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Clay County, Missouri
Clay County Missouri Courthouse 20191027-7046.jpg
South side of the Clay County Courthouse (designed by Wight and Wight) in Liberty
Map of Missouri highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 2, 1822
Named for Henry Clay
Seat Liberty
Largest city Kansas City
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

409 sq mi (1,059 km²)
397 sq mi (1,028 km²)
11 sq mi (28 km²), 2.8
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

253,335
Congressional districts 5th, 6th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website https://www.claycountymo.gov/

Clay County is located in the U.S. state of Missouri and is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, the county had a population of 253,335, making it the fifth-most populous county in Missouri. Its county seat is Liberty.[1] The county was organized January 2, 1822, and named in honor of U.S. Representative Henry Clay from Kentucky, later member of the United States Senate and United States Secretary of State.[2][3]

Clay County contains many of the area's northern suburbs, along with a substantial portion of the city of Kansas City, Missouri.

Clay County owns and operates the Midwest National Air Center in Excelsior Springs.

History[]

Clay County was settled primarily from migrants from the Upper Southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. They brought enslaved persons and slaveholding traditions with them, and quickly started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco. Clay was one of several counties settled mostly by Southerners to the north and south of the Missouri River. Given their culture and traditions, this area became known as Little Dixie. In 1860, enslaved persons made up 25% or more of the county's population.[4]

The 1828 execution of Annice, a slave owned by Jeremiah Prior, was the first to occur in Clay County.[5] She was also the first female slave executed in the state of Missouri.[6]

Many members of the Latter Day Saint movement found refuge in Clay County in November 1833. In 1836, mobs and the Missouri State militia viciously drove the members of the church from the county.[7] Leaders of this church, most notably Joseph Smith, were imprisoned for some months in Clay County in the jail at Liberty. In May 2012, the LDS Church opened a Kansas City Missouri Temple six miles southwest of the Liberty Jail site at 7001 Searcy Creek Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri.[8]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 409 square miles (1,060 km2), of which 397 square miles (1,030 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.8%) is covered by water.[9] It is the fourth-smallest county in Missouri by area.

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-29 (MO).svg Interstate 29
  • I-35 (MO).svg Interstate 35
  • I-435 (MO).svg Interstate 435
  • US 69.svg U.S. Route 69
  • US 71.svg U.S. Route 71
  • US 169.svg U.S. Route 169
  • MO-1.svg Route 1
  • MO-9.svg Route 9
  • MO-10.svg Route 10
  • MO-33.svg Route 33
  • MO-92.svg Route 92
  • MO-152.svg Route 152
  • MO-210.svg Route 210
  • MO-291.svg Route 291

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 5,338
1840 8,283 55.2%
1850 10,382 25.3%
1860 13,023 25.4%
1870 15,564 19.5%
1880 15,571 0%
1890 19,856 27.5%
1900 18,903 −4.8%
1910 20,302 7.4%
1920 20,455 0.8%
1930 26,811 31.1%
1940 30,417 13.4%
1950 45,221 48.7%
1960 87,474 93.4%
1970 123,322 41.0%
1980 136,488 10.7%
1990 153,411 12.4%
2000 184,006 19.9%
2010 221,939 20.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2020[14]

As of the census[15] of 2010, 221,939 people, 72,558 households, and 50,137 families resided in the county. The population density was 558 people per square mile (216/km2). The 93,918 housing units averaged 236 per square mile (91/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.46% White, 5.18% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 2.05% Asian, 0.26% Pacific Islander, 1.77% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. About 5.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. As of the census[16] of 2000, 23.3% were of German, 14.5% American, 11.0% English, 10.8% Irish, and 5.6% Italian ancestry.

Of the 72,558 households, 33.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.40% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were not families. About 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.40% 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 3.00.

In the county, the population was distributed as 25.80% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 32.30% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

In 2015 the median income for a household in Clay County was $62,099. The income per capita in Clay county was $29,793. [17]

In 2010 the median income for a household in the county was $48,347, and for a family was $56,772. Males had a median income of $40,148 versus $27,681 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,144. About 3.80% of families and 5.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.40% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.

Registered voters number 151,042.[18]

Education[]

Public schools[]

