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Taney County, Missouri
Taney County MO Courthouse 20151021-047.jpg
The Taney County Courthouse in Forsyth
Seal of Taney County, Missouri
Seal
Map of Missouri highlighting Taney County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 4, 1837
Named for Roger B. Taney
Seat Forsyth
Largest city Branson
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

652 sq mi (1,689 km²)
632 sq mi (1,637 km²)
19 sq mi (49 km²), 2.9
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

56,066
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.taneycounty.org/

Taney County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 56,066.[1] Its county seat is Forsyth.[2] It is included in the Branson, Missouri, Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Taney County was officially organized on January 4, 1837, and named in honor of Roger Brooke Taney, the fifth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, best known for delivering the infamous majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford. However, unlike Roger B. Taney, who pronounced his name /ˈtɔːni/, the "Taney" in Taney County is generally pronounced /ˈteɪni/.

The county includes the popular tourist destinations Branson, Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes.

History[]

The first Taney County Courthouse was built on the mouth of Bull Creek at the confluence of the White River by early pioneers in 1837. Its use as a courthouse ended after Forsyth became the county seat; it was destroyed in a tornado in 1963.

The county's second courthouse, in Forsyth, was destroyed in a Civil War battle on July 22, 1861. The rebuilt courthouse was destroyed by fire on December 19, 1885. A third courthouse was removed in 1952 to permit the building of Bull Shoals Lake. The fourth, and present, courthouse was occupied on August 1, 1952. An addition was completed in 1991 after two years of construction.

In 1904, the White River Railway was extended through the rugged terrain of Stone and Taney counties. By then, both counties had for years had a sundown town policy, forbidding African Americans to live there.[3]

In 2008, a New Taney County Judicial Center was built. That Judicial Center houses the courtrooms, the Circuit Clerk, and the County Jail. (https://www.taneycounty.org/index.php?section=history)

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 652 square miles (1,690 km2), of which 632 square miles (1,640 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (2.9%) is water.[4]

The county is drained by White River and its affluents.[5]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • US 65.svg U.S. Route 65
  • US 160.svg U.S. Route 160
  • MO-76.svg Route 76
  • MO-86.svg Route 86
  • MO-125.svg Route 125
  • MO-165.svg Route 165
  • MO-176.svg Route 176
  • MO-248.svg Route 248
  • MO-265.svg Route 265
  • MO-376.svg Route 376
  • MO-465.svg Route 465 (decommissioned in early 2020, now part of MO-76)

National protected area[]

  • Mark Twain National Forest (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 3,264
1850 4,373 34.0%
1860 3,576 −18.2%
1870 4,347 21.6%
1880 5,599 28.8%
1890 7,973 42.4%
1900 10,812 35.6%
1910 9,287 −14.1%
1920 8,878 −4.4%
1930 8,867 −0.1%
1940 10,323 16.4%
1950 9,863 −4.5%
1960 10,238 3.8%
1970 13,023 27.2%
1980 20,467 57.2%
1990 25,561 24.9%
2000 39,703 55.3%
2010 51,675 30.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2020[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 39,703 people, 16,158 households, and 11,052 families residing in the county. The population density was 24/km2 (63/mi2). There were 19,688 housing units at an average density of 12/km2 (31/mi2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. About 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Taney County were 20.8% German, 18.9% American, 12.4% Irish, and 12.3% English.

There were 16,158 households, out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.40% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,771, and the median income for a family was $47,664. Males had a median income of $25,431 versus $19,655 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,663. About 9.40% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Religion[]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Taney County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Taney County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (32.88%), Roman Catholics (12.36%), and Presbyterians (9.13%).

Public safety[]

The Taney County Ambulance District (TCAD) is an emergency medical services (EMS) agency established by public vote in 1971.[12][13]

The Taney County Sheriff's Office and its jail are in Forsyth, which also has a police department.

Firefighting services are provided by Central Taney County Fire Protection District and Western Taney County Fire Protection District.

Education[]

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Taney County, 81.4% possess a high school diploma or higher while 14.9% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Colleges and universities[]

  • Ozarks Technical Community College, Hollister
  • College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout

Public schools[]

  • Bradleyville R-I School District - Bradleyville
    • Bradleyville Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Bradleyville High School (07-12)
  • Branson R-IV School District - Branson
    • Branson Primary School (PK)
    • Branson Buchanan Elementary (K-04)
    • Branson Cedar Ridge Elementary (K-04)
    • Branson Buchanan Intermediate (04-06)
    • Branson Cedar Ridge Intermediate (04-06)
    • Branson Jr. High School (07-08)
    • Branson High School (09-12)
  • Forsyth R-III School District - Forsyth
    • Forsyth Elementary School (K-04)
    • Forsyth Middle School (05-08)
    • Forsyth High School (09-12)
  • Hollister R-V School District - Hollister
    • Hollister Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Hollister Middle School (05-06)
  • Riedgedale Elementary School
    • Hollister Jr. High School (07-08)
    • Hollister High School (09-12)
  • Kirbyville R-VI School District - Kirbyville
    • Kirbyville Elementary School (K-03)
    • Kirbyville Middle School (04-08)
  • Mark Twain R-VIII School District - Rueter
    • Mark Twain Elementary School (K-08)
  • Taneyville R-II School District - Taneyville
    • Taneyville Elementary School (K-08)

