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Wright County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Wright County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Seat Hartville
Largest city Mountain Grove
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

683 sq mi (1,769 km²)
682 sq mi (1,767 km²)
1 sq mi (3 km²), 0.15%
PopulationEst.
 - (2008)
 - Density

18,443
26/sq mi (10/km²)
Founded January 29, 1841
Named for Silas Wright, politician from New York
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.wrightcountymo.com/

Wright County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 17,955. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 18,443. Its county seat is Hartville[1]. The county was officially organized on January 29, 1841, and is named after Silas Wright (D-New York), a former Congressman, U.S. Senator and Governor of New York.

Contents

History

Wright County is bordered by Laclede County on the north, Texas County on the east, Douglas County on the south, and Webster County on the west. It is in the part of the state considered Southwest Missouri. Formed from part of Pulaski County on January 29, 1841, Wright County was named in honor of Silas Wright, a prominent New York Democrat. The county seat of Hartville was probably named after Hartsville, Tennessee, from where many early settlers originally came. Wright County lost part of its land in 1845 to Texas County, in 1849 to Laclede, and in 1855 a big chunk to Webster.

It appears there were no Native American settlements early in the area, although the wandering Delawares, Shawnees, and Piankashaws did come through. Early white settlers were in the county in 1836 and were probably hunters. Earliest known settlers (by 1840) were Samuel Thompson, Robert Moore, John W. Burns, Jeff and Robert Montgomery, Benjamin Stephens, James Young, William Franklin, Isham Pool, and the Tuckers, according to Goodspeed.

The county has been devastated several times by storms. The tornado that swept through Southwest Missouri that devastated Webster County on April 18, 1880, also killed Polly and Sallie Scott and Mack, according to Goodspeed, in Wright County. A flood that occurred April 22-23, 1885, drowned James Woods and his son Yat. Another tornado on May 8, 1888, did considerable damage, as did a hailstorm near the same time that reportedly left hail 3-4 inches deep and in drifts 5-8 feet high, after falling for two hours. Goodspeed gives great accounts of these storms, as well as others.

A good-sized portion of the county is located in the Mark Twain National Forest. The Gasconade River and its tributaries flow through the county, as well allowing for great recreational opportunities.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 683 square miles (1,769 km²), of which, 682 square miles (1,767 km²) of it is land and 1 square miles (3 km²) of it (0.15%) is water.

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Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 17,955 people, 7,081 households, and 5,020 families residing in the county. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 7,957 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.61% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Approximately 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,081 households out of which 33.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,685, and the median income for a family was $37,139. Males had a median income of $24,876 versus $17,608 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,319. About 17.30% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.10% of those under age 18 and 17.60% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Education

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Wright County, 71.1% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 9.8% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools

Private Schools

Alternative & Vocational Schools

  • Ozark Mountain Technical Center - Mountain Grove - (09-12) - Vocational/Technical
  • Ozark Regional Juvenile Detention Center - Mountain Grove - (05-12) - Juvenile Hall
  • Skyview State School - Mountain Grove - (K-12) - A school for handicapped students and those with other special needs.

Politics

Local

Politics at the local level in Wright County is completely controlled by the Republican Party. All of Wright County’s elected officeholders are Republicans.

Office Incumbent Party
Assessor Brenda Day Republican
Circuit Clerk & "Ex Officio" Recorder Joe Chadwell Republican
Clerk Nelda Masner Republican
Collector Cindy Cottengim Republican
Commissioner – Eastern District Tommy Gaddis Republican
Commissioner – Western District Mike Sherman Republican
Coroner Ben Hurtt Republican
Emergency Management Director Rick Thompson Republican
Presiding Commissioner Rex Epperly Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Jason MacPherson Republican
Public Administrator John T. Miller Republican
Sheriff Glenn Adler Republican
Treasurer Naomi Gray Republican

State

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 49.57% 4,198 47.53% 4,025 2.90% 245
2004 71.37% 5,955 27.33% 2,280 1.30% 109
2000 62.56% 4,872 35.73% 2,783 1.71% 133
1996 62.03% 4,310 35.13% 2,441 2.841% 197

Wright County is a part of Missouri’s 144th Legislative District and is currently represented in the Missouri House of Representatives by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-Hartville). In 2008, Dugger defeated Dennis Lee Chilton (D) 72.75-27.25 percent; Wright County backed Dugger with 74.22 percent while Chilton received 25.78 percent.

