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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kennett in Dunklin County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Kennett

 
 
Front Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
1. Front Side of Marker
Inscription. (Front):
Here in the Southeast Lowland Region of Missouri on a Delaware and Shawnee Indian village site, Kennett was laid out as the seat of Dunklin County, 1846. The town was first called Chilletecaux for a Delaware Indian living here at the time. Later known as Butler, it was named for Mayor of St. Louis L.M. Kennett, 1851. The county name honors Gov. Daniel Dunklin.

Kennett grew as a trade and legal center as Dunklin developed into a noted cotton, soybean, and livestock farming area. When organized in 1845, Dunklin County was an isolated region of forest, overflowed land, and swamp bearing the marks of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12. First settlers, hunters and trappers, were followed by others who came to harvest the forests.

Effective land reclamation began in 1893 when the state provided for organization of county drainage districts and levees on the St. Francis River. Dunklin County is in the Little River Drainage District, one of the largest drainage systems in the U.S., organized 1905. Drainage districts include some 300,000 of Dunklin's 347,524 acres.
(See other side)

(Back):
(Continued from other side)
Kennett is the seat of the first "Bootheel" county formed after Missouri was made a state. The extreme southeast counties of Dunklin (1845) and Pemiscot
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
2. Back of Marker
(1851), with a section of New Madrid (1812), are said to be part of Mo. through efforts of J. Hardeman Walker, pioneer planter in Pemiscot County.

In the Civil War, the county was known as the "Independent State of Dunklin" after adoption of a resolution at Clarkton, 1862, that Dunklin would secede from the Union. Union troops were in Kennett and Clarkton briefly, 1863, and gerrilla raiders roamed the area constantly. Recovery began with the coming of the Little River Valley and Ark. R.R. (Cotton Belt) to Malden, 1878. A branch reached Kennett, 1890. Reclamation begun in 1890's brought population increase from 21,706 in 1900 to 45,329 in 1950.

Here in Dunklin County, near Cardwell on the St. Francis River, the 230 altitude is the lowest spot in Mo. The eight copper, eagle-embossed, Indian ceremonial plates now a part of the Wulfing Collection at Washington University in St. Louis were found to the north, near Malden, 1906.
 
Erected 1957 by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Missouri, State Historical Society of marker series.
 
Location. 36° 14.232′ N, 90° 3.335′ W. Marker is in Kennett, Missouri, in Dunklin County. Marker is at the intersection
Marker in Front of Old City Hall image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
3. Marker in Front of Old City Hall
The City Hall building is now occupied by the Dunklin County Museum.
of College Street and North Court Square, on the right on College Street. Click for map. Located in front of the old City Hall building, now occupied by the Dunklin County Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Kennett MO 63857, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. The Village of Kennett (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line).
 
More about this marker. This marker was located in front of the hospital on the east side of town, near the intersection of 1st Street and Teaco Road. It was moved in the 1990s.
 
Also see . . .  How did the state boundary of Missouri come to include the "Bootheel"?. Local lore has many reasons for the creation of Missouri's boot heel. A popular one is that a local land owner entertained the surveyors with strong drinks. This article sets aside the myths. As with many boundary issues, it was a simple case of political influence. (Submitted on March 30, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansPolitical SubdivisionsSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Dunklin County Court House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
4. Dunklin County Court House
The original court house was burned during the Civil War. A replacement was built in the later part of the 19th Century. The present building was constructed with an art-deco style as part of a Works Progress Project in the 1930s.
Court House Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
5. Court House Plaque
Nearly obscured by a wooden fence, a plaque on the northeast side of the Court House indicates the building was completed in 1939.
Dunklin County War Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
6. Dunklin County War Memorial
The memorial lists persons from the county killed during the World Wars, Korean War and Vietnam War.
Drainage Ditch image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
7. Drainage Ditch
Mentioned on the marker, the land around Kennett was drained in the 1890s to 1920s. Drainage ditches cross all around the county. This ditch is one of five which form a "flood way" east of town, which drained the Little River, itself a tributary of the St. Francis River.
Cotton Gin image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
8. Cotton Gin
South of town is this cotton gin facility. In the old days, the harvested cotton arrived in trailers to have the seeds removed. In recent decades, the cotton is instead formed into modular blocks in the field for easier transporting, and processing in bulk.
Cotton Compress image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
9. Cotton Compress
Cotton bales were required to conform to specific dimensions and densities. The compress did just that by, as the word implies, compressing the cotton. With the move to bulk processing of modular blocks from the field, this facility is not used. The railroad, mentioned on the marker, ran along in front of the compress building. In the 1980s the line was removed.
Cotton Seed Processing image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
10. Cotton Seed Processing
In this building, cotton seeds are delinted, and then processed for additional uses.
Famous Resident of Kennett image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 15, 2009
11. Famous Resident of Kennett
Not mentioned on the marker, the town is the childhood home of the popular singer Sheryl Crow.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,788 times since then and 108 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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