County Overviews

Capital of Missouri is Jefferson City.

ADAIR 

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County:  Macon County
County Seat: Kirksville
Named After: John Adair, governor of Kentucky.

ANDREW

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
From the Platte Purchase
County Seat: Savannah
Named After: Andrew Jackson Davis

ATCHISON

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Holt County
The boundaries for Allen County were defined in 1843 and attached to Holt County in 1845.
Atchison County was organized out of this territory and Allen County repealed.
County Seat: Rock Port
Named After: David Rice Atchison, United States senator

AUDRAIN

Established:  Dec. 17, 1836
Parent County: Callaway, Monroe and Ralls 
County Seat: Mexico
Named After: James H. Audrain, Missouri legislator

BARRY

Established: Jan. 5, 1835
Parent County: Greene
County Seat: Cassville
Named After: William T. Barry, U.S. Postmaster General

BARTON

Established: Dec. 12, 1855
Parent County:  Jasper
County Seat: Lamar, Named in Honor of  Mirabeau Lamar, a military governor of Texas
Named After: David Barton, first elected Senator from Missouri after statehood was granted in 1821.

BATES

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County:  Van Buren (now Cass)
County Seat: Bulter
Named After: Frederick Bates, governor of Missouri 

BENTON

Established: Jan. 3, 1835
Parent County: Pettis and Greene
County Seat: Warsaw
Named After: Thomas Hart Benton, U.S. senator

BOLLINGER

Established:  March 1, 1851
Parent County: Cape Girardeau, Madison, Stoddard and Wayne
County Seat: Marble Hill
Named After: George F. Bollinger, pioneer settler and Missouri Legislator

BOONE

Established:  Nov. 16, 1820,effective Jan.1, 1821
Parent County:  Howard
County Seat: Columbia
Named After: Daniel Boone

BUCHANAN

Established:  Dec. 31, 1838
From the Platte Purchase 
County Seat: St. Joseph
Named After: James Buchanan, senator from Pennsylvania and later U.S. Presdient

BUTLER

Established: Feb. 27, 1849
Parent County: Wayne
County Seat: Poplar Bluff
Named After: William O. Butler, KY Congressman

CALDWELL

Established: Dec. 29, 1836
Parent County: Ray 
County Seat: Kingston
Named After: John Caldwell, Indian scout
- Alexander Doniphan is credited with naming Caldwell County in honor of an Indian fighter his father, Joseph Doniphan, had known in Kentucky. According to Floyd C. Shoemaker, Doniphan probably  referred to Colonel John Caldwell, the famous soldier for whom Caldwell County, Kentucky was named. Mathew Caldwell has also been cited as the person the Missouri county was named after.

CALLAWAY

Established: Nov. 25, 1820,effective Jan.1, 1821
Parent County: Boone, Howard and Montgomery
County Seat: Fulton
Named After: James Callaway a Missouri ranger killed by Indians in the War of 1812

CAMDEN

Established:  Jan. 29, 1841
 First organized in 1841 as Kinderhook County in honor of President Martin Van Buren's New York home.
On Feb. 23, 1843 name was changed to Camden.
Parent County: Benton, Morgan and Pulaski
County Seat: Camdenton
Named After: Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden

CAPE GIRARDEAU

Established:  Oct. 1, 1812
One of the five original counties
County Seat: Jackson
Named After: Sieur de Girardot, a French officer. 

CARROLL

Established:  Jan. 2, 1833
Parent County: Ray
County Seat: Carrollton
Named After: Charles Carroll of Carrollton

CARTER

Established: March 10, 1859
Parent County: Oregon, Reynolds, Ripley and Shannon
County Seat: Van Buren
Named After: Zimri A. Carter, pioneer settler

CASS

Established:  March 3, 1835
First organized as Van Buren County, honor of Martin Van Buren, the Democratic legislature.
Feb. 19, 1849 name changed to Cass. 
Parent County: Jackson
County Seat: Harrisonville
Named After: Lewis Cass, Michigan senator and presidential candidate

CEDAR

Established:  Feb. 14, 1845 
Parent County: Dade and St. Clair
County Seat: Stockton
Named After: Its abundance of Cedar Trees

CHARITON

Established:  Nov. 16, 1820, effective Jan. 1, 1821
Parent County: Howard
County Seat: Keytesville
Named After: Chariton River

CHRISTIAN

Established: March 8, 1859
Parent County: Greene, Taney and Webster
County Seat: Ozark
Named After: William Christian, Kentucky Revolutionary War soldier 

CLARK

Established: Dec. 16, 1836
Parent County:  Lewis
County Seat: Kahoka
Named After: William Clark,governor of the Missouri Territory.

