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.

Pettis County, Missouri

Pettis County Education, Geography, and HistoryPettis County, Missouri Courthouse

Pettis County is a county located in the western portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 42,201. Its county seat is Sedalia. The county was organized January 24, 1833, and named after former US Representative Spencer Darwin Pettis.

Pettis County comprises the Sedalia, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Pettis County Name

Named for Spencer Pettis, Missouri congressman.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Pettis County

In the west-central part of the state; bounded on the north by Saline County, and on the west by Henry, Johnson, and Lafayette Counties. It was organized January 26, 1833, by severance effected from Cooper and Saline Counties, and until Benton County was organized January 3, 1835, included all the present territory of Benton and parts of the present Hickory and Camden Counties. On February 26, 1845, it was increased by twenty-five sq. mi. cut off from Benton County in its northwest corner, between Ionia City and Windsor. Since then its boundaries have remained unchanged. The name of Pettis County commemorates a remarkable individual and a sensational event in Missouri history. Spencer Darwin Pettis (1802-1831) was born in Culpeper, Virginia. He came to Missouri as a very young man, and practiced law at Fayette in Howard County. At the age of twenty-four he was appointed Secretary of State for Missouri, serving from 1826 to 1828. In 1829 he was elected as sole representative sent from the State to the lower house, preceded only by John Scott (1820-1826) and Edward Bates (1826-1828). During his first term in Congress, as a Democrat, he made himself extremely popular with his constituents, and was a warm friend of Senator Benton. In a heated campaign in 1830, he was reelected for a second term, but precipitated a quarrel that led to his death. As a supporter of President Andrew Jackson, he had been especially caustic and severe in his opposition to the National Bank, and in consequence was challenged to a duel by Major Thomas Biddle, brother of Nicholas Biddle, then president of the United States Bank. The duel was fought August 27, 1831, on the sand-bar opposite St. Louis, and it is said that the river was lined on both sides to witness it. Both combatants fell mortally wounded, and Pettis died the next day. Intense feeling was aroused throughout the State, and when the new county, which contained many of his ardent supporters, was created two years later, it was named in memory of the eloquent young martyr, as he was considered, to the Democratic cause. (HIST. PETTIS (1882) 208, & (1919) 74, 100; Campbell (1873); Conard (1901) 5, 96; Eaton; Gannett; Biog. Dir. Am. Congress)

Source: Overlay, Fauna R. "Place Names Of Five South Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1943.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 686 square miles (1,780 km2), of which 682 square miles (1,770 km2) is land and 4.0 square miles (10 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Saline County (north)
  • Cooper County (east)
  • Morgan County (southeast)
  • Benton County (south)
  • Henry County (southwest)
  • Johnson County (west)
  • Lafayette County (northwest)


Public schools

Green Ridge R-VIII School District - Green Ridge
La Monte R-IV School District - La Monte
Pettis County R-V School District - Hughesville
Pettis County R-XII School District - Sedalia
Sedalia School District No. 200 - Sedalia
Smithton R-VI School District - Smithton

Private schools

St. Paul' Lutheran School - Sedalia (PK-08) - Lutheran
Sedalia Seventh-day Adventist School - Sedalia (01-08) - Seventh-day Adventist
Show-Me Christian School - La Monte (K-12) - Nondenominational Christian
Applewood Christian School - Sedalia (K-12) - Nondenominational Christian
Sacred Heart Schools - Sedalia (K-12) - Roman Catholic
Sacred Heart Elementary School (K-06)
Sacred Heart High School (07-12)


State Fair Community College - Sedalia - A public, two-year/community college.

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