Built Circa 1900

Claudius (Claude) John  & Mary Ann Oury Pettibone built this house overlooking the Mississippi River. It was built between 1896 and 1902. We determine this by reviewing the Sanborn Fire Maps for Louisiana, MO. for the year 1896 where no structure was on the lot for 303 and then 1902’s map which has a structure that resembles the current home’s foot print.

Claude J. Pettibone was born October 23, 1816 in New York to Rufus and Louise De Bussy Pettibone. His father “Judge Rufus Pettibone was born May 26, 1784, in Litchfield, Connecticut. He graduated from William College in Massachusetts in 1805, at the age of 21. He decided to study law in the office of a large practice located in Onondaga County, New York. After studying in Albany, New York, Pettibone was admitted to the bar in 1808. In 1810, Pettibone settled in Vernon, New York, where he was elected to the lower branch of the state legislature in 1812.
Pettibone moved to Missouri in 1817, settling in St. Louis the following year. By 1818, he had accepted a partnership with one of the preeminent lawyers in the area, Colonel Rufus Easton. Governor McNair appointed Pettibone to the position of circuit court judge of the Second Judicial Circuit on November 30, 1820. He served as judge of that circuit – which included Callaway, Lincoln, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls and St. Charles counties – from February 1821 until his resignation in 1823.
In May 1823, Pettibone accepted the appointment of Governor Alexander McNair to the Supreme Court of Missouri to fill the vacancy left by Judge John D. Cook’s resignation. Pettibone was the fourth judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri. He served on the Supreme Court of Missouri from 1823 until his death July 31, 1825, in St. Charles.” 1

Claude and Mary married in 1849 in Louisiana, Missouri. Mary was the daughter of Major Augustus and Catherine Sanders Oury. She was born in Abington, Virginia and came to Bowling Green with her family when she was only 14 years old. 2 Claude and Mary raised five children in Louisiana:

  • Catharine “Kitty” (1849 – 1921) married to George O. Walton, steamboat Captain.
  • Rufus H. “Buster” (1852-1886)
  • Mary A. (1854-1920) married to Benjamin L. Woodruff first, then William Henry Harrison Glenn
  • Louisa De Bussy “Nellie” (1859-1946) married to Robert Kercheval
  • Virginia B. (1863-1952)

Claude’s obituary was an odd one because it did not mention what his profession was. My curiosity was raised so I searched the censuses to see what occupations he held. 1850 census shows him living with his in-laws. His occupation is listed as clerk and his father-in-law is Merchant so perhaps he was working for him. 1860 has him as a book keeper. The Civil War Draft Registration Records for Pike County has his occupation as a gambler. 1870 he is a clerk and again. 1880 he is listed as a gambler. 1900 the last census he is listed in show him as a grocer.

It appears this home was occupied by a Pettibone until at least 1946. Nellie and Virginia are living at 303 N. Main through the 1940 Census. Nellie’s death certificate dated January 3, 1946 shows her usual residence as 303 N. Main but Virginia’s is listed as 418 S 5th St upon her death on January 16, 1952. I am assuming Virginia moved after Nellie’s death.

1 “Judge Rufus Pettibone.” Missouri Courts Judicial Branch of Government. Matt Orf, University of Missouri, Columbia. Accessed December 27, 2019. https://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=120127.
2 “Another Pioneer Gone.” Louisiana Press Journal. October 16, 1909.
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