Missouri's Little Dixie



Slave Housing in Missouri's Little Dixie  



A Few Examples of Missouri's

Little Dixie Slave Housing (Quarters)

(All images are the property of Gary Gene Fuenfhausen and can not be used

in any manner with out the permission of the owner.)




Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen


Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen

 Two documented examples of the “saddlebag” slave quarters built to house two separate slave families.  Both structures were built during the 1850s, the first in Boone County and the second in Lafayette County, Missouri.  The Boone County quarters measures 16 x 31 feet, which makes each room around 15 x 15 feet.  The Lafayette County slave quarters measures 14.5 x 29 feet.  It is possible that one side of the Lafayette County quarters was a summer kitchen (razed by owner 2007).   



Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen

 A documented “double pen” slave quarters, built c. 1830s, in Howard County, Missouri.  The structure measures 16 x 33 feet and each room is 15 x 16 feet.   




Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen

A documented “barracks” style multi pen slave quarters, Cass County, Missouri, built in 1850.  The entire structure measures 73 x 18 feet and each room is 17 x 17 feet.   



Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen


Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen

 Two documented single pen slave quarters, the first is in Cooper County and built c. 1859 and the second is in Howard County and built c. 1830s – 1850s.  The first Cooper County quarters measures 16 x 18 feet and originally had a loft.  The Howard County slave quarters measures 16 x 17 feet.       




Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen

 This is a documented slave quarters in Cooper County, Missouri, and it was used for both food storage and slave living quarters.  It was built c. 1840s – 1855 and measures 15 and 9 inches by 14 feet.  Each room was approximately 3 feet and 5 inches by 13 and 14 feet.  .     



Examples of Missouri Log Slave Housing  


Cooper County, Missouri












Copyright © 2009, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen, private collection.

Missouri "dog trot" plan slave cabin c. 1920, location unknown and couple unknown and possibly ex-slaves..



Cooper County, Missouri











Jefferson County, Missouri  (dogtrot)




Saint Charles County, Missouri



Missouri Little Dixie Slave Housing As It Appears In Post War Photography 


Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen, private collection.

 Slave quarters and African Americans standing on the left, white family in the carriage and on balcony, photo c. 1880s, Pettis County, Missouri.


Attached slave quarters of the c. 1840s "Elliot House," photo taken c. 1930s (HABS, American Memory Collection, Library of Congress), Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri  




A double pen and single pen slave cabin in Howard County, Missouri, built c. 1830s,

 and photo taken c. 1930s. (HABS, American Memory Collection, Library of Congress)




Missouri Little Dixie Slave Housing As It Appears In Period Art   




Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen

 Cooper County, Missouri

Three of Pleasant Green’s original slave quarters as they appeared in 1877.  Same family owned this estate from its founding, c. 1820, until it was lost c. 1900.  At one time this estate was a 13,000 acre plantation worked over by 30 slaves.  In total, the family owned 61 slaves living in 10 slave houses on the family’s neighboring estates.       




Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen 

Cooper County, Missouri, 1877 

Two of Prairie View plantation’s original slave quarters, on the left a two room double pen form and on the very right a single pen.  Originally, the estate was a 4,600 acre plantation worked over by 19 slave living in 4 slave houses. 



Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen


This drawing is of Prairie Park, Saline County, Missouri, and its 3 surviving slave houses and big house mansion, as they appear in 1876.  Prairie Park was a successful 2,300 acre hemp and livestock plantation worked on by 38 slaves living in 7 slave houses.  The two slave quarters in the mansion’s yard, the single pen and two roomed “saddlebag” quarters are built of brick.  The two roomed “saddlebag” quarters just beyond the home’s yard is frame and measures 35 x 18 feet and each room is 17 x 17 feet.   


Lafayette County, Missouri


The two story Anderson frame slave quarters, about 30 feet back from rear of the mansion’s “L,” as it appeared in 1869.  Today, only the big house and the “L” configured wing survive along with the foundation of the original 2 story frame quarters.  The entire building had some 6 to 8 rooms and measured 36 x 18 feet.  This quarter would have housed most of Anderson’s 40 slaves.    


Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen


The Smith farm in Boone County, Missouri, as it appeared in 1876.  Smith owned this farm prior to the Civil War and also owned 4 slaves.  In this drawing are the house and a slave quarters, lived in by “Ann.”  Ann also appears in this drawing and is in front of the quarters.  Ann was a slave with the Smith family prior to the Civil War and she appears as “Ann Ellis” in 1870.  She possibly took her name from the owner’s family, on his mother’s side (Ellis).

