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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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Shannon County, Missouri

Shannon County Education, Geography, and HistoryShannon County, Missouri Courthouse

Shannon County is a county located in the southern portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 8,441. Its county seat is Eminence. The county was officially organized on January 29, 1841, and was named in honor of George F. "Peg-Leg" Shannon, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is the second-largest county by area in Missouri.

Etymology - Origin of Shannon County Name

Named for George Shannon, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

History of Shannon County

In the south-central section of Missouri, in the second tier of counties north of Arkansas and southwest of the Mississippi River. It is bounded on the north by Dent County, on the east by Reynolds and Carter, on the south by Oregon, and on the west by Texas and Howell. Shannon was separated from Crawford County in 1841, but it is the most sparsely settled county in the state. The county was named in honor of George F. Shannon of Marion County, who was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804 and later became a United States attorney. Shannon was born in Pennsylvania in 1785 and was the son of a Revolutionary soldier. He was one of nine children, several of whom became noted, one, Wilson, being governor of Ohio and territorial governor of Kansas. At the age of 19, Shannon joined the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was the only member of the party who was the social equal of the leaders, and the journal shows that he was self-reliant. He narrowly escaped death when he became separated from the party while looking for two horses. From August 26 to September 11, he was lost in the wilderness and found the expedition again only by accident after he had determined to return down the Missouri alone. In 1807 he went with Nathaniel Pryor on an Indian expedition and received a leg wound which resulted in his having the leg removed, and he received the sobriquet "Peg-leg Shannon." In May, 1810, W. Clark sent him to Philadelphia to help Nicholas Biddle prepare the expedition's journal for publication. He was the only member of the party who helped at first hand, and he is supposed to have aided materially in interpreting the notes and in giving personal recollections. He returned to Missouri in 1828, and made his home at St. Charles, but died suddenly at Palmyra in 1836. His grave is unmarked. The exact spot is not known. (Eaton, MISSOURI H.R., vol. 13, p. 64; Allen, EXPEDITION OF LOUIS & CLARK, vol. 1, p. 90; "Peg-leg Shannon," MISSOURI H.R., vol. 29, pp. 115- 120)

Source: O'Brien, Anna. "Place Names Of Five Central Southern Counties of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1939.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,004 square miles (2,600 km2), of which 1,004 square miles (2,600 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.02%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Dent County (north)
  • Reynolds County (east)
  • Carter County (southeast)
  • Oregon County (south)
  • Howell County (southwest)
  • Texas County (west)


Of adults 25 years of age and older, 67.6% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 7.6% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools

Birch Tree Elementary School - Birch Tree
Eminence R-I School District - Eminence
Winona R-III School District - Winona

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