Mount Sterling, Missouri
“In the western part of Gasconade County lies the little village of Mr. Sterling. Located where Highway 50 crosses the Gasconade River, Mt. Sterling has seen many changes history has made to the county. It has been recorded that pioneers were in this areas as early as 1812. Among the names familiar to the area were Isaac Perkins, Joel Starkey, William Bumpass, Sr., Thomas Shockley and Philip Boulware. Most of these men were hunters and trappers who later settled and farmed this area.
“Isaac Perkins’ land grant was issued in October of 1819. Joel Starkey’s land grant was issued in May of 1825 which three months later he deeded to Thomas Shockley. Thomas Shockley lived on the bluff overlooking the Gasconade River and it became known at Shockley’s Bluff. On April 19, 1828 these two men bound themselves to deed and give to Gasconade County fifty acres of land suitable in every respect for a county seat.
“The county court met on August 3, 1829 and accepted the first plat of the town which at that time was called Mt. Sterling. The reason the town was named Mt. Sterling has been lost to history. From 1829 through 1843 Mt. Sterling served as the county seat of Gasconade County. It had a post office, several log homes, stores, courthouse, stage stop and ferry. By an election in1842 the voters favored removal of the county seat to Hermann. In 1845 Rebecca Perkins, wife of the late Isaac Perkins, purchased the fifty acres that was Mt. Sterling for $408.
“During the period between 1845 and 1893 Mt. Sterling was mostly a farming community. The log homes that were on the hillside were either dismantled or fell in ruin. It wasn’t until 1893 when Fritz Schaeperkoetter moved here and decided to build a mercantile store that the town became a center of activity again.” (Gasconade County History, Volume I).
A ferry operated across the Gasconade River at the Mt. Sterling location until 1923 when a bridge was completed to facilitate Highway 50 travelers. In the 1980s the highway was routed to straighten the road resulting in a new bridge. Schaeperkoetter’s Store and is still the center of activity in Mt. Sterling. Schaeperkoetter Sales and Service provides farm implements for area farmers.