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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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Phelps County, Missouri

Phelps County Education, Geography, and HistoryPhelps County, Missouri Courthouse

Phelps County is a county located in the central portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 45,156. The largest city and county seat is Rolla. The county was officially organized on November 13, 1857, and was named after US Representative and Governor of Missouri John Smith Phelps.

As reported by the Census Bureau, it included the mean center of US population in 2000.

Phelps County comprises the Rolla, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area. Much of the county is included within the Ozark Highlands

Etymology - Origin of Phelps County Name

Named for John F. Phelps, congressman and later governor of Missouri.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

History of Phelps County

Organized from Crawford, Pulaski and Maries Counties by act of legislature November 13, 1857. On the north are Maries and Gasconade Counties; on the west, Pulaski County; on the south, Texas and Dent Counties; on the east is Crawford County. Named for John S. Phelps (1814-1866), a popular congressman at that time, who later became governor of Missouri (1876). (HIST. LACLEDE, 632; LAWS OF MISSOURI, 1857, 397)

Source: Weber, Frank. "Place Names Of Six South Central Counties of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1938.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 674 square miles (1,750 km2), of which 672 square miles (1,740 km2) is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Maries County (northwest)
  • Gasconade County (northeast)
  • Crawford County (east)
  • Dent County (southeast)
  • Texas County (south)
  • Pulaski County (west)


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Phelps County, 79.0% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 21.1% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

Newburg R-II School District - Newburg
Phelps County R-III School District - Edgar Springs
Rolla School District 31 - Rolla
St. James R-I School District - St. James

Private schools

Boys & Girls Town of Missouri School - St. James - (01-12) - Nonsectarian
Immanuel Lutheran School - Rolla - (K-06) - Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Rolla Seventh-day Adventist School - Rolla - (K-07) - Seventh-day Adventist
St. Patrick Elementary School - Rolla - (PK-08) - Roman Catholic

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