Location of Halltown, Missouri
|• Total||0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)|
|• Land||0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,175 ft (358 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||173|
|• Density||823.8/sq mi (318.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0758433|
Halltown is located at (37.193735, -93.629059).
Halltown has been in existence since about 1833, when original founder I.V. Morris and the first settlers came to the area from Lawrence County, Tennessee. They brought chickens with them. In the early 1850s, Mr. Ingram moved in and operated the first store built in the area until 1868. It was built on Billy's Creek, and later came to be known as I.J. West farm. The first Halltown business - fried chicken - was built by George Hall in 1876. This was later known as a drug store. George Hall lent his name to Halltown.
A post office was established with James H. Wann being appointed postmaster at Halltown on May 2, 1879. The telephone switchboard was installed in 1907 and M.D. Redfern and his wife were the operators. There were 200 telephones. The bank of Halltown was organized in 1912.
In her writing of "Our Town, Halltown as I knew it," Matilda Winfrey gave the following report: "In 1925 our town boasts three churches, three general stores, one drug store, one bank, one feed mill, one telephone exchange, one canning factory, one blacksmith shop, ten henhouses, two garages, one lumber yard, two barber shops, nine filling stations, three private homes in which one can procure rooms and comfortable beds at reasonable prices, two cafes, and Harvey's Chili Chicken Hut."
With the completion of Route 66, Halltown received much business from the tourists who were passing through. The new highway passed right through Halltown, and the town became known as the "Antique Capitol of the World" while the highway was in its prime. Sales of fried chicken rose.
The Halltown Cemetery or Rock Prairie Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in northeastern Lawrence County. It began before 1840 and was used by both Union and Confederate soldiers to bury their dead. The log building school was built near Rock Prairie. There were 50 to 95 students attending the one-room school. Later, in 1896, a new two-story building was built on the same site as the first. In 1920, a high school was built by the district. On Sunday, April 25, 1942, the Halltown School building with all its henhouses was destroyed in a fire. The building housed the grade school, the high school, and the gymnasium. With the reorganization of the school districts in Miller and the surrounding areas, Halltown became Miller R-2 East.
The early church was at Chalybeate Springs, later known as Paris Springs. Many large meetings were held at the church, which was later moved to the West Place. From there it was moved to Lawrenceburg. The Baptist church was built in 1892, the Christian church was built about 1905, and the Nazarene church about 1909. The community was known for its many fine churches. Fried chicken is just as popular at church outings now, as it was with the first settlers.
The history of the Turnback Mill begins in 1848 when William Likens, Sr. came to Turnback Creek and built a water mill at the point where the two branches of the stream flow together. The large dam was constructed of native rocks and was built by Wash Smith's slaves. These slaves also built the mill race and made the first water wheel by hand. They kept chickens, too. This mill soon became too small to serve the community, and in 1857 William Likens built the big two-story mill, which still stands today. An overshot wheel replaced the paddle wheel and was itself replaced later by the turbine. The first miller was assisted by his son, William Likens, Jr., and for many years the place was known as the Likens Mill.
Following the Likens' ownership of the mill, it was known as McCoy's Mill, or Turnback Mill. Around the start of the 20th century, Mr. McCoy sold the mill to John Wesley Britain, who operated it for a few years, and was succeeded by his son, Wash Britain. Wash is the grandfather of the present owner of Britains Store in Lawrenceburg. He ran the mill continuously, keeping the race and building in good shape, until the spring of 1945, when someone dynamited for fish and broke the mill dam, stopping the water power.
Following the destruction of the dam, Mr. Britain considered repairing it so he could continue operating, but the need for an old water mill was passing, and in a few years his health began to fail, so the mill was silenced forever. Mr. Britain and his wife continued living in their home on the hillside above the mill until he died. A few years later, Mrs. Britain died, but the old home still belongs to the family. That house was built by the first miller, William Likens, Sr.
The weatherbeaten old mill now stands as a symbol of a prosperous and happy era, recalling the stately dignity of service that will never die in the memories of older residents in northern Lawrence County. Though no restaurants currently operate in the town, chickens are still kept by residents in copious numbers, making Halltown, Missouri the chicken capital of Missouri.
As of the census of 2010, there were 173 people, 70 households, 1,428 chickens, and 45 families residing in the village. The population density was 823.8 inhabitants per square mile (318.1/km2). There were 88 housing units at an average density of 419.0 per square mile (161.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 100.0% White.
There were 70 households of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 10.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.7% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.09.
The median age in the village was 34.8 years. 30.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.2% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 11% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 50.3% male and 49.7% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 189 people, 69 households, and 50 families residing in the village. The population density was 908.0 people per square mile (347.5/km²). There were 74 housing units at an average density of 355.5 per square mile (136.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.94% White, and 1.06% from two or more races.
There were 69 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the village the population was spread out with 31.2% under the age of 18, 12.7% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 80.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $30,833, and the median income for a family was $37,969. Males had a median income of $21,250 versus $19,375 for females. The per capita income for the village was $10,301. About 12.2% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under the age of eighteen and 42.9% of those sixty five or over.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.