CLAY

Established: Jan. 2, 1822
Parent County: Ray
County Seat: Liberty
Named After: Henry Clay, Kentucky congressman

CLINTON

Established:  Jan. 2, 1833
Parent County: Clay
County Seat: Plattsburg
Named After: DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York

COLE

Established: Nov. 16, 1820,effective Jan. 1, 1821
Parent County: Cooper
County Seat: Jefferson City
Named After: Stephen Cole, pioneer settler and Indian fighter

COOPER

Established: Dec.17, 1818, effective Feb. 1, 1819
Parent County: Howard
County Seat: Boonville
Named After: Sarshel (Benjamin) Cooper, pioneer settler

CRAWFORD

Established: Jan. 23, 1829
Parent County:  Gasconade
County Seat: Steelville
Named After: William H. Crawford, Georgia senator

DADE

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Barry and Polk
County Seat: Greenfield
Named After: Francis L. Dade, pioneer settler

DALLAS

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
 First named Niangua in 1841. On Dec. 16, 1844 named changed to Dallas
Parent County: Polk
County Seat: Buffalo
Named After: George M. Dallas, diplomat and later vice-president

DAVIESS

Established: Dec. 29, 1836
Parent County: Ray
County Seat: Gallatin
Named After: Joseph H. Daviess, Kentucky soldier in the War of 1812

DeKALB

Established: Feb. 25, 1845
Parent County: Clinton
County Seat: Maysville
Named After: Johann Kalb, Baron deKalb

DENT

Established:  Feb. 10, 1851
Parent County: Crawford and Shannon
County Seat: Denton
Named After: Lewis Dent, pioneer settler

DOUGLAS

Established: Oct. 29, 1857
Parent County: Ozark
County Seat: Ava
Named After: Stephen A. Douglas, Illinois senator and later presidential candidate

DUNKLIN

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Stoddard
County Seat: Kennett
Named After: Daniel Dunklin, governor of Missouri

FRANKLIN

Established: Dec.11, 1818,effective January 1, 1819
Parent County: St. Louis
County Seat: Union
Named After: Benjamin Franklin

GASCONADE

Established: Nov. 25, 1820, effective January 1, 1821
Parent County: Franklin
County Seat: Hermann
Named After: Gasconade River

GENTRY

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Clinton
County Seat: Albany
Named After: Richard Gentry, Seminole War general

GREENE

Established: Jan. 2, 1833
Parent County: Crawford and Wayne
County Seat: Springfield
Named After: Nathaniel Greene, Revolutionary War general

GRUNDY

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Livingston
County Seat: Trenton
Named After: Felix Grundy, Tennessee senator and United States attorney general

HARRISON

Established: Feb.14, 1845
Parent County: Daviess
County Seat: Bethany
Named After: Albert G. Harrison, Missouri congressman

HENRY

Established: Dec. 13, 1834
First organized as Rines. Oct. 15, 1841 name changed to Henry.
Parent County: Lillard (now Lafayette)
County Seat:  Clinton
Named After: Patrick Henry, Revolutionary patriot

HICKORY

Established: Feb.14, 1845
Parent County: Benton and Polk
County Seat: Hermitage
Named After: President Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory"

HOLT

Established:  Jan. 29, 1841
- First named Nodaway, 17days name was changed to Holt
From the Platte Purchase
County Seat: Oregon
Named After: David Rice Holt, Missouri legislator from Platte County

HOWARD

Established:  Jan. 23, 1816,effective March 1, 1816
Parent County: St. Charles and St. Louis
County Seat: Fayette
Named After: Benjamin Howard, governor of the Missouri Territory

HOWELL

Established: March 2, 1857
Parent County: Oregon
County Seat: West Plains
Named After: James Howell, pioneer settler

IRON

Established: Feb. 17, 1857
Parent County: Madison, Reynolds, St. Francois, Washington and Wayne counties
County Seat:  Ironton
Named After: Presence of Iron ore.

