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Webster County, Missouri
Webster County Missouri Courthouse 2017.jpg
Webster County Courthouse in Marshfield
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.
Founded March 3, 1854
Named for Daniel Webster
Seat Marshfield
Largest city Marshfield
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

594 sq mi (1,538 km²)
593 sq mi (1,536 km²)
1.2 sq mi (3 km²), 0.2
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

39,085
Congressional districts 4th, 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website http://www.webstercountymo.gov/

Webster County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 39,085.[1] Its county seat is Marshfield.[2] The county was organized in 1855 and named for U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster.[3]

Webster County is part of the Springfield, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

Webster County was organized on March 3, 1855, and encompasses some 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.[3]

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.[3]

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.”[3]

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.

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.

Geography[]

Webster County straddles the drainage divide between the Missouri and White rivers and the headwaters of the James, Niangua, Gasconade, and Pomme de Terre rivers arise in Webster County.[3]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 594 square miles (1,540 km2), of which 593 square miles (1,540 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-44 (MO).svg Interstate 44
  • US 60.svg U.S. Route 60
  • MO-38.svg Route 38

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 7,099
1870 10,434 47.0%
1880 12,175 16.7%
1890 15,177 24.7%
1900 16,640 9.6%
1910 17,377 4.4%
1920 16,609 −4.4%
1930 16,148 −2.8%
1940 17,226 6.7%
1950 15,072 −12.5%
1960 13,753 −8.8%
1970 15,562 13.2%
1980 20,414 31.2%
1990 23,753 16.4%
2000 31,045 30.7%
2010 36,202 16.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2020[1] 2019[9]

As of the census[10] 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.

Politics[]

Local[]

Webster County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Austin Graybill Republican
Circuit Clerk Jill Peck Republican
County Clerk Stanley D. Whitehurst Republican
Collector Kevin Farr Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Paul Ipock Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
Dale Fraker Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Randy Owens Republican
Coroner Michael Taylor Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser Republican
Public Administrator Danielle Boggs Republican
Recorder Gary Don Letterman Republican
Sheriff Roye Cole Republican
Surveyor Dennis D. Amsinger Republican
Treasurer Todd Hungerford Republican

The Republican Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Webster County. Republicans hold all of the elected positions in the county.

State[]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 78.71% 14,715 19.13% 3,577 2.16% 404
2016 66.52% 11,450 30.07% 5,039 3.41% 572
2012 54.56% 8,406 42.65% 6,570 2.79% 430
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 split between Missouri's 137th and 141st Districts in the Missouri House of Representatives.

  • District 137 — John Black (R-Marshfield). Consists of the western part of the county.
  • District 141 — Hannah Kelly (R-Mountain Grove). Consists of the eastern part of the county.

All of Webster County is part of Missouri's 33rd District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Mike Cunningham (R-Rogersville).

Federal[]

U.S. Senate — Missouri — Webster County (2016)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 11,450 68.16% +17.58
Democratic Jason Kander 4,612 27.45% -14.13
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 397 2.36% -5.48
Green Johnathan McFarland 150 0.89% +0.89
Constitution Fred Ryman 190 1.13% +1.13
U.S. Senate — Missouri — Webster County (2012)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Todd Akin 7,739 50.58%
Democratic Claire McCaskill 6,363 41.58%
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 1,200 7.84%

Most of Webster County is included in Missouri's 4th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The southwestern party of the county is included in the 7th Congressional District, which is represented by Billy Long (R-Springfield).

U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri’s 4th Congressional District — Webster County (2016)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Vicky Hartzler 9,821 78.39% +4.27
Democratic Gordon Christensen 2,267 18.09% -0.29
Libertarian Mark Bliss 441 3.52 -3.98
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 4th Congressional District — Webster County (2014)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Vicky Hartzler 5,307 74.12% +1.98
Democratic Nate Irvin 1,316 18.38% -6.18
Libertarian Herschel L. Young 537 7.50% +5.08
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 4th Congressional District — Webster County (2012)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Vicky Hartzler 8,350 72.14%
Democratic Teresa Hensley 2,843 24.56%
Libertarian Thomas Holbrook 280 2.42%
Constitution Greg Cowan 102 0.88%
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 7th Congressional District — Webster County (2016)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Billy Long 2,778 70.78% +8.95
Democratic Genevieve (Gen) Williams 921 23.46% -4.55
Libertarian Benjamin T. Brixey 226 5.76% -4.40
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 7th Congressional District — Webster County (2014)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Billy Long 1,150 61.83% -2.20
Democratic Jim Evans 521 28.01% -1.56
Libertarian Kevin Craig 189 10.16% +3.76
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 7th Congressional District — Webster County (2012)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Billy Long 2,282 64.03%
Democratic Jim Evans 1,054 29.57%
Libertarian Kevin Craig 228 6.40%

Political culture[]

