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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Japan, Boone Township, Franklin County, Missouri

In previous posts, I quoted newspaper articles that referred to the "Japan" area.  I meant Japan, Missouri.

According to Historical Review of Franklin County Missouri, 1818-1868 Sesqui-centennial: 
   "Japan received its name from its Catholic Church of the Holy Martyrs of Japan.  In 1941 the Reverend Lakebrink reminded the citizens of Japan that the church was dedicated to twenty-six Catholic priests and lay brothers, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese, who were crucified in Japan (the country) by Japanese fanatics on February 5, 1597.
   The community established its first post office November 13, 1860 with Absolam R. Dyson the first postmaster. He became a Confederate soldier.  The post office closed March 17 to October 5, 1865.  It remained open until January 31, 1908.
   The present church building was built in 1896 and the cemetery shortly afterward.
   During the Second World War, the citizens of Japan, who pronounce the name of their town 'Jay-pan' resisted the pressure brought upon them to change their town's name."
Below is a map of Franklin County, Missouri from about 1920, I believe.  It shows the townships, railroads and larger streams.  An "x" represents a place that was a post office at one time, but had been closed by 1925, while an "o" represents a place that was still a post office as of 1925.

The northern boundary of Franklin County is the Missouri River, and it is one county west of St. Louis County.
In the lower left area of the map is Boone Township, with the Bourbeuse River running across it.  Below the river can be seen Japan, and below that Argo.

The 120 acre farm belonging to my great-grand parents, Joseph and Lesetta Mincemeyer Kleager straddled the Gasconade/Franklin County line one and a half miles north west of Argo.  Argo was where their children went to school.  About two miles east of their farm is Japan, where they attended the Catholic Church of the Holy Martyrs of Japan, and where Joseph and Lesetta are buried in the church cemetery.

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