? My grand mother was Marinda Hannah and my Father was David DeArmond born 1910 at West Point...kdearmond@hotmail.com