Historical Markers in
Monroe County, Missouri

The Gateway Arch, located in St. Louis, is the tallest arch in the world, standing 630 feet tall. It was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States and opened to the public in 1967.
Monroe County, Missouri, located in the heart of the United States, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1831. The land that comprises the county today was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and the Shawnee, who relied on the bountiful natural resources in the region.

The county was named after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, and was organized in 1831. It quickly became a center for agriculture with fertile soils and a favorable climate for farming. The Mississippi River, which borders Monroe County to the east, provided convenient transportation routes for trading and commerce.

During the mid-19th century, Monroe County played a significant role in the settling of the American West. It served as a major stopping point along the Santa Fe Trail, a historic trade route between Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Many settlers used Monroe County as a resting place before continuing their westward journey, leading to the establishment of several towns and settlements in the region.

The Civil War had a lasting impact on Monroe County. While the county was officially neutral, it experienced its fair share of conflict between Union and Confederate forces. The Battle of Moore's Mill, fought in July 1862, was one of the largest and bloodiest engagements in the county during the war. After the war, Monroe County slowly rebuilt its economy and infrastructure, shifting its focus back to agriculture.

Today, Monroe County remains an agricultural hub, known for its production of corn, soybeans, and livestock. Its historical significance is preserved through various museums and historic sites, such as the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site, celebrating the famous author's early life in nearby Florida, Missouri. Monroe County's rich history and vibrant agricultural community continue to shape its identity and contribute to its economic development.

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

  • 1819: Monroe County is established and named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.
  • 1821: The first settlement in the county is established by James C. Cauthorn.
  • 1824: The county seat is established in Paris.
  • 1826: The first courthouse is built in Paris.
  • 1829: The first post office is established in Paris.
  • 1835: The first school is opened in Paris.
  • 1849: The Missouri State Lunatic Asylum No. 2 is established in Paris.
  • 1861: The American Civil War begins, and Monroe County becomes a major battleground.
  • 1876: The Wabash Railroad reaches Monroe County, bringing increased economic opportunities.
  • 1896: The Missouri State Lunatic Asylum No. 2 is destroyed by fire.
  • 1919: The Paris Ranger Station is established in the Mark Twain National Forest.
  • 1930: The population of Monroe County reaches its peak at over 17,000 residents.
  • 1965: The Mark Twain Lake is completed, providing recreational opportunities for the county.
  • 1984: The Mark Twain State Park is established on the shores of Mark Twain Lake.
  • 2010: The population of Monroe County is 8,840.