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The "Show-Me State" is Missouri's official nickname and is believed to have originated from a speech given by Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver in 1899. He said, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."
Lewis County, Missouri, named after explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Sac and Fox, who utilized the abundant resources of the land. In the early 19th century, Lewis County became part of the Louisiana Purchase and was subsequently settled by European immigrants.

The first European settler in the area was Joseph Robidoux, who established a trading post in 1799. The county was officially organized in 1833 and quickly became a center of economic activity. The fertile soil and proximity to the Mississippi River made Lewis County an ideal location for agriculture, with farming and livestock production becoming the primary industries.

During the mid-19th century, Lewis County experienced significant growth and development. The construction of railroads in the area brought an increase in commerce and transportation, further boosting the local economy. Additionally, the county's strategic location made it an important stop on the Underground Railroad, as it provided a path to freedom for enslaved people seeking refuge in the northern states.

The early 20th century brought further advancements to Lewis County, including the establishment of schools, hospitals, and other public amenities. The county also played a role in World War II, with many residents serving in the military and participating in the war effort on the home front. Today, Lewis County remains a primarily agricultural region, known for its scenic landscapes and close-knit communities that preserve the county's vibrant history.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lewis County, Missouri.

  • 1816: Lewis County, Missouri, is organized and named after Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • 1822: The first permanent settlement is established in Lewis County.
  • 1830: The county seat is established in Monticello.
  • 1834: The county courthouse is completed in Monticello.
  • 1851: The county seat is moved to Ewing.
  • 1861-1865: Lewis County is heavily affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1872: The Quincy, Missouri, and Pacific Railroad is completed, providing transportation and economic growth for the county.
  • 1942-1945: During World War II, Lewis County experiences a population boom due to the construction of the Saverton-Keokuk Dam and the influx of workers.
  • 1953: The Saverton-Keokuk Bridge is opened, connecting Lewis County to Iowa.
  • 1964: The county seat is moved to Monticello, where it remains today.