JACKSON

Established: Dec. 15, 1826
Parent County: Lillard, now Lafayette.
County Seat: Independence
Named After: Andrew Jackson, U.S. Senator, later President, from Tennessee.
This county has historically been a major traveling point for river travel.

JASPER

Established: Jan. 29, 1841 
Parent County: Barry
County Seat: Carthage
Named After: Sgt. William Jasper, hero of the American Revolutionary War.

JEFFERSON

Established: Dec. 8, 1818
Parent County: St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve
County Seat: Hillsboro
Named After: Former President Thomas Jefferson.

JOHNSON

Established: Dec. 13, 1834
Parent County: Lillard,now Lafayette
County Seat: Warrensburg
Named After: Vice President Richard M. Johnson.

KNOX

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County:  Scotland
County Seat: Edina
Named After: Secretary of War, Gen. Henry Knox.

LACLEDE

Established: Feb. 24, 1849
Parent County: Camden, Pulaski and Wright
County Seat: Lebanon
Named After: Pierre Laclede, founder of St. Louis, Missouri.

LAFAYETTE

Established: Nov. 16, 1820
Parent County: Cooper
County Seat: Lexington
Named After: Marquis de La Fayette

LAWRENCE

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Barry and Dade
County Seat: Mt. Vernon
Named After: James Lawrence, naval hero of the War of 1812.
The previous Lawrence County, est. in 1815 and dissolved in 1818,
being divided into Wayne County, Madison County, and later into others, including this one.

LEWIS

Established: Jan. 2, 1833
Parent County: Marion
County Seat: Monticello
Named After: Explorer and governor of the Louisiana Territory, Meriwether Lewis.

LINCOLN

Established: Dec. 14, 1818
Parent County: St. Charles
County Seat: Troy
Named After: Benjamin Lincoln, Revolutionary War general

LINN

Established: Jan. 6, 1837
Parent County: Chariton
County Seat: Linneus
Named After:  Lewis F. Linn, U.S. senator from Missouri.

LIVINGSTON

Established: Jan. 6, 1837
Parent County: Carroll
County Seat: Chillicothe
Named After: Secretary of State Edward Livingston.

McDONALD

Established: March 3, 1849, First named Seneca County
Parent County: Newton
County Seat: Pineville
Named After: Sgt. Alexander McDonald, soldier in the American Revolutionary War.

MACON

Established: Jan. 6, 1837
Parent County: Chariton and Randolph
County Seat: Macon
Named After:  Nathaniel Macon, congressman and U.S. senator from North Carolina.

MADISON

Established: Dec. 14, 1818
Parent County: Cape Girardeau and Ste. Genevieve
County Seat: Fredericktown
Named After: President James Madison.
This County is recorded as having the oldest lead mine west of the Mississippi River.

MARIES

Established: March 2, 1855
Parent County: Osage and Pulaski
County Seat: Vienna
Named After: The Maries River and Little Maries River.
Maries comes from the French marais, meaning marsh, lake or pond.

MARION

Established:  Dec.23,1826
Parent County: Ralls
County Seat: Palmyra
Named After: Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox", who served in the American Revolutionary War.
Also known as  the "Two Rivers Country" before organization.

MERCER

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Grundy
County Seat: Princeton
Named After: John F. Mercer, a Revolutionary War general.

MILLER

Established: Feb. 6, 1837
Parent County: Cole and Pulaski
County Seat: Tuscumbia 
Named After: John Miller, governor and congressman

MISSISSIPPI

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Scott
County Seat: Charleston (The town was laid out in 1837.)
Named After: Mississippi River

MONITEAU

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Cole and Morgan
County Seat: California
Named After: Moniteau Creek. 'Moniteau' is a French spelling of Manitou, Algonquian for the Great Spirit.

MONROE

Established: Jan. 6, 1831
Parent County: Ralls
County Seat: Paris
Named After: U.S. President James Monroe.

