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Butler County is a county located in the southeast Ozark Foothills Region in the state of Missouri. As of the 2010 US Census, the
county's population was 42,794. The largest city and county seat is Poplar Bluff. The county was officially organized from Wayne County on
February 27, 1849, and is named after former US Representative William O. Butler (D-Kentucky), who was also an unsuccessful candidate for
Vice President of the United States. The first meeting in the Butler County Courthouse was held on June 18, 1849.
Butler County comprises the Poplar Bluff, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Named for William O. Butler, a Kentucky congressman.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
It is a southern border division, organized February 27, 1849, from a part of Wayne County. Later that part west of Cane Creek was added from Ripley County. It is bounded on the east by the St. Francis River, on the west by Ripley County, and on the north by Wayne County. Authorities do not agree as to its name father. William's HISTORY states it was named for Benjamin F. Butler (1795-1858), attorney general during Jackson's second term (1833-1837). Others say the name is for William Orlando Butler (1791-1880). The record of the acts of the General Assembly states, "to be called Butler County, in honor of William O. Butler, of Kentucky." Even if we did not have the report of the Legislature, W.O. Butler would be more likely the one honored because he was a famous son of Kentucky, the state from which many of the earliest settlers of Butler County had come, while B.F. Butler was of New York, far away at that time to the Southeast Missourians. William O. Butler, a staunch Democrat, experienced much hardship in the War of 1812-1814, when he was made captain and served under Andrew Jackson, who praised him very highly. He resigned from the army in 1817 to finish his study of law. Upon the declaration of war against Mexico in 1846, he was appointed by President Polk major-general of the volunteers under General Taylor's command. Butler represented his home county in the legislature in 1817 and 1818 and in 1839 he was sent to Congress where he served two terms. In 1848, he was the Democratic nominee for vice-president. (Eaton, 264; Douglas I.179; Goodspeed, 173; HIST. OF MISSOURI, Conrad 1: 455-456; THE COMMONWEALTH OF MISSOURI 286; Williams, 562; LAWS OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI Fifteenth General Assembly, 25; Dic. of AMER. BIOG., III.356, 371)
Source: Pottenger, Cora Ann. "Place Names Of Five Southern Border Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1945.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 699 square miles (1,810 km2), of which 695 square miles (1,800 km2) is
land and 4.3 square miles (11 km2) (0.6%) is water
Bordering counties are as follows:
Of adults 25 years of age and older in Butler County, 70.5% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 11.6% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.
Neelyville R-IV School District - Neelyville
Poplar Bluff R-I School District - Poplar Bluff
Twin Rivers R-X School District - Broseley
Agape Christian School - Poplar Bluff - (K-12) - Non-denominational Christian
Sacred Heart Elementary School - Poplar Bluff - (PK-08) - Roman Catholic
Southern Missouri Christian School - Poplar Bluff - (K-12) - Assembly of God/Pentecostal
Westwood Baptist Academy - Poplar Bluff - (PK-12) - Baptist
Zion Lutheran School - Poplar Bluff - Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Special education/other schools
Hentz Alternative Learning Center - Poplar Bluff
Shady Grove State School - Poplar Bluff
Sierra-Osage Treatment Center - Poplar Bluff
W.E. Sears Youth Center - Poplar Bluff
Three Rivers College - Poplar Bluff - A public, two-year community college.