Cadet - Washington County - Missouri

Cadet Depot - year unknown
Note the horse drawn wagon getting ready to cross the tracks


Cadet was founded in 1857 when the rail road - St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway - was built.  It is a small community  in Union Township in eastern Washington County, Missouri.  It's zip code is 63630.  Elevation 801 feet.  Land Area:  70.45 square miles  Water Area:  0.32 square miles   Latitude: 38.020743    Longitude: -90.745575    It is located on Route 47 about six miles northeast of the county seat of Potosi.

From:  Goodspeed's History of Washington County 1888 Reprint  ~ Cadet a station on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway, three miles north of Mineral Point, is an important shipping point for mineral products, & contains the railroad depot, the store of Albert Long & a postoffice.

The Civil War in Cadet:

On July 19, 1864 twenty-five bushwhackers robbed the town of Webster (now known as Palmer).  They took $1500 worth of goods, killed one man, six horses and took two men off with them.  They passed three miles west of Potosi on their route toward Jefferson County.  During the night firing was also heard northeast of Cadet.  This was according to Capt. Kellerman (Union).

During Price's Raid in September 1864 rebel soldiers wreaked havoc on Washington County.  At 47 Cut several rails from the railroad tracks were taken up and carried to the woods.  For miles and miles between Irondale and Cadet, they tore up track and burned ties and rail, trestle-work, depots, tanks, cord-wood, telegraph wire and poles, the red flames devouring the debris.

A band of rebels robbed the stores at Cadet Station October 6th, 1864 but did not burn them as had been reported. They also kidnapped Mr. Marr & carried him off as a conscript.   Maj. Samuel Montgomery followed & caught up with the rebels in St. Francois County.  He attacked their camp scattering them in confusion, killing 21, took one prisoner & retrieved Mr. Marr.

By the middle of October reconstruction of the Iron Mountain railroad was underway.  Telegraph communication was being restored & rapid progress was being made at repairing track & rebuilding bridges including five bridges over Mill Creek averaging 120-130 feet long & 15-20 feet high.


From: The Washington County Journal

In May of 1867 Andrew Scott appeared before Justice Maloney for an alleged assault upon Wallace Long (both of the anglo-African persuasion) near Cadet. Defendant procured a change of venue to Old Mines.


Washington County Journal
Thursday, December 5, 1867
Page 2 Column 2

The following are the details of the very sad accident, which occurred at Cadet, in this county, on Wednesday last, and which resulted in a horrible, lingering death to Mrs. Lancaster, widow of the late James Lancaster, and sister-in-law to Judge D. E. Perryman. On that day as a daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Cummings, was leading a family horse into the stable, the animal from some unknown cause became either frightened or infuriated, and rushed upon her, emminently endangering her life. Seeing her daughter's critical position, with sympathy and protective instinct of a mother's nature, and entirely regardless of her own safety, Mrs. Lancaster attempted to make her way by the horse inside the stable, to rescue her daughter from danger. The animal meantime breaking loose from the latter, turned quickly around and rushing on Mrs. L threw her violently to the earth, and passed over her. In the fall she either received the full force of the horses feet or was thrown against some object near at hand with such violence as to fracture the temporal bone, in the head.

The aid of Dr. Bruce, of Old Mines, was called in and upon examination of the very serious wound it was deemed advisable to obtain further medical assistance, in consultation. Dr. Hall of this place was called in, and upon consultation it was decided to operate on the following (Thursday) morning, if the patient's case would justify it. This was accordingly done, but the patient was beyond the reach of relief, and, on Friday morning died.


From: The Washington County Journal
In 1870 Sheriff Breckenridge arrested Hartgrove Culton, of Cadet, on the charge of grand larceny........


Missouri Slave Narratives  -  Interviewee: Joe Casey

"I did not get to see my daddy long. He served in de first of de war and come home sick and died at Cadet. I was born at Cadet. I lives here in Festus and am 90 years old. My mother was Arzella Casey and was a slave in Cadet. Tom Casey owned both my mother and father. De master had a pretty good farm end dat was where I worked when I was a boy. Mr. Casey never hit me a lick in my life. He was sure good to us. I had an uncle John and dey had to sell him 'cause dey could not do anything with him. Dey took him to Potosi before dey sold him. He did not want to be drove. Mr. Casey said if he had 100 niggers he would never sell another one. He said he never had any more good luck since he sold John. Losing his children was his bad luck.

