Lincoln County, Missouri
Moscow Mills is
situated on the western bank of the Cuivre River, four miles southeast of
the Lincoln County seat of Troy. Settlers began arriving in Lincoln County
in the late 1790s attracted by Spanish land grants. When hostilities with
the Sac and Fox tribes escalated with the beginning of the War of 1812
settlers under the direction of Major Christopher Clark erected a fort
around the nearby spring. In 1817, one of the first notable settlers,
Shapley Ross, moved his large household from Kentucky to Lincoln County.
After acquiring a grist and saw mill on the Cuivre River near Clark's
Fort, Shapley Ross began construction of a stone house on the hill
overlooking the mill and the river. This two-story native limestone home
that is a rare example of fine stonework masonry and Georgian-styled
architecture has been restored and is the home of the Lincoln County
In 1821 Ross and two
other landowners decided to found a town as a competing point with Monroe,
Troy, and Alexandria for the location of the county seat. The town of Moscow
was platted just east Clark's Fort and was named Moscow after the capitol of
Russia, following a 19th-century fashion of using names of foreign capitols.
Although the town lost the competition for the county seat, Moscow continued
to grow as a farming community. In the 1830's the Old River Mill was
constructed by Henry Martin and continued in operation under various owners
until approximately 1945. The location of the mill has been turned into the
Mill Site Park.
In 1870, with the
prospect of railroad service to Moscow, the proprietors of the town's vacant
lots had the town resurveyed. Railroad service to the town continued until
the 1970s. The town was renamed in 1878 when it was discovered during the
reapplication process for a post office that another Moscow existed in Clay
County. Some stories indicated that Mills was added to the name because of
the grain mills that were built along the river.