MONTGOMERY

Established: Dec. 14, 1818, effective Jan. 1, 1819
Parent County: St. Charles
County Seat: Montgomery City
Named After: Richard Montgomery, a Revolutionary War general, killed in 1775

MORGAN

Established: Jan. 5, 1833
Parent County: Cooper 
County Seat:
Named After: Daniel Morgan, a Revolutionary War general.

NEW MADRID

Established: Oct. 1, 1812, one of the five original counties
County Seat: New Madrid
Named After: Madrid, Spain

NEWTON

Established: Dec. 31, 1838
Parent County: Barry
County Seat:   Neosho
Named After: John Newton, a Revolutionary War soldier.

NODAWAY

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Andrew
County Seat: Maryville
Named After: Nodaway River

OREGON

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County:  Ripley
County Seat: Alton
Named After: Territory of Oregon

OSAGE

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Gasconade
County Seat: Linn
Named After: Osage River

OZARK

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Taney
County Seat: Gainsville
Named After:Ozark Mountains
First organized Jan. 29, 1841, as Ozark County, then Feb. 22, 1843 name changed to Decatur.
Then March 24, 1845, the name was changed back to Ozark.

PEMISCOT

Established: Feb. 19, 1851
Parent County: New Madrid
County Seat: Carutherville
Named After: Indian word meaning "liquid mud."

PERRY

Established: Nov. 16, 1820, effective January 1, 1821
Parent County: Ste. Genevieve
County Seat: Perryville
Named After:Oliver H. Perry, naval hero of the War of 1812

PETTIS

Established: Jan. 26, 1833
Parent County: Cooper and Saline
County Seat: Sedalia
Named After: Spencer Pettis, Missouri congressman.

PHELPS

Established: Nov. 3, 1857
Parent County: Crawford
County Seat: Rolla
Named After:  John S. Phelps, U.S. congressman and governor of Missouri

PIKE

Established:  Dec. 14, 1818
Parent County: St. Charles
County Seat: Bowling Green
Named After:  Zebulon M. Pike, explorer

PLATTE

Established: dec. 13,1838
County Seat: Platte City
Named After: Platte purchase, Platte is a French name for a low, shallow, or intermittent stream.

POLK

Established: Jan. 5, 1835
Parent County: Greene
County Seat: Bolivar (This town named for Bolivar, Tennessee, home to many of the original settlers.)
Named After: United States President James K. Polk.

PULASKI

Established: Jan. 19, 1833
Parent County: Crawford
County Seat: Waynesville
Named After: Kazimierz PuBaski, Polish patriot who died fighting in the American Revolution. 

PUTNAM

Established: Feb. 28, 1845
Parent County: Adair and Sullivan
County Seat: Unionville
Named After: Israel Putnam, a French and Indian War hero and a general in the American Revolutionary War. 

RALLS

Established: Nov. 16, 1820
Parent County: Pike
County Seat: New London
Named After: Daniel Ralls,a  Missouri legislator

RANDOLPH

Established: Jan. 22, 1829 
Parent County: Chariton and Ralls
County Seat: Huntsville
Named After: John Randolph of Virginia.

RAY

Established: Nov. 16,1820
Parent County: Howard
County Seat: Richmaond
Named After: John Ray, member of the first state legislator

REYNOLDS

Established: Feb. 25, 1845
Parent County: Shannon
County Seat: Centerville
Named After: Missouri governor Thomas Reynolds

RIPLEY

Established: Jan. 5, 1833
Parent County: Wayne
County Seat: Doniphan
Named After: Eleazar W. Ripley, soldier in the War of 1812.

SAINT CHARLES

Established: Oct. 1, 1812, one of the five original counties
County Seat: St. Charles (had a significant role in the United States' westward expansion.)
2nd oldest city west of the Mississippi, founded in 1765 as Les Petites Cotes, "The Little Hills", by Louis Blanchette.
It also served as the first Missouri capital, from 1821 to 1826.
Named After: Spanish district once located here, San Carlos, from Italian Cardinal Saint Charles Borromeo.

SAINT CLAIR

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Rives, later Henry, County
County Seat: Osceola
Named After: Arthur St. Clair, a Revolutionary War general.