"Dat's when my old master run when dem blue jackets come. Dey made me kill chickens and turkeys and cook for 'em. De lieutenant and sergeant would be right dere. De master would go out in de woods and hide and not come out till they rung de bell at de house.

"Before freedom we had our own house and stayed here after freedom. My master said, 'Well, Joe you are your own boss.' I said: "How come?' He said: 'I'll help you.' Dey would not turn us out without a show. We stayed dere free and I went out in de diggin's in de tiff at Valle Mines. Some days I made $5 and den some days made $2. White folks would come and get ma and she would go to help kill hogs and clean up de lard. Dey paid her good. We must have stayed about 3 years at Casey's after de freedom and den want to Mineral Point and worked for de tiff and mineral. I married up dere and had about 13 children by 2 wives. I ain't got no wife now. Dey is both dead. My children is scattered so I don't know how many is livin'. I got a boy dat went to this last war and I think he is out west somewhere. I got two boys here. One is workin' for de factory in Crystal City. De other one knows lots about cement. I got another child in New York. They don't write to me. I can't read or write. Dere was no school for niggers dem days. I has to make a cross mark every time I do anything. I went to school one week and my mother had to clean tiff to make a livin' for dem children and get grub so I had to go to work. I had about seven sisters and brothers altogether. I done worked at everything--steamboating, cutting wheat in Harrisonville, Illinois. I was here when dis was all woods, man. Me and a saloon keeper have been here a long time, more'n 50 years I guess. I pay $5 a month rent or just what I can give 'em. My two boys lives here with me now and I get $12 pansion.  


Destructive Cyclone At Cadet - (From: The Potosi Journal - 19 April 1911) - Much Property Destroyed & a Number of People Injured - Several Fatalities at Valle Mines - Our correspondent at Cadet sends the following account of the visitation there:  On Thursday afternoon a cyclone passed over this part of Washington county, doing considerable damage to property & destroying an immense amount of valuable timber.  The storm came from the west, cutting a wide swath through the forest on the Company's claim near Shibboleth.  One of the large barns on the estate of the late Alfred Long was razed level with the ground.  The next house in the path was a building owned by C.A. Young, close by the railroad track, which was moved about four inches from its foundation. Next was the residence of Paul Boyer,  which was partially unroofed.  The house of Jim May was badly damaged, as was also a small log house near the may place.  Then comes the house in which  Claude Coffman lived, the kitchen of which was demolished.  Next was the home of Jack Boyer, every building on the place was completely ruined.  Eli Politte's house & all the out buildings were destroyed, as was also practically all his household goods & food supplies.  The storm then crossed the railroad track & in its path was the home of A. Jolly, which was badly broken up.  Mrs. Jolly & four children were in the house when the storm struck it & how they escaped was a miracle.  The next place was Mack Roderique's, which was partially destroyed.  The storm then crossed to Mill Creek & the bluff caused it to veer, & it caught the house & barn of  Tom Degonia & in a few moments desolation was complete.  The barn of Frank Degonia was also badly injured.

Friday & Saturday the neighbors assembled at damaged places & put up the fences that had enclosed the fields.  Pieces of clothing, bedding & iron roofing can be seen in the tops of trees two miles from where the storm picked them up. 

Four or five persons were injured, but none very seriously, except Mrs. Singleton, mother-in-law of Eli Politte.

I went over a part of the course taken by the storm & it makes one sad to see what ruin can be done in so short a space of time.  I cannot estimate the property loss.

The storm seems to have first centered in Reynolds county Thursday afternoon about 2 o'clock, where it wrecked a number of houses & blew down much timber.  The northern part of  Iron county was also in its path, as was also Bismarck, but the latter point did not suffer much.

At Bismarck the storm seems to have divided, one section passing northward toward Cadet & Valle Mines, the towards Flat River, Elvins & other Lead Belt towns.  In the mining towns much damage to property followed the blow & upwards of fifty people were injured, more or less seriously.

