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.

Lewis County, Missouri

Lewis County Education, Geography, and HistoryLewis County, Missouri Courthouse

Lewis County is a county located in the northeastern portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 10,211. Its county seat is Monticello. The county was organized January 2, 1833 and named for Meriwether Lewis, the explorer and Governor of the Louisiana Territory.

Lewis County is part of the Quincy, IL-MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Lewis County Name

Named for Captain Meriwether Lewis, explorer and governor of the Missouri Territory.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Lewis County

Lewis County, bordering on the Mississippi River, has a river frontage of twenty-five miles in extent. It is bordered on the north by Clark, on the south by Marion and Shelby, and on the west by Knox. It was reduced to its present limits by the organization of Clark County in 1838, Scotland in 1841, and Knox in 1845. Inclusive of this territory, Lewis was organized with permanent boundaries in 1833 nearly three years after the towns of Canton and La Grange were established. Immediately previous to this time, all this territory had been attached to Marion County, as part of Fabius Township, for military, civil, and judicial purposes. In 1830, Canton Township was formed, followed in 1831 by Union. The county was thus divided into the two townships in 1838 on its organization. There followed by 1841 a division into six townships, and on the reorganization of the county in 1866 a division into eight, its present number. On its organization, the county was named for Governor Meriwether Lewis, the second governor of Missouri Territory, 1807. Captain Meriwhether Lewis (1774-1809), a native of Virginia, became private secretary to President Jefferson in his first term, and when in 1803, the President projected an expedition to explore the country just purchased west of the Mississippi River, he selected Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, officers both of the American Army, to take charge of the expedition. In the two years (1805-1806) that the expedition was absent, they crossed the country by way of the Missouri River to the Rockies and then descended the divide to the Pacific by way of the Columbia River. In 1807, Captain Lewis was honored by being made Governor of Missouri Territory. He died while in office. (Campbell 1874, 308; HIST. LEWIS 1887, 38, 62; HIST. MARION 1884, 192; HIST. N.E. MISSOURI, 378, 380, 381, 383, 386; Davis and Durrie 1876, 49; Eaton, 185; QUINCY HERALD-WHIG, Dec. 29, 1935; Map Missouri, 1834)

Source: Elliott, Katherine. "Place Names of Six Northeast 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 511 square miles (1,320 km2), of which 505 square miles (1,310 km2) is land and 5.8 square miles (15 km2) (1.1%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Clark County (north)
  • Hancock County, Illinois (northeast)
  • Adams County, Illinois (southeast)
  • Marion County (south)
  • Shelby County (southwest)
  • Knox County (west)


Public schools

Canton R-V School District - Canton
Lewis County C-1 School District - Ewing

Private schools

Cedar Falls School - Canton (K-12) - Nonsectarian


Culver-Stockton College - Canton - A private, four-year Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) university.

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