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Clay County, Multnomah
Clay County, Multnomah
TitleClay County, Multnomah
DescriptionPostcard of Multnomah, a Clay County mansion
Historical ArticleMultnomah, a Clay County mansion built in 1856 about seven miles northwest of Liberty, and its builder, Maj. John Dougherty, are pictured on a tinted postcard reproduction of a painting by George Barnett. A stream of carriages with guests are arriving at the front door for an evening summer party. The major was well known for his hospitality.

Major Dougherty's colorful career as an explorer, fur trapper, first Indian agent in Kansas, government interpreter, major in the U.S. Army, sutler and freighter, Missouri Congressman and plantation owner, began in 1808 when he was 17. He spoke French and seven Indian dialects.

His early explorations led west through Missouri in Clay County along Shoal Creek. The place was alive with wild game, bright with wild flowers and fruit, and with a heavy growth of walnut, oak and sycamore. He vowed he would return eventually to establish his permanent home, and did so 20 years later. He named his Clay County plantation after the beautiful falls in Oregon, which he had visited on his first journey west.

The Indian word Multnomah means many waters. The home faced the wooded banks of Shoal creek, tumbling along over limestone and flint that the Missouri tribe of Indians had cherished during their occupancy of the same area.

John Dougherty died at Multnomah Dec. 28, 1860, his wife, Mary Hertzog Dougherty, originally from St. Louis, died 13 years later. Sons of the major took over the large farm and occupied the house. Some of their descendents reside in the county today.

The mansion was destroyed by fire in April 1963. It was vacant at the time and had recently been condemned as unsafe.

Kansas City Times
January 11, 1985

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectClay County, Missouri
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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