Daviess County, Missouri

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This article is about the county in Missouri. For other uses, see Daviess County.
Daviess County, Missouri
Daviess-courthouse cropped.jpg
Daviess County Courthouse in Gallatin
Map of Missouri highlighting Daviess County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded December 29, 1836
Named for Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss
Seat Gallatin
Largest city Gallatin
Area
 • Total 569.07 sq mi (1,474 km2)
 • Land 566.97 sq mi (1,468 km2)
 • Water 2.11 sq mi (5 km2), 0.37
Population
 • (2010) 8,433
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Daviess County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,433.[1] Its county seat is Gallatin.[2] The county was organized December 29, 1836, from Ray County and named for Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, a soldier from Kentucky who was killed in 1811 at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the War of 1812.[3]

The county includes the town of Jamesport, which has the largest Amish community in Missouri.

History[edit]

According to Mormon founder Joseph Smith, Jr., Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in the central part of the county, was where Adam and Eve relocated after being banished from the Garden of Eden. According to LDS tradition, the site is to be a gathering spot prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith's revelation came in 1838, two years after the county was organized, and spurred in an influx of Mormon settlers. Non-Mormon residents feared they were going to lose control of the county and attempted to prevent Mormons from voting in the Gallatin election day battle. This was to be the first skirmish in the Mormon War, in which Missouri evicted the Mormons after arresting Joseph Smith and other leaders of the church.

Daviess County played a major role in the history of the outlaw James-Younger Gang. The first confirmed bank robbery involving Jesse James occurred on December 7, 1869 at the Daviess County Savings Association in Gallatin. John W. Sheets, the bank cashier, was killed in the process by Jesse James, who believed Sheets was Samuel P. Cox, who had killed James's bushwhacker colleague Bloody Bill Anderson during the American Civil War. On July 15, 1881, the gang was believed to have been responsible for the robbery of the Rock Island Line at Winston in which a conductor and passenger were killed.

After Jesse James was murdered in St. Joseph, Frank James surrendered in 1882 to face Daviess County charges in connection with the train robbery/murder as well as murder charges in the 1869 robbery. Frank James was tried from August 20-September 6, 1883. Interest was so intense that the trial was moved to the Gallatin Opera House to accommodate the crowds. James was found not guilty of involvement in both crimes. Charges were made that the jury was filled with Southern sympathizers who refused to convict one of their own.[1]

The Daviess County Savings Association and the Gallatin Opera House have since been torn down although the Winston Rock Island Line train station still stands and is used by the historical society.

Daviess County has one of only three Rotary Jails still in existence. Also known as the "Squirrel Cage Jail," [2] it is now a museum and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 569.07 square miles (1,473.9 km2), of which 566.97 square miles (1,468.4 km2) (or 99.63%) is land and 2.11 square miles (5.5 km2) (or 0.37%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,736
1850 5,298 93.6%
1860 9,606 81.3%
1870 14,410 50.0%
1880 19,145 32.9%
1890 20,456 6.8%
1900 21,325 4.2%
1910 17,605 −17.4%
1920 16,641 −5.5%
1930 14,424 −13.3%
1940 13,398 −7.1%
1950 11,180 −16.6%
1960 9,502 −15.0%
1970 8,420 −11.4%
1980 8,905 5.8%
1990 7,865 −11.7%
2000 8,016 1.9%
2010 8,433 5.2%
Est. 2012 8,239 −2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census of 2010,[6] there were 8,433 people, 3,214 households, and 2,489 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 4,199 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.02% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Approximately 1.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,214 households out of which 31.92% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.81% were married couples living together, 8.06% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.34% were non-families. 24.64% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.89% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 7.02% from 18 to 24, 21.81% from 25 to 44, 27.38% from 45 to 64, and 17.09% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,925, and the median income for a family was $48,839. Males had a median income of $33,882 versus $28,891 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,900. About 9.80% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.

Religion[edit]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2010), Daviess County is sometimes regarded as being on the northern edge of the Bible Belt, with evangelical Protestantism being the most predominant religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Daviess County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (30.78%), Disciples of Christ (9.12%), and Amish groups (7.07%).

Communities[edit]

Education[edit]

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Daviess County, 84.0% possess a high school diploma or higher, while 14.4% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools[edit]

  • Tri-County R-VII School District - Jamesport
    • Tri-County Elementary School (K-06)
    • Tri-County High School (07-12)

Private Schools[edit]

Politics[edit]

Local[edit]

The Democratic Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Daviess County. Democrats hold all but two of the elected positions in the county.

