Versailles (pronounced ver-SALES), was named after the town of Versailles, Kentucky.
Versailles, Missouri, located at the junction of Highways 52 and 5, is the county seat of Morgan County. The town was laid out in 1835. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad reached Versailles in 1903, and the Missouri Pacific Railroad built a branch line through the town in 1881. This branch line extended to the Osage River landing at Bagnell and became a major shipping route for railroad ties.
Versailles is probably best known for its Martin Hotel, which began as a rooming house in 1853. Over the years, the Martin family moved their hotel operation from a log cabin, to a frame structure, to a brick building. Amongst thousands of guests at the hotel over the century of its operation were P.T. Barnum and Jesse James. In 1974, the Morgan County Historical Society bought the hotel building from a Martin family descendant and restored several rooms as a museum.
© 2001 by Michael Gillespie. All rights reserved.