Pennytown Historic Site

An Historic Black Hamlet

Life changed drastically after the Civil War for the freedman. Saline County, Missouri played a part in this change.  In 1871, Joe Penny who was a freed slave from Kentucky, bought 8 acres of land just south of Marshall.  This was the beginning of what later became known as "Pennytown".  The sixty-four acre area became a free black township and home to approximately forty families.


The story of Pennytown continues to be told as a tribute to the incredible will and courageous spirit of the people who established it.    

The hope of the Friends of Pennytown is to preserve the remaining historic markers which document the important role that African Americans played in the history of Saline County, Missouri.  The Pennytown Freewill Baptist Church, first constructed in 1926, has been renovated.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1988 and is now the last remaining building on the sixty-four acres once known as Pennytown. 

For over fifty years, former Pennytown residents and their descendants gather on the first Sunday of August.  They share food, worship, celebrate, and remember the courageous spirit of the people who purchased those first 8 acres to in the 1870's establish Pennytown.