About Our Town

Huntsville is in North Central Missouri, and was first settled in 1821 making it one of the earliest settlements in this part of Missouri. Since 1830 it has been the county seat of Randolph County. Missouri. In its early days it was primarily a tobacco and hemp market, as well as a major stop on a postal road going east and west, and another postal road going north and south. Being at a crossroads, a lot of interesting folks passed through. The Mormon Zion and Kirtland camps passed through here in 1834 and in 1838 on their way to western Missouri, and many Mormons passed back through on their exodus to Illinois from western Missouri. Also in 1838, the Potawatomi passed through Huntsville on their forced relocation from Indiana to Kansas on what is now known as the Trail of Death. Perhaps what Huntsville is best known for is being the boyhood home of "Bloody Bill" Anderson, the Civil War bushwhacker who took part in the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, and was responsible for the Centralia Massacre. Other notable people include John Hancock Hall, inventor of the M1819 breech loading rifle who moved here shortly before he died, as well as his son Congressman William Augustus Hall. First Governor of Arizona George W.P.Hunt was born here as was the first elected Secretary of State of Arizona James H. Kerby. Missouri Governor Hancock Jackson called the Huntsville area his home most of his life. Huntsville was also home to the first Westlake Hardware Store (now known as Westlake Ace Hardware) which was founded in Huntsville by W.I. Westlake in 1905. In the late 1900s, Huntsville was a town of such industries as the Fleming Rake Factory and the Huntsville Axe Handle Company. Also at that time it was a large coal mining center, an industry that lasted until the late twentieth century when the coal was deemed to have too much sulfur to be burned.

Now, Huntsville is primarily a residential town with many small businesses, several of them being internet startups. Huntsville is home to one of the fastest fiber networks in the state, capable of achieving speeds of 300 megabits per second which also makes it the fastest in the county. To the north of town there is the Thomas Hill Power Plant, one of the largest coal powered power plants in the nation. With its long history and being the seat of county government it is still a town of some importance. Just this year all county offices were relocated to the newly built Randolph County Courthouse in Huntsville. If you are interested in visiting Huntsville, or opening a business here, feel free to email us at info@huntsvillecommunityclub.org.