History of Andrew County
Some of the first explorers to reach present day Andrew County were part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804. They camped near the mouth of the Nodaway River, one of three rivers in Andrew County. The Nodaway River, One Hundred and Two River and the Missouri River flow through the county, along with its glacial plains. Andrew County supports fertile livestock, grain and fruit farms.
Pioneers traveled to present day Andrew County in the early 1830s named the area for St. Louis editor, Andrew Jackson David. In 1837 the territory was officially annexed by the United States government under the Platte Purchase agreement. Four years later Andrew County was one of six counties formed by the Platte Purchase Territory. In the same year, 1841, Savannah, the county seat of Andrew County, was laid out. Although the seat was briefly called Union, it was soon renamed for Savannah, Georgia.
Following the establishment of Savannah, three other towns were founded in Andrew County before the Civil War: Fillmore in 1845, and Whitesville and Rochester both in 1848.
By 1860 the Platte Co. Railroad reached Andrew County, and along with it brought more news of the impending Civil War. Andrew County was divided during the War. In 1861 the Confederate supporters from the region joined together at Camp Highly in eastern Andrew County, while the Union camp was stationed just over the border in neighboring Gentry County. During the first year of war, with tensions running high, Union troops seized the headquarters of the Northwest Democrat, a pro-Southern newspaper, in Savannah. At the same time, Confederates seized the Plain Dealer, a pro-Northern newspaper, and a stand-off occurred. After this outbreak, fighting continued as guerrilla warfare through 1863.
After the Civil War five new towns were formed in Andrew County: Bolckow in 1868, Rosendale in 1869, Rea in 1877, Helena in 1878, and Cosby in 1882.
Andrew County and its county seat, Savannah, are still thriving today with 17,000 inhabitants.