SAINT FRANCOIS
French: St-François

Established: Dec. 19, 1821
Parent County: Ste. Genevieve and Washington
County Seat: Farmington
Named After: Saint Francis of Assisi, founded the Franciscan Order or "Friars Minor".

SAINT LOUIS CITY

Established: Aug. 22, 1876, under the 1875 Constitution of the State of Missouri.
Separated itself from St. Louis County creating an independent city.
Parent County:  St. Louis County
Named After:  Louis IX of France  

SAINT LOUIS

Established: Oct. 1, 1812, one of the five original counties
County Seat:  Clayton
Named After: Saint Louis, King Louis IX of France, patron saint of King Louis XV. 

SAINTE GENEVIEVE
French: Ste-Geneviève

Established: Oct. 1, 1812, one of the five original counties 
County Seat: Ste. Genevieve (French: Ville de Ste-Geneviève)oldest permanent settlement in the State of Missouri.
Named After: The Spanish district once located in the region, after Saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, France.

SALINE

Established: Nov. 25, 1820, effective January 1, 1821
Parent County: Cooper County
County Seat: Marshall
Named After: Its numerous salt springs

SCHUYLER

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Adair
County Seat: Lancaster
Named After: Gen. Philip Schuyler, of the  Revolutionary War.

SCOTLAND

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Clark, Lewis, and Shelby
County Seat: Memphis
Named After: Scotland

SCOTT

Established: Dec. 28, 1821, effective March 1, 1822
Parent County: New Madrid
County Seat: Benton
Named After: Missouri Congressman, John Scott

SHANNON

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Ripley
County Seat:  Eminence
Named After: George Shannon, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

SHELBY

Established: January 2, 1835,  
Parent County:  Marion
County Seat: Shelbyville
Named After: Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby

STODDARD

Established: Jan. 2, 1835
Parent County: New Madrid
County Seat: Bloomfield
Named After: Capt. Amos Stoddard, officer killed in the War of 1812.

STONE

Established: Feb.10, 1851
Parent County: Taney
County Seat: Galena
Named After: William Stone, pioneer judge

SULLIVAN

Established: February 14, 1845
First orgainzed as Highland County on February 17, 1843, name changed upon actual organization.
Parent County: Linn
County Seat: Milan
Named After: American Revolutionary War general John Sullivan.

TANEY

Established: Jan. 6, 1837
Parent County: Greene
County Seat: Forsyth
Named After: Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

TEXAS

Established: Feb. 14, 1845
Parent County: Shannon and Wright
County Seat: Houston
Named After: Republic of Texas
First orginzed in Feb. 1843 as Ashley County. When established the name was changed to Texas.

VERNON

Established: Feb. 27, 1855
Parent County: Bates
County Seat: Nevada
Named After: for Miles Vernon, Missouri
Originally on Feb. 17, 1851 the law establishing Vernon County was approved, but was later declared to be unconstitutional in that the boundaries described were identical to those of Bates County.

WARREN

Established: Jan. 5,1833
Parent County: Montgomery
County Seat: Warrenton
Named After: Gen. Joseph Warren, who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

WASHINGTON

Established: Aug. 21, 1813, effective Nov. 1, 1813
Parent County: Ste. Genevieve
County Seat: Potosi
Named After: George Washington.

WAYNE

Established: Dec. 11, 1818, effective Feb.1, 1819
Parent County: Cape Girardeau and Lawrence
County Seat: Greenville
Named After: Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War general

WEBSTER

Established: March 3, 1855
Parent County: Greene County
County Seat: Marshfield
Named After: Senator and Secretary of State Daniel Webster.

WORTH

Established: Feb. 8, 1861,effective Feb. 25, 1861
Parent County: Gentry
County Seat: Grant City
Named After: Gen. William J. Worth, who served in the Mexican-American War.

WRIGHT

Established: Jan. 29, 1841
Parent County: Pulaski
County Seat: Hartville
Named After: Silas Wright, congressman, U.S. senator and governor of New York.


:Sources:
Circuit Clerk Listing pdf file http://www.sos.mo.gov/MOroster/county_officials.pdf
Missouri Sectary of State http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/history/counties.asp
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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