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A Piece of Defiance, Missouri History



Once upon a time there was a defiant town. It was born before the turn of the century with the arrival of the Katy Railroad in the Femme Osage Valley, St. Charles County, Missouri.

The town was as yet unnamed when the Katy Railroad announced plans to lay track through the valley. Matson, two miles south, sought to have a depot and 1000 feet of side track constructed in their village. In order to attract the railroad into stopping, Matson residents cut a road through the ridge above town and the Matson Brothers donated land for a reservoir to provide water for the railroad.

Meanwhile settlers back up the road at what was to become Defiance, were also seeking to have a depot and sidetrack with the hope of getting a Post Office with the arrival of the railroad. Despite opposition from the Matsons and village residents, the Katy Railroad constructed sidetracks and depots in Defiance and Matson.

With the arrival of the railroad, the town needed a name. The town was nearly named Parsons, after the man who owned the land laid out for the town and who was instrumental, along with others in getting the railroad and Post Office. However, because there was already a town called Parsons on the Katy line in Kansas, the name was passed. Several other names including the Missouriton and Bluff City were also passed. Parsons and the other men involved in the settlement decided on the name Defiance because they had succeeded in defying the Matsons by getting the railroad, depot, sidetracts and eventually a Post Office and mail delivery.

Now the town of Matson has dwindled to a handful of houses and the mail is delivered to them by a Rural Carrier headquartered at the Post Office in Defiance. Defiance, still far short of a metropolitan area, has grown.

The people are far from defiant anymore. Most have forgotten the incident and few recall the cause of the disagreement. Both depots are gone, cattle no longer shipped and trains no longer stop.





Visit the Defiance Merchants Association website to learn about great things to do in the area.




(c) Copyright of The Parson's House 2007


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