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.

New Madrid County, Missouri

New Madrid County Education, Geography, and HistoryNew Madrid County, Missouri Courthouse

New Madrid County is a county located in the Bootheel of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 18,956. The largest city and county seat is New Madrid, located on the northern side of the Kentucky Bend in the Mississippi River, where it has formed an oxbow around an exclave of Fulton County, Kentucky. This feature has also been known as New Madrid Bend or Madrid Bend, for the city.

The county was officially organized on October 1, 1812, and is named after Nuevo Madrid, a district located in the region. This area was under Spanish rule following France's cession of North American territory after being defeated by Britain in the Seven Years' War. The Spanish named the district after Madrid, the capital of Spain.

The county includes a large part of the New Madrid Fault that produced the 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes. This zone has the potential to produce more earthquakes in the future.

Etymology - Origin of New Madrid County Name

Named for Madrid, Spain.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of New Madrid

When the county of New Madrid was first organized in 1812, the boundaries were: On the north the south line of Cape Girardeau County; on the east the main channel of the Mississippi River; on the south a line commencing in the middle of the said river opposite the lower end of an island laid down in the navigator as No. 19: thence in a direct line to strike White River at the mouth of Red River to the western boundary of the Osage purchase, thence northward on said line to the south line of Cape Girardeau County. One of the five counties organized by Governor Benjamin Howard from Missouri Territory in 1812. Until 1818, when Wayne County (q.v.) was cut off from it, New Madrid County included all the counties here studied. Its name was derived from the old town of New Madrid, named in 1789 for the capital of Spain. (Eaton (44) V, p. 72; Houck (10) I, p. xxi; Haswell (11), p. 19) This territory was reduced in 1821 by the organization of Scott County; in 1829 by the organization of Stoddard County, and in 1851 to its present size by the organization of Pemiscot County. It was named for the principal town within its limits (cf. above). (Goodspeed 327-330, Douglass I 164-166)

Source: Hamlett, Mayme L. "Place Names Of Six Southeast 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 697 square miles (1,810 km2), of which 675 square miles (1,750 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (3.1%) is water.

The county is located on the Kentucky Bend of the Mississippi River, which forms a border of the county. This feature is also known as New Madrid Bend or Madrid Bend. This oxbow flows around an exclave of Fulton County, Kentucky. Scientists expect that eventually the river will cut a new channel across the narrow neck of the peninsula, which will gradually be attached by infill land to Missouri.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Scott County (north)
  • Mississippi County (northeast)
  • Fulton County, Kentucky (south and east across the Mississippi river)
  • Lake County, Tennessee (south across the river)
  • Pemiscot County (south)
  • Dunklin County (southwest)
  • Stoddard County (northwest)


Of adults 25 years of age and older in New Madrid County, 63.6% possess a high school diploma or higher while 9.6% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

Gideon School District 37 - Gideon
New Madrid County Central R-I School District - New Madrid
Portageville School District - Portageville
Risco R-II School District - Risco

Private schools

St. Eustachius Elementary School - Portageville - (PK-8) - Roman Catholic
Immaculate Conception School - New Madrid - (PK-8) - Roman Catholic

Alternative/vocational schools

New Madrid Bend Youth Center - New Madrid - (6-12) - Alternative
New Madrid R-I Technical Skills Center - New Madrid - (9-12) - Vocational/Technical

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