United States presidential election results for Webster County, Missouri[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,880 79.24% 3,573 19.03% 326 1.74%
2016 12,840 76.69% 3,177 18.98% 726 4.34%
2012 10,708 69.10% 4,409 28.45% 379 2.45%
2008 10,431 63.77% 5,685 34.76% 240 1.47%
2004 10,194 68.21% 4,657 31.16% 93 0.62%
2000 7,350 61.87% 4,174 35.13% 356 3.00%
1996 4,958 48.84% 3,855 37.97% 1,339 13.19%
1992 4,361 40.99% 4,149 38.99% 2,130 20.02%
1988 5,123 56.70% 3,890 43.05% 22 0.24%
1984 5,529 64.96% 2,982 35.04% 0 0.00%
1980 5,121 58.73% 3,409 39.10% 189 2.17%
1976 3,510 47.98% 3,759 51.39% 46 0.63%
1972 5,095 68.50% 2,343 31.50% 0 0.00%
1968 4,118 56.90% 2,547 35.19% 572 7.90%
1964 3,341 46.63% 3,824 53.37% 0 0.00%
1960 4,603 62.97% 2,707 37.03% 0 0.00%
1956 3,940 55.71% 3,132 44.29% 0 0.00%
1952 4,701 61.73% 2,894 38.00% 20 0.26%
1948 3,581 51.97% 3,292 47.78% 17 0.25%
1944 4,281 60.46% 2,785 39.33% 15 0.21%
1940 4,818 57.69% 3,518 42.12% 16 0.19%
1936 4,469 55.16% 3,612 44.58% 21 0.26%
1932 3,083 41.91% 4,211 57.24% 63 0.86%
1928 4,002 62.99% 2,343 36.88% 8 0.13%
1924 3,168 51.12% 2,730 44.05% 299 4.82%
1920 4,000 61.45% 2,428 37.30% 81 1.24%
1916 2,114 51.35% 1,903 46.22% 100 2.43%
1912 1,387 35.43% 1,649 42.12% 879 22.45%
1908 1,901 49.48% 1,761 45.84% 180 4.69%
1904 1,854 52.91% 1,474 42.07% 176 5.02%
1900 1,721 48.37% 1,702 47.84% 135 3.79%
1896 1,666 45.42% 1,985 54.12% 17 0.46%
1892 1,389 45.38% 1,273 41.59% 399 13.03%
1888 1,441 47.99% 1,286 42.82% 276 9.19%


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.

Missouri presidential preference primaries[]

In the open Presidential Primary of 2016, there were: 1,793 votes for Democrats; 6,878 votes for Republicans; 11 Libertarian votes, and 2 votes for candidates of the Constitution Party. Among a field of Democrats, Bernie Sanders out-paced Hillary Clinton (53% vs. 45%) and others. Among Republicans, Texas Senator Ted Cruz gained more votes (53%) than future President Donald J. Trump and the other contenders.

In 2012, Rick Santorum received 1,343 votes, more than any other candidate and approximately 63% of Republican votes cast.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 2,576, than any candidate from either party in Webster County during the 2008 presidential primary.

Education[]

Public schools[]

  • Fordland R-III School District - Fordland
    • Fordland Elementary School - (K-05)
    • Fordland Middle School - (06-08)
    • Fordland High School - (09-12)
  • Marshfield R-I School District - Marshfield
    • Edwin P. Hubble Elementary School - (K-01)
    • Daniel Webster Elementary School - (02-03)
    • Shook Elementary School - (04-05)
    • Marshfield Jr. High School - (06-08)
    • Marshfield High School - (09-12)
  • Niangua R-V School District - Niangua
    • Niangua Elementary School - (K-06)
    • Niangua High School - (07-12)
  • Seymour R-II School District - Seymour
    • Seymour Elementary School - (PK-05)
    • Seymour Middle School - (06-08)
    • Seymour High School - (09-12)

Private schools[]

  • Ozark Mennonite School - Seymour - (01-10) - Mennonite
  • Marshfield Christian School - Marshfield - (K-12) - Nondenominational Christianity

Public libraries[]

  • Seymour Public Library[15]

Communities[]

Cities[]

  • Fordland
  • Marshfield (county seat)
  • Niangua
  • Rogersville
  • Seymour
  • Strafford

Village[]

  • Diggins

Unincorporated communities[]

  • All
  • Beach
  • Bracken
  • Caddo
  • Conklin
  • Crown
  • Duncan
  • Elkland
  • Forkners Hill
  • Henderson
  • High Prairie
  • Mountain Dale
  • Northview
  • Olga
  • Panther Valley
  • Rader
  • Red Top
  • Sampson
  • Sarvis Point
  • Susanna
  • Waldo
  • Zenar

See also[]

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

References[]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/29/29225.html. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "About Webster County". https://webstercountymo.gov/about-webster-county/. 
  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. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mo190090.txt. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ "QuickFacts. Webster County, Missouri.". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/webstercountymissouri/PST045218. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  11. ^ a b c "Official Results". Webster County Clerk. November 8, 2016. http://www.webstercountymo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Official-Results.pdf. 
  12. ^ a b c "General Election, Official Results". Webster County Clerk. November 6, 2012. http://www.webstercountymo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/nov_2012.pdf. 
  13. ^ a b "Official Results". Webster County Clerk. November 4, 2014. http://www.webstercountymo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2014_11_04_final_official_results.pdf. 
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  15. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Seymour Public Library". Libraries.org. https://librarytechnology.org/library/20350. 

Further reading[]

  • History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties, Missouri (1889) full text

External links[]

  • [1] - Historical Tornadoes
  • [2] - Eyewitness account of the Marshfield tornado
  • Digitized 1930 Plat Book of Webster County Script error: No such module "webarchive". from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books

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.
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