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Webster County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Webster County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Seat Marshfield
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

594 sq mi (1,538 km²)
593 sq mi (1,536 km²)
0 sq mi (0 km²), 0.06%
PopulationEst.
 - (2008)
 - Density

36,473
52/sq mi (20/km²)
Founded 1855
Named for U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster

Webster County is a county located in Southwest Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 31,045. The estimated population in 2008 was 36,473. Its county seat is Marshfield[1]. The county was organized in 1855 and named for U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster.

Webster County is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Webster County was organized on March 3, 1855 and encompasses 590 miles of the highest extensive upland area of Missouri’s Ozarks. The judicial seat is Marshfield, which lies 1,490 feet above sea level. Webster County is the highest county seat in the state of Missouri. Pioneer Legislator John F. McMahan named the county and county seat for Daniel Webster, and his Marshfield, Massachusetts home.

Marshfield was laid out in 1856 by R.H. Pitts, on land that was given by C.F. Dryden and W.T. and B.F.T. Burford. Until a courthouse was built, the county business was conducted at Hazelwood where Joseph W. McClurg, later Governor of Missouri, operated a general store. Today’s Carthage Marble courthouse was built in 1939-1941 and is the county’s third.

During the U.S. Civil War, a small force of pro-Southern troops was driven out of Marshfield in February 1862, and ten months later a body of Confederates was routed east of town. On January 9, 1863, General Joseph O. Shelby’s troops burned the stoutly built Union fortification at Marshfield and at Sand Springs, evacuated earlier. By 1862, the telegraph line passed near Marshfield on a route later called the “Old Wire Road.”

In Webster County, straddling the divide between the Missouri and Arkansas rivers rise the headwaters of the James, Niangua, Gasconade, and Pomme de Terre rivers. A part of the 1808 Osage Native American land cession, the county was settled in the early 1830s by pioneers from Kentucky and Tennessee. A Native American trail crossed southern Webster County and many prehistoric mounds are in the area.

The railroad-building boom of the post Civil War period stimulated the county’s growth as a dairy, poultry, and livestock producer. The Atlantic & Pacific (Frisco) Railroad was built through Marshfield in 1872, and by 1883 the Kansas City, Springfield, and Memphis (Frisco) crossed the county. Seymour, Rogersville, Fordland and Niangua grew up along the railroad routes. Early schools in the county were Marshfield Academy, chartered in 1860; Mt. Dale Academy, opened in 1873; and Henderson Academy, chartered in 1879. Today, education is still at the forefront of the county’s foundation.

On April 18, 1880, an intense tornado measuring F4 on the Fujita scale struck Marshfield. Its damage path was 800 yards (730 m) wide and 64 miles (103 km) long. The tornado killed 99 people and injured 100, and it is said that 10% of Marshfield's residents were killed and all but 15 of its buildings were destroyed. The composition “Marshfield Cyclone” by the African-American musician John W. (Blind) Boone gave wide publicity to the cyclone, which is still listed as one of the top ten natural disasters in the history of the nation.

Astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953) was born in Marshfield and attended through the third grade in the public school system. A replica of the Hubble telescope sits in the courthouse yard and the Marshfield stretch of I-44 was named in his honor.

Marshfield holds claim to the oldest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi River. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush and wife Barbara visited the parade on July 4, 1991, while campaigning for the presidency through Missouri. Webster County also boasts the longest continuous county fair in the state of Missouri.

The annual Seymour Apple Festival, established in 1973, has grown to one of Missouri's largest free celebrations, with estimated crowds of more than 30,000 congregating on the Seymour public square each second weekend of September. The festival pays tribute to Seymour's apple industry, which began in the 1840s, with Seymour being called "The Land Of The Big Red Apple" around the turn of the 20th century, when Webster County produced more than 50 percent of the state's apple crop.

Featured at the annual three-day event are more than 10 musical acts, numerous competitions for people of all ages, as well as more than 150 craft vendors and food venues, featuring the festival's signature barbecued chicken. The festival is sponsored by the Seymour Merchants' Association and is staffed completely with volunteer labor from the community.

Education

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Public schools

Private schools

  • Ozark Mennonite School - Seymour - (01-10) - Mennonite

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 594 square miles (1,538 km²), of which, 593 square miles (1,537 km²) of it is land and 0 square miles (1 km²) of it (0.06%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

Webster County Courthouse

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 31,045 people, 11,073 households, and 8,437 families residing in the county. The population density was 52 people per square mile (20/km²). There were 12,052 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.20% White, 1.16% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Approximately 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,073 households out of which 37.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.00% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.80% were non-families. 20.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.90% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 101.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,948, and the median income for a family was $46,941. Males had a median income of $28,168 versus $20,768 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,948. About 9.60% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Politics

Local

Politics at the local level in Webster County is predominantly controlled by the Republican Party. In fact, all but one of Webster County's elected officeholders are Republicans.