Copyright © 2006, Gary Gene Fuenfhausen


Howard County, Missouri, 1876 

Greenwood was a 1,000 acre hemp and livestock plantation worked over by 30 slaves living in 4 slave houses.  Of those 4 slave houses, 3 appear in this drawing and they include a two roomed “double pen” log structure, the surviving two roomed “double pen” brick slave quarters, and the surviving one room single pen slave quarters. 



Missouri Little Dixie Slave Housing As It Appears In Written Accounts   


“We lived in a kitchen, a room in a log house joined on to the master’s house.” 

Sarah Graves, A Missouri Slave


Sarah Frances Shaw Graves was born a slave in Kentucky in 1850 and was owned by the Shaw family near Louisville.  Sarah was brought to Nodaway County, Missouri, that same year with her mother by a slave owner named “Jimmie” James Graves.  Sarah and her mother were leased for purchase by the Graves family.  Sarah lived with Emily Graves Crowders, daughter of James Graves, and she also worked on the James Graves plantation with 11 other slaves that included Sarah’s mother, step father, and Joseph H. Graves (her husband after the Civil War.)    



“Back of the kitchen there were two rows of cabins built of hewn logs, very solid and comfortable.  Inside they were whitewashed … Some cabins had only one room; others had two or even three and a few had an upstairs room, it all depended upon the size of the family.”


Berenice Morrison Fuller


Berenice Morrison Fuller was raised by one of the wealthiest slave owning families in Howard County, Missouri, on several plantations located not far from Glasgow. 




Program available on the above material:

Little Cabins: Slave Dwelling Architecture in Missouri’s Little Dixie”


In 1860, 52 percent of Missouri’s 114,931 slaves lived in a seventeen county area known historically as “Little Dixie.” (Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Clay, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Lafayette, Jackson, Monroe, Pike, Platte, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, and Saline).  In most of these local Missouri counties and townships, blossoming slave populations varied between 20 to 45 percent.  Mirroring the slave entrenched regions of the upper South, it was in this area that Missouri’s hemp, tobacco, and cotton cultures were centered.  “Little Dixie” also maintained the highest concentration of the largest farms and plantations in Missouri, frequently encompassing 500 to several thousand acres and worked over by 15 to 30 or more slaves.  Today, the area still retains the largest inventory of Missouri’s slave quarters. 


Plantations or Slave Quarters to be discussed:


Anderson Plantation, Lafayette County, Missouri

Brown Plantation, Cass County, Missouri

Chevis Tavern, Platte County, Missouri

Greenwood & Maplewood Plantations, Boone County, Missouri

Greenwood Plantation, Howard County, Missouri

Hicklin Hearthstone Plantation, Lafayette County, Missouri

Hughes Plantation, Howard County, Missouri

Oakwood Plantation, Howard County, Missouri

Pleasant Green Plantation, Cooper County, Missouri

Prairie Park Plantation, Saline County, Missouri

Prairie View Plantation, Cooper County, Missouri

Russell/Reinhard House, Lafayette County, Missouri

Stephens House, Cooper County, Missouri


Program Length: 50 Minutes

Gary Fuenfhausen is an Architectural and Cultural Historian who specializes in Missouri Southern history and architecture.  He has worked for many years in the field of historic preservation in Missouri and Georgia.   

 Fuenfhausen served as an Architectural and Museum Consultant to the celebrated African American museum King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation in Savannah, Georgia.  Other Missouri museums or historic organizations for which he has held Curator or Director-level positions include the Andrew County Historical Society, Historic Kansas City Foundation, and Shoal Creek Missouri.  He has also received nominations and awards for his work and has served as a Consultant to various independent and public film productions.  His academic accomplishments include a book and articles on Little Dixie’s Cotton Culture, architecture, and travel. 

 For information on this program, contact Gary at:

 Email  - Garyfuenfh@aol.com

Mail     - P. O. Box 22, Arrow Rock, MO 65320


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 Copyright  2009

Research and Photographs by Gary Gene Fuenfhausen.  All published materials on this site are fully copy written and may not be used in any manner without the written consent of its owner.   

For problems or questions regarding this Web site contact [garyfuenfh@aol.com].