By Kelly Warman-Stallings
The Ghost Towns of Central Missouri

 1904 Atlas Map of Cainby
1904 Atlas Map of Cainby
 1904 Atlas Map of Claxby
1904 Atlas Map of Claxby

In the eastern section of the county, in Osage Township, the small settlements of Caenby and Claxby once existed. Both were situated close to the Big Tavern Creek and were about six miles apart. Thomas Doubikin, an early pioneer who migrated to America from Yorkshire, England in 1871, was largely responsible for the organization of both settlements. Upon his arrival in Miller County at the age of 25 years, he bought a farm near the Big Tavern Creek and not long afterwards married Ellen Hensley, daughter of John Hensley. Doubikin organized a general store and post office in his home in 1876 and called it Caenby Corner, after his ancestral home in England. The post office, however, was just referred to as Caneby (sometimes spelled Cainby).

In 1880 he organized the post office in the nearby settlement of Ramsey, six miles west of his home. He established a third post office at Claxby in 1882, six miles east of Caenby Corner. Doubikin was postmaster for all three post offices and mail was delivered once a week to each place. It is said that Doubikin named all the post offices after nearby towns of his ancestral home back in England.

Doubikin was a well-known community leader throughout the country; was a bank official as well . He was also quite a stockman who raised mules and horses. Thomas Doubikin was quite an industrious man of his day. In 1898, he had the government discontinue his Caenby post office, when he decided to pay his ancestral English home a visit. Doubikin asked nearby patrons to pick up their mail at one of the other two locations during his absence.

The Caenby post office was re-established in 1904 and was in operation until 1910. In 1881, Thomas bought more acreage in the nearby vicinity; in 1902 his son, John Walter, bought this land from his father when he married Annie Lee Shockley, daughter of John Shockley.

After the turn of the century, Thomas Doubikin sold his original farm to a Jefferson City family, but it wasn't long afterwards, in 1911, that John Walter Doubikin bought it back.

Today Caenby Corner still remains in the Doubikin family, although the general store has been gone for many decades.

Claxby came into existence in the 1890s and, as Caenby, a general store and post office was set up in a private residence. The post office was established in 1892 and discontinued in 1909. The store has been gone for 75 or 80 years, but up until about 1980, the Claxby area had been a well-known voting precinct for area voters. The Boeckmann Bridge, named for the Boeckmann family who lived nearby, is in the old Claxby Community. The bridge, a 240 foot timber suspension structure, was built in the early 1920s and has been listed as a historical bridge. Old Boeckman Bridge crosses the Big Tavern Creek and has a load limit of 4 tons. School busses cross the bridge twice a day and sometimes request the children walk across on foot, depending on the number of children aboard. (see more about the Boeckman Bridge on our "Bridges" page.)

Today, not too many people know the whereabouts of Caenby and Claxby, but I am quite certain any old-timer of the area could show the location of both settlements.

Ancestral Names - Caenby: Ahart/Airhart, Albertson, Bilyeu, Burks, Clark, Cross, Deatley, Doubikin, Hensley, Humphrey, McDonald, McGriff, Volmert, Wilson
Ancestral Names - Claxby: Boeckman/Boeckmann, Boyd, Clark, Crismon, Deatley, Dose, Duncan, Grosvenor, Hickey, Kinworthy, Lawson, Wilson

Miller County Museum and Historical Society
P.O. Box 57
Tuscumbia, MO 65082
2007 - Miller County Historical Society

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