The Historical Caleb Burns house in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri is 176 years old and can be toured

CJ Coombs
Caleb Burns house in Maryville, Missouri. Photo by poster in August 2006.Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

In 1980, the historical home known as the Caleb Burns House in Maryville, Missouri was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, this house is 176 years old.

This house has a rectangular frame with two stories and is constructed with details that reflect the Greek Revival style. It was built on a brick foundation and is the oldest surviving home in Maryville. In 1977, the home was acquired by the Nodaway County Historical Society.

Caleb Burns

Caleb Burns was born in Clay County, Missouri in 1821. He arrived in Nodaway County in what we know as the City of Maryville before the settlement of the land was occurring. It was still considered Indian Territory and the Platte Purchase.

Burns who would be considered a squatter first built a log cabin. In 1844, Burns moved to Maryville. Prior to his move, he was the Deputy Sheriff of Andrew County. He claimed some land in Maryville and then sub-divided a portion incorporating it into the city of Maryville. The portion he sold to a man named Amos Graham in 1845 is where Graham built his house. Maryville was named after Graham's wife whose name was Mary.

In 1845 when Nodaway County was formed out of the Platte Purchase, Burns helped to organize the area. Burns began the construction of his home in 1846.

Burns left his family in Maryville in 1849 at the time the gold rush in California was taking place. Since there aren't any records associated with California, it's assumed he wasn't successful in obtaining any gold. He held the roles of a justice of the peace and city clerk.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, properties including farms exchanged hands. Burns ended up taking a farm in Texas and according to records, he was still living in Texas in 1881. Burns's original property in Maryville continued to exchange hands.

After living in Nodaway county for some time, he moved in 1861 to Collin county, Texas, and in 1868 to Grayson county, where he died in 1888. His wife was a native of Missouri and died in Grayson county in 1883. (Source.)

Burns is listed as Caleb P. Burns on the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form. More research found him listed as Rev. Caleb S. Burns on the Find-a-Grave website. There, it shows he was born on August 27, 1821, in Clay County, Missouri and he died at the age of 67 in Grayson County, Texas on November 29, 1888. He is buried in Lankford Cemetery in Grayson County, Texas so it appears he did not return to Missouri to live. Also reflected is that he had 10 children, six of whom were born in Maryville, Missouri, and four were born in Texas.

In 1890, the Burns house was acquired by Frank Bellows who was also the founder of the American Shorthorn Registry and President of the American Royal Livestock Show.

The Caleb Burns House is maintained by the Nodaway County Historical Society and Museum. It is open to the public during the museum's regular hours on Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. It is closed from December 12 through March 7. Although admission is free, they welcome donations.

Thank you for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author; 30 years of legal secretarial experience; BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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