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.

Nodaway County, Missouri

Nodaway County Education, Geography, and HistoryNodaway County, Missouri Courthouse

Nodaway County is a county located in the northwest part of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 23,370. Its county seat is Maryville. The county was organized February 14, 1845, and is named for the Nodaway River. It is the largest in area of the counties added to Missouri in the 1836 Platte Purchase, and the fourth-largest county in Missouri.

Nodaway County comprises the Maryville, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Nodaway County Name

Named for the Nodaway River. Nodaway is an Indian name which has many meanings. A simple explanation of the word is that it signifies "placid" or "placid water." Others hold that the word means "snakes," and figuratively "aliens" or "enemies." Mr. Allen Read, in his study of Iowa place names gives the following explanation of the name of a town called Nodaway, and the river from Andres Historical Atlas (p. 420). "There was an Indian interpreter in that vicinity in the early days who the other Indians called "Not-a-way." Dr. Luther Bent, who had a contract to supply beef to them asked the Indian the reason for it, and he replied that it was because he was like a rattlesnake, vindictive, revengeful and cunning. The stream for which this town was named also had the same source for its name be said, because in the early days its borders had been infested with rattlesnakes." Mr. Read quotes from A.R. Fulton's RED MEN OF IOWA (p. 488) to show how the name Nodaway links up with Nishnebotna: "When the Indians came to the Nodaway, they found it narrow and shallow enough that they called it "Crossed-without-a-canoe" or Nodaway. For the Nishnebotna they found the opposite and said, "crossed-with-a-canoe." (Eaton, p. 198, 336 Ibid. HIST. OF NOD., p. 85; Read, W.A., p. 43-4 Ibid, Gannett, p. 225; Ibid Thwaites, Vol. 14, p. 37; Read, Allen W., p. 52)

Source: Ewing, Martha K. "Place Names In The Northwest Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1929.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Nodaway County

Organized in 1845 and named from the principal river, which crosses it near the western boundary. (Eaton, p. 336, 198; HIST. NODAWAY, p. 85; Session Laws, 1840, p. 32-33)

Source: Ewing, Martha K. "Place Names In The Northwest Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1929.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 878 square miles (2,270 km2), of which 877 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.1%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in Missouri by area. Iowa is located to the north of Nodaway County.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Page County, Iowa (northwest)
  • Taylor County, Iowa (north)
  • Worth County (northeast)
  • Gentry County (southeast)
  • Andrew County (south)
  • Holt County (southwest)
  • Atchison County (west)


Public schools

Jefferson C-123 School District - Conception Junction
Maryville R-II School District - Maryville
Nodaway-Holt R-VII School District - Graham
North Nodaway County R-VI School District - Hopkins
Northeast Nodaway County R-V School District - Ravenwood
South Nodaway County R-IV School District - Barnard
West Nodaway County R-I School District - Burlington Junction

Private schools

St. Gregory Barbarigo School - Maryville (K-09) - Roman Catholic


Northwest Missouri State University - Maryville - A public, four-year university.

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