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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Missouri Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 4, 2023

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Missouri ranks 17th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Missouri is a state in the United States of America located in the American Midwest. It is also in the Upper Plains region. Missouri is some 70 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 6.1 million people. The state is divided into 115 counties and an independent city and all of them have entries in this database. In Missouri we have discovered historical markers in 340 cities and towns lying in 380 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 3,267 historical markers in Missouri, by our count. We have cataloged 3,258 historical markers and 418 war memorials—each individually presented on 3,616 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.8% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another nine historical markers in Missouri that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Missouri marker in the database, Tom Sawyer’s Fence, was added December 27, 2007. It was photographed in Hannibal in Marion County. The last one added was submitted on February 3, 2023, and titled Tuskegee Airmen of St. Louis. It is in St. Louis. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Missouri was erected in 1868. It was this one: 39th Regiment Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in Jefferson City in Cole County on March 25, 2021.

Missouri Historical Topics
769 • Industry and Commerce
651 • Settlements and Settlers
433 • Civil War
288 • Railroads and Streetcars
287 • Architecture
287 • Sports
285 • African Americans
267 • Arts, Letters, Music
264 • Roads and Vehicles
261 • Education
    ... and others ...

Missourians don’t want to forget their Industry and Commerce history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Missouri about Industry and Commerce—769 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 651 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce topic was also Tom Sawyer’s Fence, added December 27, 2007. It had been erected in Hannibal in Marion County. The last one submitted was submitted on February 3, 2023, and titled Charmaine S. Chapman. It had been erected in St. Louis. One of the earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce topic that we have listed was erected in 1913. More than one was erected in 1913. This is one of them: Sanders Tavern - 1826, found in Warrenton in Warren County on May 19, 2011.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Missouri? What we know is that The Burnt District Monument is the most viewed entry in the database from Missouri since it was added in 2009. It is located in Harrisonville in Cass County. This year so far, the most viewed Missourian entry is located in Springfield in Greene County. It is Jerry Hughes.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Missouri county or independent city with the most historical markers listed in this database is the independent city of St. Louis, with 563 of them. It is followed closely by St. Louis County with 515 markers. In St. Louis County the area with the most markers, 129, is University City.

Historical Markers in These
Missouri Counties and an independent city
563 • St. Louis
515 • St. Louis County
351 • Jackson County
226 • St. Charles County
137 • Greene County
130 • Franklin County
75 • Clay County
72 • Platte County
69 • Marion County
59 • Buchanan County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Missouri with the most markers we again find St. Louis at the top of the list with 563 markers in or near it. It is followed by Kansas City in Clay County with 292 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 63102 at the top of the list with 187 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 63102 is assigned to Saint Louis MO.) It is followed by ZIP Code 63301 with 138 markers. (63301 is assigned to Saint Charles MO including the Black Walnut, Kampville, Kampville Beach, Kampville Court, Orchard Farm, and South Shore delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
Missouri Cities and Towns
563 • St. Louis
292 • Kansas City
144 • St. Charles
129 • University City
110 • Springfield
102 • Kirkwood
80 • Independence
77 • Washington
69 • Lemay
65 • Jefferson City
    ... and others ...

Getting back to the independent city of St. Louis, the first marker added to the database from there, In Memory of Robert E. Lee, was added January 25, 2008. It was erected in 1977. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of Missouri—was uploaded on February 3, 2023, and is titled Tuskegee Airmen of St. Louis. The earliest marker erected in St. Louis that we have listed was erected in 1874. It was Nathaniel Lyon on July 3, 2011.

Latest entry from Missouri. Click to go there
By Jason Voigt, January 23, 2023
Latest Entry from Missouri
“Tuskegee Airmen of St. Louis”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Kansas City. The first: Mutual Musicians Association Building, was added March 28, 2008. It had been erected in 1981. The last: Trail Remnants added on September 28, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1902: Forest Hill Confederate Memorial, added on January 18, 2010.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

There is no organization in charge of erecting official historical markers state-wide in Missouri today but the State Historical Society of Missouri was once responsible for erecting them. We have 115 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties and an independent city have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some other cities and towns.

Latest entry from Missouri. Click to go there
By Cosmos Mariner, September 9, 2017
A State Historical Society of Missouri Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Missouri have been marked with history. Check out Douglas County, Bollinger County and Benton County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Missouri might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Feb. 4, 2023