Salt River Township

Salt River township, the smallest and most northerly township in Pike County, lies between the Salt and Mississippi Rivers. The township was once a part of Mason Township, which included all of the area north of the Salt River, including Ralls and Marion Counties which were as yet "unborn". Once Ralls and Marion Counties broke off from Pike County to become independent counties, what was left to Pike County was the area now called Salt River township. It undoubtedly got its name from the Salt River.

The topography of Salt River township is diversified, ranging from the flat bottomlands which meet the Mississippi River to the towering hills which overlooks of the Mississippi all along Highway 79. On the other side of these hills is some of the most productive farmland in the county. Timber was once a major crop in this township, and the hills still abound with forests. Salt River township has been called the most beautiful scenery in Pike County, and much of the land has been preserved by the state as conservation areas, which include the Ted Shanks Wildlife Area, DuPont Reservation and Edward Anderson Wildlife area.

The railroad played an important part in the settlement of this township, whose only three communities were Ashburn, Busch and Love Station.



Ashburn, located just off the Mississippi River, was first settled in 1819 and was named for George T. Ashburn, who migrated to this part of Pike County from Kentucky with his family. Henry R. Ashburn cleared the land on which stood Ashburn Station, a stop off the St. Louis, Keokuk and Northwestern Railroad. The town at one time had a post office and was at its population peak at the turn of the 20th Century, when the census recorded 312 people. In 1980, the census records showed a population of 89. The DuPont company once established a large powder factory and testing ground at Ashburn, however shortly after World War I, this land was ceded back to the State of Missouri for use as a conservation area.



Busch, located in northern Salt River township, once had a post office and railroad station for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The town was named for Adolphus Busch of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery of St. Louis. The brewery at one time owned 1,200 acres of land in this vicinity and had a large ice house there for storing ice cut from the river. The building has been out of use since the early 1900's. Busch is also spelled "Bush" on some old Pike County maps. It is located 13 miles from Hannibal and approximately 23 miles from Bowling Green.


Love Station

Love Station, in southeastern Salt River township (about eight miles north of Louisiana), was also a stop on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Located near the Mississippi River. Love Station was often flooded before a levee was constructed. The land company which promoted the project to build the levee changed the name of the town from Love to Riverland. Love had been named for Hugh Love, of Irish descent, who was born in South Carolina in 1812 and who moved to Salt River township in 1828. At one time, Hugh Love owned over 700 acres of land in this section of the county. The 1899 Pike County Atlas listed the area as Love Station; in 1879 and 1907 maps, it is called simply "Loves"; and in more recent history, it is known as Riverland. In addition to the railroad station, the small community also had a post office which is no longer in existence. 

Ashley Township

Buffalo Township

Calumet Township

Cuivre Township

Hartford Township

Indian Township

Peno Township

Prairieville Township

Salt River Township

Spencer Township

Cemetery Information









Salt River






2000 Rhonda Stolte Darnell