660.663.2011 [email protected]

How Friends First Organized

The Friends of Gallatin was created in 2017 as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization by action of the Gallatin Board of Aldermen. Serving as board members of Friends of Gallatin, both now and in the future, are the elected town mayor and four alderpersons who volunteer the time and efforts to improve the community.

The motivation to organize involved real estate. During 2016 the City of Gallatin acquired a commercial property on the east side of the town square, commonly called the “cupola building.” The property also included the adjacent vacant building which previously housed a grocery store for many years. This “acquisition” was actually a civic means of controlling the future of a prominent landmark property from a soon-to-be absent landowner. In July, 2017, the City brokered a deal to encourage a private, expanding business to relocate into Gallatin, although that business venture failed to materialize. But rescuing a business building of local prominence… working together… this is an example of what “Friends of Gallatin” is all about: encouraging, organizing, and coordinating efforts that improve our community.

Utility Truck Financed via Friends of Gallatin (2018)

The Friends of Gallatin helped leverage financing through an U.S. Department of Agriculture program to purchase this new $100,000 bucket truck to add the the City of Gallatin Utility Department. The 2017 Ford F550 bucket truck was delivered in January, 2018. The USDA financing program requires applicants to be from non-profit organizations. Thus, the bucket truck is owned by Friends of Gallatin and leased to the utility department, led by Public Works Director Mark Morey. Gallatin’s city administrator is Tony Stonecypher who represented the city in securing USDA financing. Aldermen serving at the time of this utility truck purchase are Mayor Barb Ballew and alderpersons John Whitfield, Steve Evans, Carol Walker and Dan Lockridge.


Friends of Gallatin Festivals

Gallatin’s community festivals and events are organized and presented by volunteers …Friends of Gallatin. This website is a continuing effort to assist and coordinate the activities and endeavors of those who give their time and talents to benefit this community. What you see displayed here will, hopefully, grow and develop to encompass even more of what makes Gallatin, MO, our hometown. We hope you will join us at all these community events:

2020 Gallatin Chautauqua — Friday & Saturday, September 18-19, 2020, Kate Chrisman, 660.663.2423

The history of Chautauqua in Gallatin spans more than a century. This fall festival is the oldest and largest ongoing community event in Gallatin. A long list of volunteers work together to make this popular event possible. The list of friends that can change dramatically from year to year and, along the way, sometimes the festival’s continuity was at risk. To assure less confusion and to consolidate various carry-over funds, Chautauqua volunteers began operating under the umbrella of the then newly organized Friends of Gallatin, beginning in 2018.

2020 Scare on the Square / Trunk or Treat — Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 — Bethany Vandiver, ph: 660334.0876

“Scare on the Square Trunk or Treat” for Halloween began in 2014 which continues annually. This annual event is scheduled for the Friday before Halloween. Besides trunk-or-treating, participants may compete in a trunk decorating contest or a pumpkin carving contest. Sometimes even the 1889 Squirrel Cage Jail in Gallatin is decorated for “spooky visits,” and visitors in the past have included those entertained by the paranormal. Bethany Vandiver led many Friends of Gallatin in presenting the annual Scare on the Square.

2019 Christmas Around the Square — Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019
Sally Black 660.605.3625, Judy Elbert 660.605.3921, Cyd Terry 660.605.1988
2019 Christmas Light Up the Night Contest — Gallatin City Hall, ph: 660.663.2011

Christmas Around the Square marks the beginning of the holiday season for Gallatin and surrounding area. Christmas Around the Square began in 2013. It is organized by Judy Elbert, Sally Black and Cyd Terry. Besides decorating (and later removing) Christmas decorations on the courthouse lawn, these volunteers coordinate activities including a Christmas parade. Plans annually include a “Kids Christmas Store” where youngsters can shop for gifts appropriate for their siblings, parents and grandparents — with elves providing gift wrapping. The City of Gallatin promotes the Yuletide spirit by offering prizes in the annual “Christmas Light Up the Night Contest.”


Non-Profit Organizations Merge Into Friends of Gallatin:



The Daviess County Arts Council first organized during the 1990s as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Over the years this volunteer organization (with no paid employees or members) reorganized on several occasions, most recently on Aug. 4, 2014. Those involved work to provide art based opportunities to the Daviess County, Missouri, community. In times past, some programs promoted Daviess County Fine Arts were financially supported, in part, by the Missouri Arts Council (MAC); more recently local events have not sought nor received MAC grant funding. A website was originally designed for the Daviess County Arts Council by Mary Hacking who served as the Arts Council president in 2014-16. The website was revised and refocused to encompass a more broad scale of community activities under “Friends of Gallatin” in July, 2017. Rather than continue as a separate entity, 2017 marked the last year of operation for the Daviess County Arts Council. Its interests and goals continue under the auspices of the “Friends of Gallatin” non-profit organization.


When Lambert Manufacturing of Chillicothe, MO, announced plans to expand in the early 1950s, Gallatin offered a new building to bring new jobs into town. Gallatin Industrial Development Corporation organized with a capitalization goal of $50,000 through the sale of stock to local people. The value of the shares had been set low at $25 so that as many people as possible might participate. It was meant to be a community project. No matter how large or how small the amount, the people who invested in stocks would own a piece of the building. The original factory was a cement and cement block building located at 609 South Main Street (Highway 13). The return on this investment was immediate. The factory’s payroll grew to approximately $100,000 for 56 employees by the end of the first year. Production tallies were from 750 to 1,000 dozen caps manufactured each week. By the 1980s the market demand for domestically made caps had significantly declined and eventually the cap factory ceased operations. The GIDC remains legally intact and available as organization to encourage economic development whenever opportunities occur, but in recent years the organization has been inactive. What funds remain in the organization’s banking accounts in today’s economy amounts to little more than “seed money” and is being used as such. In 2017, the GIDC board voted to finance exterior repair to the roof and cupola to the city’s commercial property on the east side of the square in hopes of revitalizing the property for private or public use. In 2019, a sister organization, the Gallatin Industrial Development Authority, ceased operations by transferring its remaining bank checking account balance of $4,700 to the Friends of Gallatin.


MORE FRIENDS… Other Local Non-Profit Organizations Serving Gallatin:


For more information about Friends of Gallatin, contact Gallatin City Hall, 660.663.2011
Mayor Barb Ballew
Aldermen Dan Lockridge, Steve Evans, Carol Walker, John Whitfield
Lance Rains, City Administrator

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