Office Incumbent Party
Assessor Jim Jones Republican
Circuit Clerk Jill Peck Republican
Clerk Stanley D. Whitehurst Republican
Collector David Young Democratic
Commissioner – Northern District Lyndall Fraker Republican
Commissioner – Southern District Denzil Young Republican
Coroner Michael Taylor Republican
Presiding Commissioner Paul Ipock Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Danette L. Padgett Republican
Public Administrator Donna Hannah Republican
Recorder Stacy Atkison Republican
Sheriff Roye Cole Republican
Surveyor Dennis D. Amsinger Republican
Treasurer Mary P. Clair Republican

State

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 46.31% 7,521 51.14% 8,306 2.55% 414
2004 67.61% 10,086 31.18% 4,651 1.21% 181
2000 56.66% 6,721 41.35% 4,904 2.99% 236
1996 54.63% 5,512 41.43% 4,180 3.94% 397

Webster County is a part of Missouri's 145th Legislative District in the Missouri House of Representatives and is currently represented by State Representative Mike Cunningham (R-Rogersville). In 2008, Cunningham ran unopposed and was reelected with 100% of the vote.

Webster County is also a part of Missouri's 20th Senatorial District and is currently represented by State Senator Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield). In 2006, Clemens defeated Democratic challenger Barbie Kreider-Adams with 64.49% of the total vote in the district while she received 35.51% in the district; the Webster County precincts backed Clemens with 66.13% and gave 33.87% to her. The 20th Senatorial District consists of Christian, Douglas, Webster and parts of Greene counties in Southwest Missouri.

In Missouri's gubernatorial election of 2008, Governor Jay Nixon (D) defeated former U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof (R) with 58.40 percent of the total statewide vote. Nixon performed extremely well and won many of the rural counties in the state, including Webster County. The former attorney general Nixon carried Webster County with 51.14 percent of the vote to Hulshof’s 46.31 percent.

Federal

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Webster County is a part of Missouri's 4th Congressional District and is currently represented by Ike Skelton (D-Jefferson City).

Political Culture

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 63.77% 10,431 34.76% 5,685 1.47% 240
2004 68.21% 10,194 31.16% 4,657 0.62% 93
2000 61.87% 7,350 35.13% 4,174 3.00% 356
1996 48.84% 4,958 37.97% 3,855 13.19% 1,339

Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Webster County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Webster County in 2000 and 2004 by around two-to-one margins, and like many other rural counties throughout Missouri, Webster County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. The last Democratic presidential nominee to carry Webster County was Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Like most areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Webster County traditionally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to strongly influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Webster County with 82.32 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Webster County with 57.94 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Webster County’s longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Webster County with 75.50 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.

2008 Missouri Presidential Primary

Democratic

Former U.S. Senator and now Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) won Webster County over now President Barack Obama (D-Illinois) with 61.20 percent of the vote while Obama received 34.46 percent of the vote. Although he withdrew from the race, former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina) still received 3.28 percent of the vote in Webster County.

Clinton had a large initial lead in Missouri at the beginning of the evening as the rural precincts began to report, leading several news organizations to call the state for her; however, Obama rallied from behind as the heavily African American precincts from St. Louis began to report and eventually put him over the top. In the end, Obama received 49.32 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 47.90 percent—a 1.42 percent difference. Both candidates split Missouri’s 72 delegates as the Democratic Party utilizes proportional representation.

Republican

Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) won Webster County with 51.00 percent of the vote. U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) finished in second place in Webster County with 26.59 percent. Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts) came in a not-so-distant third place, receiving 17.76 percent of the vote while libertarian-leaning U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) finished fourth with 3.33 percent in Webster County.

Huckabee slightly led Missouri throughout much of the evening until the precincts began reporting from St. Louis where McCain won and put him over the top of Huckabee. In the end, McCain received 32.95 percent of the vote to Huckabee’s 31.53 percent—a 1.42 percent difference. McCain received all of Missouri’s 58 delegates as the Republican Party utilizes the winner-take-all system.

  • Mike Huckabee received more votes, a total of 5,051, than any candidate from either party in Webster County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primaries.

References

External links

  • [1] - Historical Tornadoes
  • [2] - Eyewitness account of the Marshfield tornado

Coordinates: 37°17′N 92°52′W / 37.28°N 92.87°W / 37.28; -92.87


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Webster County, Missouri
Map
File:Map of Missouri highlighting Webster County.png
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the USA highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1855
Seat Marshfield
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 0.06%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

31045

Webster County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 31,045. Its county seat is Marshfield6. The county was organized in 1855 and named for Senator and Secretary of State Daniel Webster.

Contents

History

On April 18, 1880, an intense tornado measuring F4 on the Fujita scale struck Marshfield. Its damage path was 800 yards wide and 64 miles long. The tornado killed 99 people and injured 100, and it is said that 10% of Marshfield's residents were killed and all but 15 of its buildings were destroyed.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,538 km² (594 sq mi). 1,537 km² (593 sq mi) of it is land and 1 km² (0 sq mi) of it (0.06%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

Webster County courthouse

As of the census² of 2000, there were 31,045 people, 11,073 households, and 8,437 families residing in the county. The population density was 20/km² (52/sq mi). There were 12,052 housing units at an average density of 8/km² (20/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 96.20% White, 1.16% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,073 households out of which 37.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.00% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.80% were non-families. 20.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.90% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 101.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,929, and the median income for a family was $36,934. Males had a median income of $28,168 versus $20,768 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,502. About 9.60% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

References

  • [1] - Historical Tornadoes

See also

  • [2] - Eyewitness account of the Marshfield tornado

Coordinates: 37°17′N 92°52′W / 37.28, -92.87


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Webster County, Missouri. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Webster County, MissouriRDF feed
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Missouri  +
Short name Webster County  +

This article uses material from the "Webster County, Missouri" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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