  • Excelsior Springs School District No. 40Excelsior Springs
    • Lewis Elementary School (PK–5)
    • Westview Elementary School (K–5)
    • Excelsior Springs Middle School (6–8)
    • Excelsior Springs High School (9–12)
    • Excelsior Springs Technical High School (12) – Alternative/Technical School
  • Kearney R-I School DistrictKearney
    • Dogwood Elementary School (PreK–5)
    • Hawthorne Elementary School (K–5)
    • Holt Elementary School (K–5)
    • Kearney Elementary School (K–5)
    • Southview Elementary School (K–5)
    • Kearney Middle School (6–7)
    • Kearney Junior High School (8–9)
    • Kearney High School (10–12)
  • Liberty School District No. 53Liberty
    • Liberty Early Childhood Education Center (PreK)
    • Alexander Doniphan Elementary School (K–5)
    • Franklin Elementary School (K–5)
    • Kellybrook Elementary School (K–5) – Kansas City
    • Lewis & Clark Elementary School (K–5)
    • Liberty Oaks Elementary School (K–5) – Kansas City
    • Lillian Schumacher Elementary School (K–5)
    • Manor Hill Elementary School (K–5)
    • Ridgeview Elementary School (K–5)
    • Shoal Creek Elementary School (K–5)
    • Warren Hills Elementary School (K–5)
    • Liberty Middle School (6–8)
    • South Valley Middle School (6–8)
    • Heritage Middle School (6–8)
    • Discovery Middle School (6–8)
    • Liberty High School (9–12)
    • Liberty North High School (9–12)
  • Missouri City School District No. 56Missouri City
    • Missouri City Elementary School (K–8)
  • North Kansas City School District No. 74North Kansas City
    • Bell Prairie Elementary School (K–5)
    • Briarcliff Elementary School (K–5)
    • Chapel Hill Elementary School (K–5)
    • Chouteu Elementary School (Pre-K–5)
    • Clardy Elementary School (2–5)
    • Crestview Elementary School (K–5)
    • Davidson Elementary School (Pre-K–5)
    • Fox Hill Elementary School (K–5)
    • Gashland Elementary School (K–1)
    • Gracemor Elementary School (Pre-K–5)
    • Lakewood Elementary School (Pre-K–5)
    • Linden West Elementary School (K–5) – Gladstone
    • Maplewood Elementary School (K–5)
    • Meadowbrook Elementary School (K–5)
    • Nashua Elementary School (K–5)
    • Northview Elementary School (K–5)
    • Oakwood Manor Elementary School (K–5)
    • Ravenwood Elementary School (K–5)
    • Rising Hill Elementary School (K-5)
    • Topping Elementary School (K–5)
    • West Englewood Elementary School (Pre-K–5)
    • Winnwood Elementary School (Pre-K–5)
    • Antioch Middle School (6–8)
    • Eastgate 6th Grade Center (6)
    • Gateway 6th Grade Center (6)
    • Maple Park Middle School (6–8)
    • New Mark Middle School (6–8)
    • Northgate Middle School (6–8)
    • North Kansas City High School (9–12)
    • Oak Park High School (Kansas City) (9–12)
    • Staley High School (9–12)
    • Winnetonka High School (9–12)
  • Smithville R-II School DistrictSmithville
    • Smithville Maple Elementary School (Pre-K–6)
    • Smithville Horizon Elementary School (Pre-K-6)
    • Smithville Eagle Heights Elementary School (Pre-K-6)
    • Smithville Middle School (7–8)
    • Smithville High School (9–12)

Private schools[]

  • Northland Christian School - Kansas City (Preschool-12) - Independent Christian
  • Outreach Christian Early Education Center – Avondale (Pre-K–12) – Nondenominational Christian
  • Oakhill Day School – Gladstone (Pre-K–7) – Nonsectarian – (Special Programs Emphasis)
  • St. Andrew the Apostle Parish School – Gladstone (K–9) – Roman Catholic
  • Northern Hills Christian Academy – Holt (K–9) – Baptist
  • Prairie Church School – Holt (K–6)
  • Covenant Memorial Baptist Day School – Kansas City (K) – Baptist
  • Eagle Heights Christian School – Kansas City (Pre-K–12) – Baptist
  • Faith Academy – Kansas City (Pre-K–12) – Nondenominational Christian
  • St. Charles Borromeo School – Kansas City (K–9) – Roman Catholic
  • St. Gabriel Catholic School –Kansas City (K–9) – Roman Catholic
  • St. Patrick School – Kansas City (NS/Pre-K–8) – Roman Catholic
  • St. Pius X High School – Kansas City (9–12) – Roman Catholic
  • Liberty Montessori Center – Liberty (K–1) – Montessori
  • St. James School – Liberty (K–9) – Roman Catholic

Postsecondary[]

  • Maple Woods :: Metropolitan Community College—Kansas City—A public, two-year Liberal Arts college
  • William Jewell CollegeLiberty – A private, four-year Liberal Arts college.

Libraries, archives, museums[]

Libraries[]

  • Mid-Continent Public Library
  • North Kansas City Public Library[19]

Archives[]

  • Clay County Archives

Museums[]

  • Clay County Museum
  • Jesse James Bank Museum

Politics[]

Local[]

The three-person Clay County Commission oversees the issues of Clay County. The current makeup of the commissioners is two Republicans and one Democrat.

