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.

Bates County, Missouri

Bates County Education, Geography, and HistoryBates County, Missouri Courthouse

Bates County is a county located in the west central part of the state of Missouri. As of the 2010 US Census, the population was 17,049. Its county seat is Butler. The county was organized in 1841 and named after Frederick Bates, the second Governor of Missouri.

Bates County is part of the Kansas City, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Bates County Name

Named for Frederick Bates, governor of Missouri.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Bates County

This western border county formed an undefined part of the Territory of Louisiana until 1812, then became a part of the Territory and in 1821 of the State of Missouri. In the progressive organization of Missouri, it was successfully included in Howard County (1816), then in Cooper County (1818), then in Lillard County (1820), then in Jackson County (1825). It was finally organized and named Bates County by act of legislature in January 16, 1833, although until a subsequent act of legislature dated Janury 29, 1841, it was still attached to Jackson County for civil and military purposes. In 1855, the present Vernon County was cut off from it, thus fixing the boundaries of Bates as they have since remained. A controversy has been carried on over the question whether Bates County was named for Frederick Bates (1777-1825: Secretary of Louisiana Territory 1806-1812, Secretary of Missouri Territory 1812-1821, Governor of Missouri 1824-1825), or for his still more famous brother Edward Bates (1793-1869: a distinguished lawyer, member of Congress 1826-1828, national leader of the Whig Party, and finally Attorney General of the United States in Lincoln's Cabinet 1860-1864). The claim of Edward Bates is favored by the HISTORY OF BATES AND CASS COUNTIES (1883); that of Frederick Bates by Parker and Conard; and all the historical probabilities of the problem are clearly presented in an able letter by Floyd C. Shoemaker as supporting the claim of Frederick Bates. The legislative act of 1841 does not state for whom the county was named; but a reference to the original act of January 16, 1833, settles the question, for it reads: "...a new county to be called the county of Bates, in honor of Frederick Bates, late Governor of the State of Missouri." (Territorial Laws, II, 331; Laws of Missouri, 1840-41, p. 30; Nathan H. Parker, MISSOURI AS IT IS IN 1867, 183; HIST. BATES & CASS 1883, 782-3; Conard, ENCY. OF THE HIST. OF MISSOURI 1901, I, 178; Floyd C. Shoemaker, HOW BATES COUNTY WAS NAMED, letter in THE BATES COUNTY DEMOCRAT, Butler, MO, June 22, 1916; Atkeson, HIST. BATES 1918, 131)

Source: Johnson, Bernice E. "Place Names In Six Of The West Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1933.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 851 square miles (2,200 km2), of which 837 square miles (2,170 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (1.7%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Cass County (north)
  • Henry County (northeast)
  • St. Clair County (southeast)
  • Vernon County (south)
  • Linn County, Kansas (west)
  • Miami County, Kansas (northwest)


Public schools

Adrian R-III School District - Adrian
Ballard R-II School District - Butler
Butler R-V School District - Butler
Hume R-VIII School District - Hume
Miami R-I School District - Amoret
Rich Hill R-IV School District - Rich Hill

Private schools

Zion Lutheran School - Rockville (02-09) - Lutheran

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