Private schools[]

  • Trinity Christian Academy - Hollister - (PK-12) - Non-denominational Christian
  • Riverview Bible Baptist Church School - Forsyth - (05-08) - Baptist
  • School of the Ozarks - Point Lookout

Alternative and vocational schools[]

  • Delmina Woods Youth Facility - Forsyth - (06-12) - Alternative/Other School

Public libraries[]

  • Forsyth Public Library[14]
  • Taneyhills Community Library[15]

Politics[]

Local[]

As of 2020, the Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Taney County. Republicans hold every elected position in the county. However, the Democratic Party previously controlled politics at the local level during the late 19th century and much of the first half of the 20th century.

Taney County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Chuck Pennel Republican
Circuit Clerk Beth Wyman Republican
County Clerk Donna Neeley Republican
Collector Mona Cope Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Mike Scofield Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
Brandon Williams Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Sheila L. Wyatt Republican
Coroner Kevin Tweedy Republican
Prosecuting Attorney William Duston Republican
Public Administrator Carol S. Davis Republican
Recorder Robert A. Dixon Republican
Sheriff Jimmie Russell Republican
Treasurer Melanie Smith Republican

State[]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 77.32% 20,221 20.35% 5,323 2.33% 609
2016 71.03% 16,579 25.67% 5,992 3.30% 770
2012 59.56% 12,761 37.67% 8,071 2.77% 593
2008 51.16% 10,903 46.31% 9,870 2.53% 540
2004 68.88% 13,207 29.91% 5,734 1.21% 233
2000 60.03% 9,003 37.30% 5,594 2.67% 400
1996 58.07% 7,516 38.89% 5,034 3.04% 394

Taney County is divided into three legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives, all of which are held by Republicans.

  • District 138 — Currently represented by Don Phillips (R-Kimberling City) and consists of a small part the southwestern section of the county.
Missouri House of Representatives — District 138 — Taney County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Don Phillips 559 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 138 — Taney County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Don Phillips 298 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 138 — Taney County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Don Phillips 556 100.00%
  • District 155 — Currently represented by Lyle Rowland (R-Cedar Creek) and consists of the eastern part of the county, including Cedar Creek, Forsyth, Kirbyville, Kissee Mills, Powersite, and Taneyville.
Missouri House of Representatives — District 155 — Taney County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Lyle Rowland 5,280 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 155 — Taney County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Lyle Rowland 2,586 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 155 — Taney County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Lyle Rowland 4,929 100.00%
  • District 156 — Currently represented by Jeffery Justus (R-Branson) and consists of most of the western part of the county, including Branson, Bull Creek, Hollister, Merriam Woods, Ridgedale, Rockaway Beach, and Table Rock.
Missouri House of Representatives — District 156 — Taney County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jeffery Justus 14,635 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 156 — Taney County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jeffery Justus 6,492 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 156 — Taney County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jeffery Justus 13,072 100.00%

All of Taney County is a part of Missouri's 29th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by David Sater (R-Cassville).

Missouri Senate — District 29 — Taney County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican David Sater 19,825 100.00%
Missouri Senate — District 29 — Taney County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican David Sater 18,209 100.00%

Federal[]

U.S. Senate — Missouri — Taney County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 16,117 69.00% +12.93
Democratic Jason Kander 6,143 26.30% -10.49
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 609 2.61% -4.53
Green Johnathan McFarland 262 1.12% +1.12
Constitution Fred Ryman 226 0.97% +0.97
U.S. Senate — Missouri — Taney County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Todd Akin 11,940 56.07%
Democratic Claire McCaskill 7,834 36.79%
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 1,520 7.14%

All of Taney County is in Missouri's 7th Congressional District represented by Billy Long (R-Springfield) in the United States House of Representatives.

