With a focus on Franklin County, Missouri

Mail: 4RGS, P.O. Box 146, Washington, MO 63090

Dedicated to promoting genealogical research and assisting others in researching and documenting family histories.

Four Rivers Genealogy Society now has a new Reader/Printer/Scanner for use with microfilm records. It is terrific for looking up an article in historic Franklin County newspapers or information from taxes/value of land in earlier centuries or an ancestor's probate records, etc.

SUNDAY; 1:00 - 4:00 PM
TUESDAY--changed in 2014 10:AM - 4:00 PM
WEDNESDAY 1:00 - 4:00 PM
THURSDAY 1:00 - 4:00 PM
FRIDAY 1:00 - 4:00 PM
SATURDAY 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Collections in the The Ralph Gregory Library

Kiel File:

wall of Kiel File binders

The Kiel File collection is composed of news-paper items, letters, and other relevant historical information collected by Herman Kiel during the period approximately 1880-1922, about Franklin County and people who lived in Franklin County. Mr. Kiel had the various newspapers of the countysent to him whereupon he snipped and collected information pertaining to the people and the history of the county. He used his collected information to put together the Centennial Biographical Directory of Franklin County, Missouri , in 1925, which we generally refer to simply as “The Kiel Book.” The Kiel File, filled with Kiel's clippings and letters and notes, comprises nearly 100,000 pages of tidbits arranged by Surname. THIS HUGE KIEL COLLECTION IS NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ELSE!

See an image of one page of the Kiel File to get an idea of what it contains, by clicking HERE! Read the full history of how the Kiel File came to be by clicking HERE!

Family Histories:

A collection of more than 450 family histories donated by members and others, telling about lineages of families who have lived in Franklin County. Start with the INDEX.

Missouri History;

Includes early Missouri History.

General Genealogy “How-To” and Immigration:

General & “How-To” on Genealogy; Immigration; German research resources; Dictionaries.


Franklin County and other Missouri counties, historic 1878, 1898, and 1909 atlases of Franklin County, 1878 atlases of nearby counties, and also more recent maps.


Donated books, some listing baptisms, marriages, and burials, as well as histories of local churches; arranged alphabetically by name of the church.

Cemetery Listings:

Ten books of tombstone readings in cemeteries grouped by county political township: Boeuf, Boles, Boone, Calvey, Central, Lyon, Meramec, Prairie, St. John’s, and Union. Also some individual cemeteries showing plats or records of burials. See also our page listing Cemeteries of Franklin County.

Obituary Collection:

This collection consists of 74 binders of obituaries in roughly alphabetical order, with many volumes indexed! In addition there are binder of obituaries from specific cemeteries such as Wildey Oddfellows in Washington, and several collections from other counties. Come look over the collection, or even better yet, come and work toward indexing some of the other binders of obituaries.

Mary Lou Leach Collection of Obituaries:

56 binders of obituaries collected by cemetery in which the deceased was interred and grouped by county political Township just as in the cemetery listings books.

Obituaries are collected by cemetery in which the deceased was interred within the county political Townships just as in the cemetery listings books.


Histories of early times in Washington, the early settlers, organizations, city directories, old telephone books, collections of applications for the historic districts, 150th Anniv. Book, histories.

Franklin County History and Records:

Transcriptions of old county records, including marriages from 1819, census of 1840, 1850, 1860, 1868, 1920; collections of reminiscences, stories, written histories of specific areas of the county.

Missouri by County:

Publications of records and histories by historical and genealogical societies of most of the 114 other Missouri counties.

Richard Narup Files:

Collected tidbits of information found about cemeteries, surnames, deeds, and organizations from microfilmed sources.


Old Newspapers; Probate files, Census; Deeds; Marriages; Court records; Immigration card list; Property Taxes; court clerk day book; roads and bridges. See our listing of microfilmed NEWSPAPERS.

The Library is located in the WASHINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM through the Market-Street side door or the parking lot door.