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Missouri Counties
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Missouri Counties

Missouri has one hundred and fourteen counties and one independent city. St. Louis City is separate from St. Louis County and is referred to as a "city not within a county." Following the Louisiana Purchase and the admittance of Louisiana into the United States in 1812, five counties were formed out of the Missouri Territory at the first general assembly. Most subsequent counties were apportioned from these five original counties.

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Clay County, Missouri

Clay County Education, Geography, and HistoryClay County, Missouri Courthouse

Clay County is a county located in the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the county had a population of 221,939, making it the fifth-most populous county in Missouri. Its county seat is Liberty. The county was organized January 2, 1822 and named in honor of US Representative Henry Clay from Kentucky, later member of the United States Senate and United States Secretary of State.

Clay County is part of the Kansas City, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area and contains many of the city's northern suburbs, along with a substantial portion of the City of Kansas City itself.

Etymology - Origin of Clay County Name

Named for Henry Clay, Kentucky congressman.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

History of Clay County

This county was formed from Ray County, January 2, 1822. At that time it had its present south, east, and west boundaries, but on the north it extended to the Iowa line. In January, 1883 it was reduced to its present size, when all the territory north of its present north boundary was organized under the name of Clinton County. Today the northern boundary is Clinton. Clinton was reduced to its present size in 1845. The eastern boundary of Clay is Ray, the south Jackson, from which it is separated by the Missouri River, and the west Platte. The name was given in honor of Henry Clay (1777-1852) the "brilliant and coming statesman of Kentucky." (LAWS OF MISSOURI 1822, 60; ATLAS CLAY 1877, 9; HIST. CLAY & PLATTE 1886, 98)

Source: Atchison, Anne. "Place Names Of Five West Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1937.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 409 square miles (1,060 km2), of which 397 square miles (1,030 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.8%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Missouri by area.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Clinton County (north)
  • Ray County (east)
  • Jackson County (south)
  • Wyandotte County, Kansas (southwest)
  • Platte County (west)


Public schools

Excelsior Springs School District No. 40 - Excelsior Springs
Kearney R-I School District - Kearney
Liberty School District No. 53 - Liberty
Missouri City School District No. 56 - Missouri City
North Kansas City School District No. 74 - North Kansas City
Smithville R-II School District - Smithville

Private schools

Outreach Christian Early Education Center - Avondale (Pre-K-12) - Nondenominational Christian
Gladstone KinderCare - Gladstone (NS-Pre-K) - Nonsectarian
Oakhill Day School - Gladstone (Pre-K-7) - Nonsectarian - (Special Programs Emphasis)
St. Andrew the Apostle Parish School - Gladstone (K-9) - Roman Catholic
Northern Hills Christian Academy - Holt (K-9) - Baptist
Prairie Church School - Holt (K-6) - Nondenominational Christian
Chouteau and Parvin KinderCare - Kansas City (NS-Pre-K) - Nonsectarian
Covenant Memorial Baptist Day School - Kansas City (K) - Baptist
Eagle Heights Christian School - Kansas City (Pre-K-12) - Baptist
Faith Academy - Kansas City (Pre-K-12) - Nondenominational Christian
St. Charles Borromeo School - Kansas City (K-9) - Roman Catholic
St. Gabriel Catholic School -Kansas City (K-9) - Roman Catholic
St. Patrick School - Kansas City (NS/Pre-K-8) - Roman Catholic
St. Pius X High School - Kansas City (9-12) - Roman Catholic
Liberty Montessori Center - Liberty (K-1) - Montessori
St. James School - Liberty (K-9) - Roman Catholic


William Jewell College - Liberty - A private, four-year Liberal Arts college.

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