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Kearney, Missouri: Wikis


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City of Kearney
—  City  —
Location of Kearney within Missouri
Coordinates: 39°21′57″N 94°21′37″W / 39.36583°N 94.36028°W / 39.36583; -94.36028
Country United States
State Missouri
County Clay
Settled 1856
Incorporated 1869
 - Mayor Bill Dane
 - Total 6.6 sq mi (17.09 km2)
 - Land 6.6 sq mi (17.0 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 856 ft (261 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 5,472
 - Density 832.9/sq mi (321.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 64060
Area code(s) 816
FIPS code 29-38072[1]
GNIS feature ID 0730123[2]

Kearney is a city in Clay County, Missouri, United States. The population was 5,472 at the 2000 census. It is most famous for being the birthplace of Jesse James, and there is an annual festival in the third weekend of September to honor the notorious outlaw.[3]

Kearney was unofficially founded in the spring of 1856 by David T. Duncan and W. R. Cave, and was originally called Centerville. Centerville was composed of what is now the southeastern portion of the town. In 1867, John Lawrence began laying out plans for another small settlement around the newly established Kansas City and Cameron Railroad subsidiary of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad which was to build the Hannibal Bridge establishing Kansas City, Missouri as the dominant city in the region. The president of the railroad was Charles E. Kearney (although there is speculation that it was named after Kearney, Nebraska). The railroad still operates as the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. As they grew, the two settlements of Centerville and Kearney were effectively merged, and the town of Kearney, Missouri was officially incorporated in 1869.[4]



Kearney is located at 39°21′57″N 94°21′37″W / 39.36583°N 94.36028°W / 39.36583; -94.36028 (39.365845, -94.360239)[5]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17.0 km²), all of it land, with the occasional lake here and there.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,472 people, 1,910 households, and 1,495 families residing in the city. The population density was 833.2 people per square mile (321.6/km²). There were 1,995 housing units at an average density of 303.8/sq mi (117.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.3% White, 0.90% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.55% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 1,910 households out of which 49.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.6% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $56,603, and the median income for a family was $64,540. Males had a median income of $45,721 versus $26,739 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,147. About 1.8% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Jesse James

On September 5, 1847, Jesse Woodson James was born on the James farm, where his family resided to the northeast of the site where Kearney would eventually be established. James formed the infamous James-Younger gang in 1866, which operated until the Younger brothers were captured in 1876. James formed a new gang in 1879 and continued until his death on April 3, 1882, when he was shot by fellow gang-member Robert Ford, he was laid to rest on his farm, just outside Kearney. In 1995, forensic analysts visited Kearney and exhumed remains from the Mount Olivet Cemetery which were purportedly those of James himself, and confirmed this fact through mitochondrial DNA testing.[6]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "History". Jesse James Festival. 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2009-11-30.  
  4. ^ "About Kearney Missouri". The City of Kearney, Missouri. Retrieved 2009-11-30.  
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ "Mitochondrial DNA Analysis of the Presumptive Remains of Jesse James". Journal of Forensic Science. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.  

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