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."
Vernon County, located in the southwest corner of Missouri, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware tribes. European settlers began arriving in the area in the early 1830s, leading to conflicts with the indigenous populations.

In 1838, during the infamous Trail of Tears, the area saw the forced removal of the Osage tribe from their lands. This tragic event significantly impacted the region and its history. Over the following years, more settlers arrived, and the area developed rapidly. In 1855, Vernon County was officially established, named after Miles Vernon, an early settler and state legislator.

During the American Civil War, Vernon County was deeply divided, reflecting the national conflict. The county had a significant number of both Union and Confederate supporters, leading to clashes and skirmishes throughout the war. The Battle of Drywood Creek in 1861 and the Battle of Moore's Mill in 1862 are notable events that took place within the county.

After the Civil War, Vernon County shifted its focus towards agriculture, mainly cultivating wheat, corn, and livestock. The railroad arrived in the 1860s, connecting the county to other major cities and markets, boosting economic growth. Over the years, the county developed a strong agricultural sector, with dairy farming, poultry production, and soybean cultivation becoming major industries.

Today, Vernon County continues to thrive as an agricultural hub. The county showcases its history through attractions such as the Vernon County Historical Society and the Bushwhacker Museum, preserving artifacts and stories of its past. With its rich heritage and vibrant rural community, Vernon County remains an important part of Missouri's history and culture.

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

  • 1804 - The area that would later become Vernon County is acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1820s - The first permanent white settlers begin arriving in the area.
  • 1835 - Vernon County is officially established as a county in the state of Missouri.
  • 1850s - The population of Vernon County grows significantly due to the California Gold Rush, as many settlers pass through the area on their way west.
  • 1861-1865 - Vernon County experiences turmoil during the American Civil War, with both Union and Confederate sympathizers in the area.
  • 1870 - The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Katy Railroad) is completed, providing a crucial transportation link for the county.
  • 1880s - Vernon County experiences an agricultural boom, with a focus on wheat, corn, and livestock farming.
  • 1904 - The Nevada State Hospital is established in Vernon County, providing mental health services to the region.
  • 1917-1918 - Vernon County contributes soldiers to the United States army during World War I.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression brings significant economic challenges to Vernon County, with many farmers facing foreclosure and unemployment.
  • 1950s-1960s - Vernon County experiences post-war growth, with the expansion of manufacturing industries and increased infrastructure development.
  • 2007 - The historic Bushwhacker Jail in Nevada, Vernon County, is added to the National Register of Historic Places.