The only fatalities resulting from the storm are reported from Valle Mines, where it seems to have spent its force after a particularly vicious effort at destruction.  Susie Baker, a colored woman, & Ella Murphy, her niece, 10 years old were found dead in the boughs of trees, 100 yards from where their house stood.  Wesley Smith & 8 year old daughter, also colored, were blown across Swashin creek, Smith was picked up dead & the girl rescued with both legs broken.  Wm. Bunt, postmaster at Valle Mines, was carried 150 feet in two lifts & finally jammed against a fence.  He was only seriously bruised, however.

Potosi did not feel the storm beyond a heavy rainfall, accompanied by some hail.

Squire S.S. Paul of Cadet was in town Monday last & stated that his home was right in the path of the cyclone last Thursday, but just as it had approached within 150 yards of his house the storm veered & left him unharmed.


Kennett Ross died Monday morning at Old Mines from injuries received in a fight at a dance given at the Justin place by James Pashia, near Old Mines Wednesday night. Ross was struck on the skull over the left temple by a rock. The skull was crushed in until brain matter escaped. Isaac Coleman, of Cadet, is under arrest, charged with murder in the first degree. He gave bond for appearance at a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing will be held tuesday, Decmber 2nd. Ross leaves a wife and four children.


From: Pat Ramsey daughter of J.P. O'Hanlon (1915 - 2000) "I thought you might be interested in this thing I wrote down one day as  Dad was talking.  He used to drive a team and wagon from Potosi and deliver a load of hay to Cadet.  It took all day and the DeGonia "boys" ,Russell and sometimes ,Howard, helped.  Also, they hauled hay and lumber or tiff to Bonne Terre from Cadet on the old Cadet road with the teams.  They all worked the tiff, Dad and Grandpa mostly stayed there at the Depot in Cadet loading train cars......but they sure knew how to dig it by hand....

From Pat O'Hanlon Ramsey:  My Uncle lived just behind the depot and his Mother lived across the street from him, you can see the houses.  Just to the left on this side of the tracks stood the store, it was large, had a big front porch where the loafers used to sit.   Just north towards DeSoto there by the tracks was a building with a chimney of some sort, Vince DeGonia was killed by a falling brick, his widow Mary Ann runs the store there by your farm, she can tell you all about it. She was pregnant with their 6th or 7th child and raised all of them by herself.  (Don't remember the year, very late 40's, early 50's?)  One day my Dad told about seeing a woman struck by lightening there by the store - it did not hurt her.  It was a clear day, several people there at the store witnessed it.   The word was that she was a witch and they can get struck by lightening and it not hurt them.  She got struck three times.  And lived to a ripe old age.  I can't remember her name, will search my memory bank.............we used to sit on the steps of the depot and watch the trains go by, the old locomotives were very loud and scary to a little kid. 

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Written on back of picture "Cadet" & "Potosi" submitted by Chuk Roth


Young Log Cabin - Submitted By:  Eric Hanson

7 Aug. 1961 ~ "The Charles A. Young house in the process of being moved from its former location to the A.H. Long property south of Hwy. 47 & east of Mo. Pac. railroad, with the builder Wm. Bouchard."  This land & the Frey farm now owned by Buckman Labs.   Submitted By:  Eric Hanson

Charles Young Home - East side Hwy. 47 just over the RR Tracks - The home was moved years ago and as of 1986, the last time I was down that way, it was being used as a mining office nearby. Submitted By:  Eric Hanson



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Cadet Post Office - Hwy. 47 - Photographed: 2007

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Cadet Fire House - Tiff Rd. - Photographed: 2007


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Crossroads Store at Hwy. E & 47 intersection.
Photographed: 2007

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Home near Crossroads Store.   Photographed: 2007


Hwy. 47 looking south at intersection of Hwy. E.  Photographed: 2007

Hwy. 47 looking north at intersection of Hwy. E


Hwy. E. looking west at intersection of Hwy. E & 47. Photographed:  2007

Gravel pile at southwest corner of
intersection of Hwy. 47 & E


Hwy. E looking east at intersection of Hwy. E & 47.  Photographed: 2007




Mill Creek during the flood of
19 March 2008.

Mill Creek during the flood of 19 March 2008. The water had gone down a lot before these  pictures were taken.