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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."
Texas County is located in south-central Missouri and has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Prior to European colonization, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware tribes. Spanish explorers first entered the region in the mid-16th century, followed by French explorers in the late 17th century. However, it was the arrival of American settlers in the early 19th century that would shape the county's history.

In 1821, Texas County was officially established and named after the Republic of Texas, which gained independence from Mexico in 1836. The county's first permanent settlement, Houston, was founded soon after in 1838. The town was named after Sam Houston, a key figure in the Texas Revolution and later President of the Republic of Texas.

During the American Civil War, Texas County was divided between Confederate and Union sympathizers, leading to conflict and violence within the county. Guerrilla warfare and skirmishes were common, and the county suffered from the devastation of the war. After the war, the county slowly rebuilt its economy through agriculture, particularly in livestock farming and timber production.

In the 20th century, Texas County experienced economic growth with the introduction of the railroad in 1903, connecting the county to other parts of Missouri. The county also witnessed an influx of residents during periods of economic prosperity, especially in the 1960s with the construction of the Mark Twain National Forest. Today, Texas County remains largely rural with a population engaged in farming, forestry, and small-scale industries, preserving its rich history while also embracing modern developments.

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

  • 1843 - Texas County was established by the Missouri General Assembly.
  • 1861-1865 - During the American Civil War, Texas County experienced skirmishes and raids.
  • 1870 - Houston, the county seat, was officially incorporated.
  • 1892 - The St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad reached Houston, bringing economic growth.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression heavily impacted Texas County, causing economic hardships.
  • 1941-1945 - Many residents served in World War II, contributing to the war effort.
  • 1960s - The construction of several major highways enhanced connectivity in the county.
  • 2000s - Texas County saw population growth and increased tourism due to its natural beauty.