Clay County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Tracy Baldwin Republican
Circuit Clerk Lee Bucksath Republican
County Clerk Megan Thompson Republican
Collector Lydia McEvoy Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Jerry Nolte Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Dan White Democratic
Public Administrator Sarah Mills Rottgers Republican
Recorder Katee Porter Republican
Sheriff Will Akin Republican
Treasurer Bob Nance Republican

State[]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 51.38% 64,682 46.25% 58,224 2.36% 2,972
2016 48.97% 53,883 47.65% 52,429 3.37% 3,712
2012 41.53% 43,398 55.47% 57,962 3.00% 3,138
2008 38.64% 41,518 58.95% 63,341 2.40% 2,583
2004 46.70% 44,763 51.72% 49,573 1.58% 1,520
2000 46.57% 36,983 51.31% 40,747 2.12% 1,689
1996 34.29% 23,524 63.54% 43,593 2.18% 1,493


Clay County, like the rest of Missouri, has swung to the Republican Party in the 21st century, though the margins have been very close. In 2000, Al Gore famously won the county by one vote. The margins in favor of Republicans have only deepened as the social liberalism of the Democratic Party has cost them votes in white, rural states such as Missouri -- though the county, holding Kansas City, is mainly suburban in culture and remains competitive. In 2016, Donald Trump won the county while Hillary Clinton failed to improve on Barack Obama's percentages with only 41% of the vote. Joe Biden, however, did improve on those margins, winning nearly 47% of the vote in 2020; Trump still carried the county by 4%.

United States presidential election results for Clay County, Missouri[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 64,605 51.04% 59,400 46.93% 2,564 2.03%
2016 57,476 51.70% 45,304 40.75% 8,390 7.55%
2012 56,191 52.99% 47,310 44.61% 2,542 2.40%
2008 54,516 49.55% 53,761 48.86% 1,748 1.59%
2004 51,193 53.07% 44,670 46.31% 597 0.62%
2000 39,083 48.75% 39,084 48.75% 2,006 2.50%
1996 28,935 41.85% 32,603 47.15% 7,609 11.00%
1992 23,798 31.40% 30,565 40.33% 21,415 28.26%
1988 30,293 50.26% 29,620 49.15% 357 0.59%
1984 36,529 61.79% 22,586 38.21% 0 0.00%
1980 28,521 50.65% 24,250 43.06% 3,543 6.29%
1976 24,962 47.71% 26,609 50.86% 744 1.42%
1972 33,017 69.43% 14,538 30.57% 0 0.00%
1968 19,643 44.48% 17,547 39.73% 6,972 15.79%
1964 13,997 36.84% 23,993 63.16% 0 0.00%
1960 18,955 52.26% 17,318 47.74% 0 0.00%
1956 13,436 49.69% 13,605 50.31% 0 0.00%
1952 13,043 50.95% 12,502 48.84% 53 0.21%
1948 6,408 35.01% 11,855 64.77% 41 0.22%
1944 6,724 43.53% 8,682 56.21% 40 0.26%
1940 6,159 38.83% 9,672 60.98% 30 0.19%
1936 4,491 31.89% 9,535 67.70% 58 0.41%
1932 3,117 24.71% 9,398 74.52% 97 0.77%
1928 5,584 49.92% 5,574 49.83% 27 0.24%
1924 2,998 31.69% 6,076 64.24% 385 4.07%
1920 2,804 30.75% 6,283 68.91% 31 0.34%
1916 1,307 24.83% 3,902 74.13% 55 1.04%
1912 592 12.47% 3,417 72.00% 737 15.53%
1908 1,166 24.63% 3,513 74.19% 56 1.18%
1904 1,077 26.70% 2,832 70.22% 124 3.07%
1900 921 20.04% 3,585 78.00% 90 1.96%
1896 924 18.25% 4,071 80.42% 67 1.32%
1892 738 16.73% 3,085 69.92% 589 13.35%
1888 1,103 22.62% 3,628 74.39% 146 2.99%



Communities[]

Cities and towns[]

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Arley
  • Chandler
  • Claysville
  • Clevenger
  • Ectonville
  • Miltondale
  • Roosterville
  • Stockdale
  • Winner

Notable people[]

  • Frank James, born in Clay County in 1843
  • Jesse James, born in Clay County in 1847
  • John Ellis Martineau, Governor of Arkansas (1927–1928), born in Clay County in 1873
  • Noah Beery, Sr., actor
  • Wallace Beery, actor

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  2. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. pp. 277. https://books.google.com/books?id=RfAuAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA277. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 83. https://books.google.com/books?id=9V1IAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA83. 
  4. ^ T. J. Stiles, Jesse James: The Last Rebel of the Civil War, New York: Vintage Books, 2003, pp.10-11
  5. ^ "In 1828 a slave woman named Annice drowned two of her small children in a stream; she was put upon trial, convicted, and was hung in Liberty, August 23rd following, this being the first legal execution in the county." County History: Clay County, Missouri. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  6. ^ Frazier, Harriet C. (2001). Slavery and Crime in Missouri, 1773-1865. McFarland. p. 170. https://books.google.com/books?id=GCwC9JMUh2EC. 
  7. ^ Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 144-145
  8. ^ "Kansas City Missouri LDS (Mormon) Temple". Ldschurchtemples.com. https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/kansas-city-missouri-temple/. 
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_29.txt. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mo190090.txt. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  14. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named QF
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ IT, Missouri Secretary of State -. "Registered Voters in Missouri". http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/registeredvoters.asp?rvmID=0008. 
  19. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "North Kansas City Public Library". Libraries.org. https://librarytechnology.org/library/5964. 
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

Further reading[]

  • Woodson, W.H. History of Clay County, Missouri (1920) online

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°19′N 94°25′W / 39.31, -94.42

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Clay 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.
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