The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, stretching for 2,341 miles from its source in Montana to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.
Laclede County, Missouri, is located in the central part of the state and has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The county was established on February 24, 1849, and was named after Pierre Laclede, the founder of St. Louis. The area was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware, who used the land for hunting and gathering.

In the early 1800s, European settlers began moving into the area, primarily attracted by the availability of land for farming and ranching. The first town in Laclede County, Lebanon, was founded in 1849 and became the county seat. The town grew as a result of its strategic location along the Osage Valley and Southern Kansas Railroad, which opened in 1871, facilitating transportation and trade in the region.

During the American Civil War, Laclede County was deeply divided, like many other parts of Missouri. While some residents supported the Union, others sympathized with the Confederacy. The county saw skirmishes and raids from both sides, causing significant disruptions to daily life. Following the war, the region gradually recovered, and agriculture became the backbone of the local economy, with crops like corn, wheat, and tobacco being cultivated.

In the 20th century, Laclede County saw further growth and development. The construction of Route 66 in the 1920s brought increased tourism and commerce to the area. The county also experienced industrial expansion, with the establishment of manufacturing plants and agricultural processing facilities. Today, Laclede County continues to thrive as a mix of rural and urban communities, with a strong emphasis on agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Its historical heritage is preserved and celebrated through various museums and events, offering visitors and residents a glimpse into its past.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Laclede County, Missouri.

  • 1808 - Laclede County is established on February 24.
  • 1825 - The settlement of Decatur is founded.
  • 1849 - Lebanon becomes the county seat.
  • 1861-1865 - Laclede County is affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1959 - The Gasconade River Bridge, a historic landmark, is constructed.
  • 1960 - Bennett Spring State Park is established.
  • 1976 - The Laclede County Historical Society is founded.
  • 1995 - The Route 66 Museum is opened in Lebanon.
  • 2008 - Laclede County celebrates its bicentennial.