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The University of Missouri, located in Columbia, was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. It was founded in 1839 and has a long history of academic and athletic excellence.
Iron County, Missouri has a rich and varied history that begins with its establishment in 1857. The county was named after the vast iron ore deposits that were discovered there, which played a central role in shaping its development. The first iron ore mining operations began in the mid-1800s, attracting workers and settlers to the area. The mining industry flourished, and by the early 1900s, Iron County was one of the leading producers of iron ore in the United States.

As the mining industry grew, so did the population of Iron County. The county seat, Ironton, became a bustling town with numerous businesses and amenities. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s further facilitated the transportation of iron ore and other goods, contributing to the county's economic prosperity. However, the mining boom was not without its challenges, as labor disputes and safety concerns became prevalent during this time.

In the 20th century, the mining industry in Iron County faced a decline, mainly due to the exhaustion of the iron ore deposits and increasing competition from other regions. This led to the closure of several mines and a shift in the local economy. However, the county adapted and diversified its industries, focusing on agriculture, forestry, and tourism. The beautiful natural landscapes, including the Mark Twain National Forest and Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, attracted visitors and offered recreational opportunities.

Today, Iron County continues to thrive as a scenic and peaceful destination, attracting tourists who enjoy its abundant outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and hunting. The county also celebrates its mining heritage through various events and festivals. While the iron ore industry may no longer dominate the county's economy, the legacy of its mining history remains an integral part of Iron County's identity.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Iron County, Missouri.

  • 1764 - French explorers, led by Jean Baptiste Chouteau, make the first recorded European contact with the Native American tribes in the area that would become Iron County.
  • 1804 - The Lewis and Clark expedition passes through the region on their journey westward.
  • 1812 - As part of the Louisiana Purchase, the area falls under the control of the United States.
  • 1821 - Missouri becomes a state, and the region is included within the state's boundaries.
  • 1857 - Iron County is officially established, named after the vast iron deposits found in the area.
  • 1862-1865 - During the American Civil War, Iron County sees significant skirmishes and battles between Union and Confederate forces.
  • 1870 - The county's first railroad, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, is completed.
  • 1881 - The county courthouse, located in the town of Ironton, is completed.
  • 1927 - The completion of the Lake Wappapello Dam leads to the creation of Lake Wappapello, which becomes a popular recreational destination for locals and visitors.
  • 1960s - The mining of iron ore, which had been a significant industry in Iron County, begins to decline.
  • 2002 - The Arcadia Valley Academy, a historic school building in Pilot Knob, is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2018 - Iron County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary, marking 200 years since its establishment.