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

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 19, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Missouri ranks 16th 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 97 of them have entries in this database. In Missouri we have discovered historical markers in 236 cities and towns lying in 280 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Missouri? There are least 2,310 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 2,284 historical markers and 164 war memorials—each individually presented on 2,425 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 26 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.

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 17, 2020, and titled The Overland Trail. It is in Overland in St. Louis County and had been erected in 1976. 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 1874. It was this one: Nathaniel Lyon, and one of our correspondents found it in St. Louis on July 3, 2011.

Missouri Historical Categories
452 • Industry and Commerce
447 • Settlements and Settlers
324 • Civil War
278 • Patriots and Patriotism
235 • Man-Made Features
232 • Notable Buildings
216 • Sports
204 • Railroads and Streetcars
202 • Arts, Letters, Music
166 • Education
    ... and more ...

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—452 of them—than about any other historical category. A close second is Settlements and Settlers with 447 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce category was Saint Joseph, added January 27, 2008. It had been erected in 1953 in Saint Joseph in Buchanan County. The last one submitted was submitted on February 14, 2020, and titled Joseph Peters. It had been erected in Florissant in St. Louis County. The earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce category that we have listed was erected in 1913. It was Sanders Tavern - 1826, found in Warrenton in Warren County on May 19, 2011.

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 418 of them. It is followed by St. Louis County with 316 markers. In St. Louis County the area with the most markers, 126, is University City.

Historical Markers in These
Missouri Counties and an independent city
418 • St. Louis
316 • St. Louis County
279 • Jackson County
101 • St. Charles County
82 • Franklin County
79 • Greene County
74 • Clay County
72 • Platte County
57 • Cape Girardeau County
57 • Buchanan County
    ... and more ...

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 418 markers in or near it. It is followed by Kansas City in Jackson County with 196 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 63102 at the top of the list with 170 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 63102 is assigned to Saint Louis MO.) It is followed by ZIP Code 63130 with 132 markers. (63130 is assigned to Saint Louis MO including the University City delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
Missouri Cities and Towns
418 • St. Louis
196 • Kansas City
126 • University City
108 • St. Louis
77 • St. Charles
66 • Independence
61 • Washington
59 • Liberty
52 • Cape Girardeau
52 • Springfield
    ... and more ...

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 was uploaded on February 5, 2020, and is titled Walsh Plaza and was erected in 1992. 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, February 16, 2020
Latest Entry from Missouri
“The Overland Trail”

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: William Rockhill Nelson Chapel added on January 5, 2020. It had been erected in 1917. 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 94 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 St. Francois County, Douglas County and Camden 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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