Douglas County is also a part of Missouri's 33rd Senatorial District and is currently represented by State Senator Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield). In 2008, Clemens defeated Eric Reeve (D) 67.31-32.69 percent; Wright County backed Purgason with 70.98 percent while Reeve received 29.02 percent. The 33rd Senatorial District consists of Camden, Howell, Laclede, Oregon, Shannon, Texas, and Wright counties.

In Missouri's gubernatorial election of 2008, Governor of Missouri Jay Nixon (D) defeated former U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof (R) with 58.40 percent of the total statewide vote. While Nixon performed extremely well and won many of the rural counties in the state, Wright County was not one of them. The former attorney general Nixon narrowly lost Wright County with 47.53 percent of the vote to Hulshof’s 49.57 percent.

Federal

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Wright County is represented by Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau) who represents all of Southeast Missouri as part of Missouri's 8th Congressional District.

Political Culture

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 67.94% 5,784 30.03% 2,557 2.03% 173
2004 72.97% 6,090 26.22% 2,188 0.81% 68
2000 68.75% 5,391 28.70% 2,250 2.55% 200
1996 53.67% 3,754 32.59% 2,280 13.74% 961

Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Wright County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Wright County in 2000 and 2004 by more than two-to-one margins, and like many other rural counties throughout Missouri, Wright County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Wright County in over 50 years.

Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Wright 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 Wright County with 86.28 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 Wright County with 64.84 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 Wright 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 Wright County with 70.99 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

In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primary, voters in Wright County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

Democratic

Former U.S. Senator and now Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) won Wright County over now President Barack Obama (D-Illinois) by more than a two-to-one margin with 69.48 percent of the vote while Obama received 27.48 percent of the vote. Although he withdrew from the race, former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina) still received 2.19 percent of the vote in Wright 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 Wright County with 59.64 percent of the vote. U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) finished in second place in Wright County with 23.69 percent. Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts) came in third place, receiving 9.46 percent of the vote while libertarian-leaning U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) finished fourth with 5.65 percent in Wright 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 1,878, than any candidate from either party in Wright County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primaries. He also received more votes than the total number of votes cast in the entire Democratic Primary in Wright County. Wright County was Mike Huckabee’s strongest county in Missouri.

Coordinates: 37°16′N 92°28′W / 37.27°N 92.46°W / 37.27; -92.46

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Wright County, Missouri
Map
File:Map of Missouri highlighting Wright County.png
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the USA highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1841
Seat Hartville
Largest City Mountain Grove
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 0.15%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

17955
Time zone Central : UTC-6/-5
Named for: Silas Wright, congressman, U.S. senator and governor of New York

Wright County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population is 17,955. Its county seat is Hartville6. The county was organized in 1841 and named for Silas Wright, congressman, U.S. senator and governor of New York.

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,769 km² (683 sq mi). 1,767 km² (682 sq mi) of it is land and 3 km² (1 sq mi) of it (0.15%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 17,955 people, 7,081 households, and 5,020 families residing in the county. The population density was 10/km² (26/sq mi). There were 7,957 housing units at an average density of 4/km² (12/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 97.61% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,081 households out of which 33.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,691, and the median income for a family was $29,923. Males had a median income of $24,876 versus $17,608 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,135. About 17.30% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.10% of those under age 18 and 17.60% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns


Coordinates: 37°16′N 92°28′W / 37.27, -92.46

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Wright 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 Wright County, MissouriRDF feed
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Missouri  +
Short name Wright County  +

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

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