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.

Lawrence County, Missouri

Lawrence County Education, Geography, and HistoryLawrence County, Missouri Courthouse

Lawrence County is a county located in the southwest portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 38,634. Its county seat is Mount Vernon. The county was organized in 1845 and named for James Lawrence, a naval officer from the War of 1812 known for his battle cry, "Don't give up the ship!"

A previous Lawrence County, established in 1815 with its county seat at what is now Davidsonville Historic State Park in Arkansas, covered much of what is now southern Missouri and the northern third of Arkansas; it became Lawrence County, Arkansas when Arkansas Territory was created from Missouri Territory in 1819. Just before that, in 1818, Missouri divided its part of the old Lawrence County into Wayne County and Madison County; those were later divided into others, including the present Lawrence County.

Etymology - Origin of Lawrence County Name

Named for James Lawrence, naval hero of the War of 1812.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Lawrence County

Lawrence County was named in honor of Captain James Lawrence who lost his life in the Chesapeake-Shannon fight against the British just out of Boston Harbor in 1813. Representative Cowan introduced in the state legislature, February 24, 1843, a formative act containing the name. Almost exactly half of the county was taken from Dade and the south half from Barry. (Session Acts 1842-1843; Missouri (15), p. 443)

Source: Meyers, Robert Lee. "Place Names In The Southwest Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1930.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 613 square miles (1,590 km2), of which 612 square miles (1,590 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Dade County (north)
  • Greene County (northeast)
  • Christian County (southeast)
  • Stone County (southeast)
  • Barry County (south)
  • Newton County (southwest)
  • Jasper County (west)


Public schools

Aurora R-VIII School District - Aurora
Marionville R-IX School District - Marionville
Miller R-II School District - Miller
Mt. Vernon R-V School District - Mt. Vernon
Pierce City R-VI School District - Pierce City
Verona R-VII School District - Verona

Private schools

Aurora Christian Academy - Aurora (K-12) - Baptist (Special Education Emphasis)
Harvest Christian Academy - Aurora (K-12) - Nondenominational Christian
Round Grove Christian Academy - Miller (PK-09) - Baptist
Trinity Lutheran School - Freistatt (PK-08) - Lutheran
St. Mary' Catholic School - Pierce City (PK-08) - Roman Catholic

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