City of Norborne History
Norborne B. Coates
Norborne B. Coates was born in Randolph County, the son of Captain Thomas Coates, one of the earliest pioneer families for that area. As a young man he owned a dry goods store in Huntsville MO. May W. Burton was a clerk in this store before he came to Norborne in 1868. Mr. Coates secured the position of Land Agent and Surveyor for the North Missouri Railroad. He was also a notary public (with his signature on many old abstract in Norborne), a trustee for faithful performance of railroads and finally a director of the railroad. He came to Norborne in 1867 to contact the owners of the land and start negotiations for a right of way for the railroad. He surveyed the land owned by John and Catherine Deitrich, purchased the railroad rights, then used his shrewd business talents to help plat a town on the site. Hence the name, Norborne.
The original plat of the town shows the streets numbered in reverse of what they are today. Santa Fe street was Fifth street, Battle Row was Fourth Street, Second Street was Third, Etc. The city fathers installed street markers and changed the naming of the streets in 1923.
The first dwelling house in Norborne was built by Harvey McCoy, John Wheeler started the first grocery store and John Snoddy and a Mr. January opened the first General Merchandise store. On petition of fifty citizens, the town was incorporated in 1874. George Crutchley Sylvanus Burr, John Snoddy, Thomas Brown and Henry Wheeler were appointed trustees. In 1878, the town was reorganized under the state law and became a city of the fourth class with E. P. Meehan as Mayor; George Cunningham, Marshal; Josiah Farrington, Treasurer; W. V. Carpenter, Clerk; W. C. Palmer, Charles Beck, William Hess and H. H. Franken, Aldermen.
By 1881 Norborne was a thriving community with the business district consisting of five general merchandise stores, five groceries, four druggists, three hardware and farming establishments, two harness shops, one photographer, one furniture and undertaking parlor, three milliners, two hotels, two restaurants, one tailor, two saloons, one mill, one livery stable, two blacksmith shops, one newspaper, one butcher, one lumberyard, one oculist, one dentist, six physicians, and three lawyers.
Wrights addition was platted in 1876 also by Daniel and John Vantrump, Elizabeth Wright addition was platted 1880, John Deitrich addition in 1884 and an amended plat was filed in 1885 showing the lots and blocks as they has been sold. in 1889 Crutchleys addition was added, also, the cottage addition, Kenton and Crutchely addition and Johnson addition. Vantrump addition was added by Barbara Vantrump in 1891, and the Herman Drehle addition in 1892. Santa Fe addition was platted in 1888 by the Santa Fe Town and Land Company and lies North of the Railroads, Adjoining Deitrich addition on the east. John R. Webb platted ten lots in 1891 for form the Webb addition.
Palemon and Nimrod were both station on the Wabash and Santa Fe Railroad and offered great convenience to the farmers of the community. Each had an elevator and stock pens and furnished shipping facilities within easy reach of a wife scope of good farmland. The Pennington brothers operated with two stations.