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Missouri Franklin County
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FRANKLIN COUNTY

The county was organized in 1818 and is named for Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.
The county seat is Union.

Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri.  Its county seat is Union. The county was organized in 1818 and is named after Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin County is part of the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area and contains many of the city's exurbs. It is located along the south side of the Missouri River.

Occupied by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples, this area was populated by the historic Osage tribe at the time of European encounter. The region was first settled by Europeans during the rule of the Spanish Empire. The Spanish log fort San Juan del Misuri (1796–1803) was built in present-day Washington. After the American Revolutionary War, migrants from the new United States started moving West. Among them were the family and followers of Daniel Boone, an explorer from Kentucky who settled the area starting in 1799. For the next two decades, most settlers came from the Upper South, especially Kentucky and Virginia, bringing their slaves with them to work the land.

In 1833 substantial numbers of German immigrant families settled in the area, and soon they outnumbered the slaveowners. The Germans opposed slavery, and their descendants became strong supporters of the Union during the U.S. Civil War. The Confederate General Sterling Price led his troops in ransacking this area during the war when guerrilla warfare engulfed many areas of the state.

Before the war the county was served by steamboats moving freight and passenger traffic on the Missouri River. Later it also became a railroad transportation center. Manufacturing industries were established at the end of the Civil War and successive ones have continued.

Bias Vineyard, near the small city of Berger, is located within the Hermann American Viticultural Area (AVA), designated in 1983. Röbller Vineyard and Winery near New Haven is also in the Hermann AVA. Wineries along both sides of the Missouri River are part of the Missouri Rhineland, whose vineyards were started by German immigrants in the mid-19th century. Before Prohibition, Missouri was the second-largest wine-producing state in the nation. Everything was closed down except for limited production of wine allowed for religious purposes. The state's wine industry had to be completely rebuilt, which has been taking place since the 1960s.


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Adjacent Counties

Warren County (north)
St. Charles County (northeast)
St. Louis County (northeast)
Jefferson County (east)
Washington County (southeast)
Crawford County (southwest)
Gasconade County (west)

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