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Lawson, Missouri
—  City  —
Location of Lawson, Missouri
Coordinates: 39°26′16″N 94°12′29″W / 39.43778°N 94.20806°W / 39.43778; -94.20806
Country United States
State Missouri
Counties Ray, Clay
 - Total 2.8 sq mi (7.4 km2)
 - Land 2.8 sq mi (7.2 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 1,066 ft (325 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,336
 - Density 838.3/sq mi (323.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 64062
Area code(s) 816
FIPS code 29-40988[1]
GNIS feature ID 0720846[2]

Lawson is a city in Clay and Ray counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 2,336 at the 2000 census.



Lawson is located at 39°26′16″N 94°12′29″W / 39.43778°N 94.20806°W / 39.43778; -94.20806 (39.437848, -94.207973)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.4 km²), of which, 2.8 square miles (7.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (2.11%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,336 people, 818 households, and 624 families residing in the city. The population density was 838.3 people per square mile (323.3/km²). There were 852 housing units at an average density of 305.7/sq mi (117.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.65% White, 0.30% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.77% of the population.

There were 818 households out of which 45.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.7% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.7% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,875, and the median income for a family was $49,018. Males had a median income of $38,875 versus $22,273 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,438. About 6.8% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.


Lawson is home to Ray County's oldest bank: Lawon Bank (founded in 1883 and having recovered from a devastating fire in 1914[4], still stands at "4th & Penn" today); historic Watkins Mill (now a Missouri state park and National Historic Landmark); and Ray County's longest continuously in-print newspaper, The Lawson Review. KC-10L, a Nike missile base, is located a mile east of Lawson (Nov 1959 - Feb 1964). Tactical Airsoft Base (TAB) uses the base to host airsoft and paintball games.

Community and Government

The community has been labeled by some as a hotbed of corruption after City Clerk, Rhonda Minnick, was charged in August 2006 and convicted in April 2007 for theft and forgery over the previous three years in excess of $89,000 from city funds.[5][6] During the investigations several other issues were uncovered and publicly recognized, such as an annual financial audit not having been completed for several years. To complicate the situation, over-spending and financial mismanagement when added to the theft left the city approximately $500,000 short of funds, prompting citizens to initiate a petition audit with the state of Missouri to review the city's procedures in more depth. Audit findings were released to citizens in a special town hall meeting in September 2007.

In the April 2007 election, several new faces ran for city council, taking seat at the next regular council meeting. Promptly, workshops began to thoroughly collect and organize information of, about, and affecting the city's operations, procedures, and finances. The transition of the new city council occurred in the midst of the state's auditing activities in the city. Shortly following the auditors' completion of research on-site within the city, but before the results of the state's audit could be presented to the citizens, both the mayor, George Green, and City Administrator, John Tracy, resigned within a week of each other. Green cited health reasons for stepping down. While the exact details of Tracy's resignation have not yet been made a part of public record, as it occurred during a closed-session special meeting of the council, it has been reported that he was required to clean out his office and is not allowed to return to city hall. The council already has additional workshops scheduled to continue their progress in directing the city toward more open communication with the public. In November 2007, the council hired a new city administrator with the assistance of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).


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