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Lebanon, Missouri
—  City  —
Motto: "Friendly People. Friendly Place."
Location of Lebanon, Missouri
Coordinates: 37°40′42″N 92°39′42″W / 37.67833°N 92.66167°W / 37.67833; -92.66167
Country United States
State Missouri
County Laclede
 - Mayor C.P. Craig [1]
 - Total 13.7 sq mi (35.4 km2)
 - Land 13.6 sq mi (35.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,260 ft (384 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 12,155
 - Density 891.9/sq mi (344.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 65536
Area code(s) 417
FIPS code 29-41168[1]
GNIS feature ID 0720871[2]

Lebanon is a city in Laclede County, Missouri, United States. The population was 12,155 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Laclede County[3]. The Lebanon Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Laclede County.



Lebanon is located at 37°40′42″N 92°39′42″W / 37.67833°N 92.66167°W / 37.67833; -92.66167 (37.678203, -92.661694)[4]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.7 square miles (35.4 km²), of which, 13.6 square miles (35.3 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.22%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 12,155 people, 5,132 households, and 3,181 families residing in the city. The population density was 891.9 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 5,745 housing units at an average density of 421.6/sq mi (162.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.99% White, 0.90% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population.

There were 5,132 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,668, and the median income for a family was $36,509. Males had a median income of $27,657 versus $17,509 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,636. About 12.3% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.4% of those under age 18 and 18.0% of those age 65 or over.

Culture and History

Lebanon was initially called Wyota, after the original Indian inhabitants of the area. The town was renamed Lebanon after the hometown of a respected minister – Lebanon, Tennessee.

Notable onetime residents include novelist Harold Bell Wright, author of The Shepherd of the Hills. While in Lebanon he wrote the scathing The Calling of Dan Matthews as an indictment of the general hypocrisy of the town of Lebanon. In the novel a young preacher becomes disgusted with the closed-mindedness of his parish. Several real life sites are mentioned in the novel.

Congressman Richard Parks Bland and Missouri Governor Phil M. Donnelly also called the town home. Dramatist Lanford Wilson was born in Lebanon in 1937. Architect Antoine Predock was born in Lebanon in 1936.

Perhaps the most distinctive piece in Lebanon’s history is the "magnetic" water. A worker digging a new city water well in 1889 found that his tools could pick up nails. The water had magnetized them. Bathing in the magnetic waters was said to have healing powers and visitors came to bathe in them. The Gasconade Hotel was built to accommodate them and no grander building has ever been seen in Lebanon. The frame structure could house up to 500 guests, who were transported from the depot via an electric railroad. Never a great success, the Gasconade burned after only 10 years. The high school yearbook is named "The Magnet" in honor of this point in the town's history.

The town now serves as a "hub" of boat-manufacturing, factory, and farming cultures. In 1983, Governor Kit Bond dubbed Lebanon the "Aluminum Fishing Boat Capital of the World."

Starting in the 1980s, Lebanon had a longtime association with the Babe Ruth League youth baseball program. Lebanon served as the host city for seven Babe Ruth World Series held in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1996 and 2000.

The construction of the Kenneth E. Cowan Civic Center in 1998 allowed Lebanon to serve as a site for numerous conventions, shows and events. The facility is named for the late Mayor Kenneth Cowan, who proposed the construction of the center prior to his death in 1995. The center includes a 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) exhibition hall that hosts a diverse range of events, including concerts, ice shows, rodeos, conventions, graduations, indoor sporting events, trade shows and more. The hall can seat 6,500 people. The facility also includes a 675-seat theater, an indoor pool, a basketball court, multi-purpose court and a fitness/weight room.

Lebanon is located on Historic Route 66 and is the home for the Missouri State Association of Free Will Baptists headquarters. It has hosted the Albert E. Brumley Gospel Sing since 2006.

Lebanon has also had a longtime association with nearby Bennett Spring State Park, which is located 12 miles (19 km) west of the city on Highway 64. Each March, several thousand anglers from across the country travel to Lebanon and Bennett Spring for the opening of trout season. Traditionally, downtown Lebanon hosts the first night of the Hillbilly Days festival, held each Father's Day weekend in June.

Registered historic places

  • Laclede County Jail (also known as Laclede County Museum)
  • Lebanon I-44 Speedway


  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. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links



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