This article is based on the corresponding article in another wiki. For Familypedia purposes, it requires significantly more historical detail on phases of this location's development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there. Also desirable are links to organizations that may be repositories of genealogical information..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can.

Scott County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Scott County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded December 28, 1821
Named for John Scott, the first Congressman from Missouri
Seat Benton
Largest city Sikeston
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

426.04 sq mi (1,103 km²)
421.01 sq mi (1,090 km²)
5.03 sq mi (13 km²), 1.18
 - (2010)
 - Density

96/sq mi (37/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Scott County is a county located in Southeast Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,191.[1] Its county seat is Benton[2]. The county was organized in 1821 and named for U.S. Representative John Scott, the first federal representative from Missouri.

The Sikeston Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of all of Scott County.


The second county formed in Missouri’s Southeast Lowland Region, Scott County was created by the Missouri state legislature on December 28, 1821. The county was named in honor of John Scott (1785-1861), the first congressman from Missouri.

Southerners were the first settlers on Spanish land grants in the late 1790s. The King’s Highway (El Camino Real), laid out in 1789, crossed the county which lies in territory claimed by Osage Native American tribes until 1808. The Delaware and Shawnee tribes roamed into the area around the 1820s.

Benton, the county seat, was laid out in 1822 and is named after Thomas Hart Benton, one of Missouri’s first U.S. Senators. From 1864-1878, the county seat was located at Commerce, a town laid out in 1823 on the Mississippi River. Long known as Tywappity, the town started out as a trading post and became a river landing by 1803. Rezin Bowie, brother of James, was syndic of Tywappity Settlement before 1800. The first Baptist Church was formed here in Missouri in 1805. New Hamburg, the third town founded in the county, was settled by German immigrants in the 1840s. The first log church was St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Sikeston, the largest city in the county and the fourth settlement to be founded, was settled in 1800 and was laid out in 1860 by John Sikes on the Cairo & Fulton Railroad.

The county, devastated by guerrilla raids during the U.S. Civil War, grew rapidly from the 1870s to the early 1900s as its dense forests were limbered off and numerous railroads were constructed. Towns founded during this period included Diehlstadt, Morley, Oran, Perkins, Blodgett, Crowder, Vanduser, Illmo, Fornfelt (Scott City), Chaffee, Ancell, and Kelso. The Thebes-Mississippi River Railroad Bridge at Illmo dates back to 1905. Located nearby is Cape St. Croix, a rock island in the river where Father De Montigny erected a cross in 1699.

Located near Morley is the gravesite of Nathaniel W. Watkins, a state legislator and a general in the Missouri State Guards who was also the half-brother of Henry Clay. In the county for a short period of time lived Wilson Brown, the ninth lieutenant governor of Missouri and noted early legislators such as Joseph Hunter II and Abraham Hunton.

Cotton, soybeans, melon and grains were all common crops in Scott County. Between the Mississippi River and Little River District drainage ditches lies one of the oldest drainage systems in the United States, Crowley’s Ridge, established in 1905, is a remnant of an old coastal plain that crosses the country.

On January 28, 2004, the Scott County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Scott County, 72.9% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 10.6% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools[]

  • Chaffee R-II School District - Chaffee
    • Chaffee Elementary School (K-06)
    • Chaffee Jr.-Sr. High School (07-12)
  • Oran R-III School District - Oran
    • Oran Elementary School (K-06)
    • Oran High School (07-12)
  • Scott County R-IV School District - Benton
    • Scott County Elementary School (K-05)
    • Scott County Middle School (06-08)
    • Thomas W. Kelly High School (09-12)
  • Scott City R-I School District - Scott City
    • Scott City Elementary School (K-04)
    • Scott City Middle School (05-08)
    • Scott City High School (09-12)
  • Scott County Central School District - Sikeston
    • Scott County Central Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Scott County Central High School (07-12)
  • Sikeston R-VI School District - Sikeston
    • Lee Hunter Elementary School (01-04)
    • Matthews Elementary School (01-04)
    • Morehouse Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Sikeston Kindergarten Center (K)
    • Sikeston 5th & 6th Grade Center (05-06)
    • Southeast Elementary School (01-04)
    • Sikeston 7th & 8th Grade Center (07-08)
    • Sikeston High School (09-12)

Private Schools[]

Post-Secondary & Higher Education[]


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Scott County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Scott County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (40.54%), Roman Catholics (27.12%), and Methodists (9.28%).


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 426.04 square miles (1,103.4 km2), of which 421.01 square miles (1,090.4 km2) (or 98.82%) is land and 5.03 square miles (13.0 km2) (or 1.18%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-55.svg Interstate 55
  • I-57.svg Interstate 57
  • US 61.svg U.S. Route 61
  • US 62.svg U.S. Route 62
  • MO-77.svg Route 77


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 2,136
1840 5,974 179.7%
1850 3,182 −46.7%
1860 5,247 64.9%
1870 7,317 39.5%
1880 8,587 17.4%
1890 11,228 30.8%
1900 13,092 16.6%
1910 22,372 70.9%
1920 23,409 4.6%
1930 24,913 6.4%
1940 30,377 21.9%
1950 32,842 8.1%
1960 32,748 −0.3%
1970 33,250 1.5%
1980 39,647 19.2%
1990 39,376 −0.7%
2000 40,422 2.7%
2010 39,191 −3.0%
Est. 2012 39,139 −3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 40,422 people, 15,626 households, and 11,219 families residing in the county. The population density was 37/km² (96/mi²). There were 16,951 housing units at an average density of 16/km² (40/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.68% White, 10.50% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Approximately 1.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,626 households out of which 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% were married couples living together, 13.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.40% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,735, and the median income for a family was $48,847. Males had a median income of $30,169 versus $19,269 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,363. About 12.30% of families and 16.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.50% of those under age 18 and 13.60% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