U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 7th Congressional District — Taney County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Billy Long 17,569 76.16% +2.99
Democratic Genevieve Williams 4,664 20.22% -1.15
Libertarian Benjamin T. Brixey 836 3.62% -1.84
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 7th Congressional District — Taney County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Billy Long 7,709 73.17% +2.55
Democratic Jim Evans 2,251 21.37% -3.37
Libertarian Kevin Craig 575 5.46% +0.82
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 7th Congressional District — Taney County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Billy Long 14,841 70.62%
Democratic Jim Evans 5,199 24.74%
Libertarian Kevin Craig 975 4.64%

Political culture[]

United States presidential election results for Taney County, Missouri[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 20,508 77.86% 5,339 20.27% 491 1.86%
2016 18,276 77.20% 4,373 18.47% 1,024 4.33%
2012 15,746 72.44% 5,479 25.20% 513 2.36%
2008 14,736 67.78% 6,683 30.74% 322 1.48%
2004 13,578 70.43% 5,601 29.05% 101 0.52%
2000 9,647 63.84% 5,092 33.70% 373 2.47%
1996 6,844 52.01% 4,623 35.13% 1,693 12.86%
1992 6,081 46.05% 4,682 35.46% 2,442 18.49%
1988 7,043 64.16% 3,888 35.42% 46 0.42%
1984 7,082 70.86% 2,912 29.14% 0 0.00%
1980 6,230 63.22% 3,389 34.39% 235 2.38%
1976 4,696 56.28% 3,626 43.46% 22 0.26%
1972 4,982 77.64% 1,435 22.36% 0 0.00%
1968 3,289 66.82% 1,219 24.77% 414 8.41%
1964 2,741 51.86% 2,544 48.14% 0 0.00%
1960 3,692 71.95% 1,439 28.05% 0 0.00%
1956 3,218 68.54% 1,477 31.46% 0 0.00%
1952 3,037 73.22% 1,099 26.49% 12 0.29%
1948 2,361 62.18% 1,427 37.58% 9 0.24%
1944 2,499 72.56% 936 27.18% 9 0.26%
1940 3,167 67.61% 1,497 31.96% 20 0.43%
1936 2,827 62.00% 1,710 37.50% 23 0.50%
1932 2,045 51.29% 1,911 47.93% 31 0.78%
1928 2,319 70.23% 971 29.41% 12 0.36%
1924 1,710 61.49% 981 35.28% 90 3.24%
1920 2,001 67.69% 913 30.89% 42 1.42%
1916 1,123 60.87% 679 36.80% 43 2.33%
1912 852 47.78% 588 32.98% 343 19.24%
1908 1,080 61.12% 628 35.54% 59 3.34%
1904 1,162 64.34% 568 31.45% 76 4.21%
1900 1,137 59.16% 753 39.18% 32 1.66%
1896 1,024 52.35% 925 47.29% 7 0.36%
1892 791 59.30% 459 34.41% 84 6.30%
1888 827 59.03% 471 33.62% 103 7.35%


Taney County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Taney County in 2000 and 2004 by more than two-to-one margins. Taney County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. The last time the Republican Party failed to carry Taney County was in 1860.[17]

Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Taney 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 passed Taney County with 80.04 percent of the vote, and the state in general with 71 percent of support from voters, making Missouri 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 Taney County with 56.64 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 Taney 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 Taney County with 77.78 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.

Missouri presidential preference primary (2008)[]

In the 2008 presidential primary, voters in Taney County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 3,850, than any candidate from either party in Taney County during the 2008 presidential primary.

Communities[]

Cities[]

  • Branson (small portion in Stone County; largest city)
  • Forsyth (county seat)
  • Hollister
  • Merriam Woods
  • Rockaway Beach

Villages[]

Census-designated place[]

  • Kissee Mills

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Bradleyville
  • Brownbranch
  • Cedar Creek
  • Day
  • Dickens
  • Eastview
  • Garber
  • Hercules
  • Hilda
  • McClurg
  • Mildred
  • Mincy
  • Ozark Beach
  • Point Lookout
  • Powersite
  • Protem
  • Ridgedale
  • Swan
  • Table Rock
  • Walnut Shade

See also[]

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

References[]

  1. ^ "Explore Census Data". https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile?g=0500000US29213. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ "Engineering Conquest of the Ozarks: Construction of White River Railroad Through Mountainous Districts of Stone and Taney Counties". The St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri): p. 1. February 21, 1904. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/2766215/. "Then came the contractors with their hundreds of horses, their powerful machines for moving and piling stone and earth, their great camp of men, Irishmen for foremen, Austrians, Italians and negroes, the last most woefully unwelcome in these two counties, where no negroes have been allowed to live for many years." 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Taney". The American Cyclopædia. 1879. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mo190090.txt. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/29/29213.html. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  12. ^ "Taney County Ambulance District earns financial reward" (in en). https://www.ky3.com/content/news/Taney-County-Ambulance-District-earns-financial-reward-505103121.html. 
  13. ^ Brosseau, Kadee. "Taney County paramedics honor local life-savers at Tuesday's open house" (in en). https://www.ky3.com/content/news/Taney-County-paramedics-honor-local-life-savers-at-Tuesdays-open-house-510226671.html. 
  14. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Forsyth Public Library". Libraries.org. https://librarytechnology.org/library/8945. 
  15. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Taneyhills Community Library". Libraries.org. https://librarytechnology.org/library/20133. 
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  17. ^ Brandt, Maxwell; ‘A Few Lists of 2008 Election Results’

External links[]

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Coordinates: 36°39′N 93°02′W / 36.65, -93.04

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