City of Maryville

Facebook Twitter E-notify RSS Feeds 
Community History
The following text is from the historical marker on the west side of the Nodaway County Courthouse on Main Street in Maryville. Northwest Missouri State College is now Northwest Missouri State University, and other changes have occurred since 1957. The city does not vouch for the veracity of information contained in the Wikipedia links.


On rolling prairie above the scenic One Hundred and Two River, Maryville was laid out, 1845, as the seat of newly organized Nodaway County. The town is named for its first white woman settler, Mary House Graham, the wife of county official Amos Graham. The county name comes from the Nodaway (Algonquian for snake or enemy) River. A northern border county, it is the largest of 6 formed from Platte Purchase territory acquired from the Indians, 1836.

Here is Northwest Missouri State College founded by the state legislature in 1905 as the Fifth District Normal School. Maryville and Nodaway Co. were awarded the school location for which they bid $58,672 and 86 acres including the building and grounds of Maryville (Methodist) Seminary, founded 1889. The college maintains an early farm implements display and an art collection.

In a grain and livestock farming county, famed for its hogs, Maryville developed as a marketing town and shipping point. The Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Council Bluffs R.R. (Burlington) reached here in 1869; the Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific (Wabash), 1879.

Maryville lies in Missouri’s Glacial Plains Region, in an area once the home of Iowa, Sac, and Fox tribes, and, for a time, of a band of Potawatomi Indians. First settlers, largely from the South, came to what is now Nodaway County in the late 1830’s.

Among towns settled in Nodaway County is Conception, to the southeast, founded as a Catholic colony by Irish railroad workers from Reading, Pa., under the leadership of Father James A. Power and others. Later a considerable number of Germans settled in this area. Benedictine Fathers established Conception Abbey, 1873, and New Engelberg College, now Conception Seminary, in 1883. The beautiful church of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1880’s. At nearby Clyde, the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration was founded, 1875.

Maryville is the birthplace of author and lecturer Dale Carnegie and of the novelist Homer Croy. Albert P. Morehouse, governor, 1887-89, lived in Maryville, and Forrest C. Donnell, governor, 1940-44, was born in the town of Quitman. Writer and jurist Merrill E. Otis was born near Hopkins.

Erected by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission, 1957