  • Benton
  • Blodgett
  • Chaffee
  • Commerce
  • Diehlstadt
  • Haywood City
  • Illmo
  • Kelso
  • Lambert
  • Miner
  • Morley
  • Oran
  • Perkins
  • Scott City
  • Sikeston
  • Vanduser

Villages and other locations[]

  • Crowder - Located on State Highway Z.
  • Lusk - Located at the intersection of State Highway N and State Highway NN.
  • New Hamburg - Located on State Highway A.
  • Rockview - Located near State Highway M.
  • Salcedo - Located at the intersection of State Highway Z and State Highway Y.
  • Tanner - Located at the intersection of State Highway Z and State Highway ZZ.



The Democratic Party completely controls politics at the local level in Scott County. Democrats hold every elected position in the county.

Scott County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Teresa Houchin Democratic
Circuit Clerk Christy Hency Democratic
County Clerk Rita Milam Democratic
Collector Mark Hensley Democratic
Jamie Burger Democratic
(District 1)
Dennis Ziegenhorn Democratic
(District 2)
Donnie Kiefer Democratic
Coroner Scott C. Amick Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Paul R. Boyd Democratic
Public Administrator Pam Dirnberger Democratic
Recorder Tom Dirnberger Democratic
Sheriff Rick Walter Democratic
Treasurer Glenda Enderle Democratic


Scott County is divided into two legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives.

  • District 160 - Currently represented by Ellen Brandom (R-Sikeston) and consists of most of the county and includes the cities of Benton, Chaffee, Haywood City, Kelso, Lambert, Miner, Morley, Oran, Sikeston, and Vanduser.
Missouri House of Representatives - District 160 - Scott County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ellen Brandom* 7,446 100.00 0
  • District 161 - Currently represented by Steve Hodges (D-East Prairie) and includes Scott City and the towns of Blodgett, Commerce and Diehlstadt. In 2010, incumbent Hodges was reelected to another term; the Scott County precincts, however, backed his Republican challenger, Ron McCormick.
Missouri House of Representatives - District 161 - Scott County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron McCormick 1,627 63.11 +63.11
Democratic Steve Hodges* 951 36.89 -63.11

All of Scott County is a part of Missouri's 27th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by State Senator Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau). In 2008, Crowell defeated Linda Sanders (D-Jackson) 64.2%-35.8% in the district. The 27th Senatorial District consists of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Mississippi, Perry, and Scott counties.

Missouri Senate - District 27 - Scott County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jason Crowell 10,304 60.10
Democratic Linda Sanders 6,842 39.90
Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 49.99% 8,421 48.04% 8,092 1.98% 333
2008 53.12% 9,494 45.55% 8,142 1.33% 238
2004 58.69% 10,198 40.31% 7,004 1.00% 174
2000 52.12% 8,159 46.59% 7,293 1.29% 202
1996 38.71% 5,878 59.76% 9,074 1.53% 233
1992 47.32% 7,564 52.68% 8,422 0.00% 0
1988 56.49% 7,845 43.45% 6,035 0.06% 8
1984 59.90% 8,446 40.10% 5,654 0.00% 0
1980 49.80% 7,619 50.13% 7,669 0.07% 11
1976 41.63% 5,558 58.37% 7,793 0.01% 1


Scott County is included in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Jason T. Smith (R-Salem) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to finish out the remaining term of U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau). Emerson announced her resignation a month after being reelected with over 70 percent of the vote in the district. She resigned to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 – Scott County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 12,318 73.24 +5.57
Democratic Jack Rushin 3,878 23.06 -2.71
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 622 3.70 +1.49
U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Scott County (2013)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jason T. Smith 2,603 61.43
Democratic Steve Hodges 1,439 33.96
Constitution Doug Enyart 117 2.76
Libertarian Bill Slantz 72 1.70
Write-in Robert W. George 3 0.07
Write-in Wayne L. Byington 2 0.05
Write-in Thomas Brown 1 0.02

Political Culture[]

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 68.37% 11,623 30.13% 5,122 1.50% 254
2008 63.95% 11,563 34.61% 6,258 1.44% 261
2004 64.94% 11,330 34.71% 6,057 0.35% 61
2000 57.30% 8,999 41.09% 6,452 1.61% 253
1996 43.54% 6,641 45.97% 7,011 10.49% 1,600
1992 37.95% 6,265 45.14% 7,452 16.74% 2,763
1988 57.45% 8,013 42.40% 5,914 0.15% 21
1984 61.04% 8,727 38.96% 5,569 0.00% 0
1980 53.65% 8,227 44.69% 6,854 1.66% 255
1976 40.31% 5,473 59.48% 8,075 0.21% 28

At the presidential level, Scott County is fairly independent-leaning. While George W. Bush carried Scott County in 2000 and 2004, Bill Clinton won the county both times in 1992 and 1996. Like most of the rural counties in Missouri, Scott County favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008.

Like most rural areas throughout Southeast Missouri, voters in Scott County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Scott County with 85.32 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 Scott County with 64.85 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 Scott 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 Scott County with 67.99 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 75.94 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.

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)[]

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

  • Former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) received more votes, a total of 2,931, than any candidate from either party in Scott County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary.

Template:Missouri Republican primary, 2008 Template:Missouri Democratic primary, 2008

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Scott County, Missouri


External links[]

Coordinates: 37°03′N 89°34′W / 37.05, -89.57

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