Daviess County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Betty Harmison Republican
Circuit Clerk Pam Howard Democratic
County Clerk Vicki Corwin Democratic
Collector Reta J. Rains Democratic
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Randy Sims Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
David Cox Democratic
Commissioner
(District 2)
Carl Carder Democratic
Coroner David W. McWilliams Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Andrea (Annie) Gibson Democratic
Public Administrator Linda S. Houghton Democratic
Recorder Georgia Maxwell Democratic
Sheriff Ben Becerra Democratic
Treasurer Reta J. Rains Democratic

State[edit]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 48.27% 1,693 48.10% 1,687 3.62% 127
2008 44.81% 1,683 52.42% 1,969 2.77% 104
2004 55.52% 2,091 42.96% 1,618 1.51% 57
2000 50.91% 1,768 46.18% 1,604 2.90% 101
1996 29.97% 1,006 67.86% 2,278 2.17% 73

All of Daviess County is a part of Missouri's 2nd District and is currently represented by Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany). Guernsey was re-elected in 2012 for the District 2 seat over challenger Jim Nash, an Independent.

Missouri House of Representatives – District 2 – Daviess County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Casey Guernsey 2,702 80.75 -19.25
Independent Jim Nash 644 19.25

All of Daviess County is a part of Missouri’s 12th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Brad Lager (R-Savannah). Lager will be unable to seek another term in 2014 due to term limits.

Missouri Senate - District 12 – Daviess County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Brad Lager 2,463 100.00

Federal[edit]

All of Daviess County is included in Missouri’s 6th Congressional District and is currently represented by Sam Graves (R-Tarkio) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Graves was re-elected to a seventh term in 2012 over Democratic challenger Kyle Yarber.

U.S. House of Representatives – Missouri’s 6th Congressional District – Daviess County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sam Graves 2,479 71.30 -2.73
Democratic Kyle Yarber 910 26.17 +0.20
Libertarian Russ Lee Monchil 88 2.53 +2.53

All of Daviess County, along with the rest of the state of Missouri, is represented in the U.S. Senate by Claire McCaskill (D-Kirkwood) and Roy Blunt (R-Strafford). McCaskill was elected to a second term in 2012 over Republican Congressman Todd Akin.

U.S. Senate - Class I - Daviess County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Claire McCaskill 1,651 47.12 +2.92
Republican Todd Akin 1,527 43.58 -6.39
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 326 9.30 +5.22

Blunt was elected in 2010 over Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

U.S. Senate - Class III - Daviess County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 1,750 61.58 -2.47
Democratic Robin Carnahan 848 29.84 -4.67
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 131 4.61 +3.89
Constitution Jerry Beck 113 3.98 +3.26

Political culture[edit]

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 64.98% 2,282 32.00% 1,124 3.02% 106
2008 59.77% 2,263 36.98% 1,400 3.25% 123
2004 61.97% 2,351 36.95% 1,402 1.09% 41
2000 57.56% 2,011 39.12% 1,367 3.32% 116
1996 39.40% 1,321 45.75% 1,534 14.85% 498

At the presidential level, Daviess County has become solidly Republican in recent years. Like many of the rural counties throughout Missouri, Daviess County strongly favored Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in 2012, and John McCain carried the county in 2008. George W. Bush carried the county easily in 2000 and 2004. Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential nominee to carry Daviess County in 1996 with a plurality of the vote, and a Democrat hasn't won majority support from the county's voters in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Like most rural areas throughout northwest Missouri, voters in Daviess County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to influence their Republican leanings, at least on the state and national levels. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly won in Daviess County with 79.58% of the vote. The initiative passed in the state with 71% support from voters. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Daviess County with 50.96% voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51% of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Daviess County's longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Daviess County with 68.25% of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99% voting in favor. (During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.)

Missouri Presidential Preference Primaries[edit]

2012[edit]

In the 2012 Missouri Republican Presidential Primary, voters in Daviess County supported former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), who finished first in the state at large, but eventually lost the nomination to former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts). Delegates to the state convention were chosen at a county caucus, which selected a delegation favoring Santorum.

2008[edit]

Daviess County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 236 (29.99%)
Mike Huckabee 216 (27.45%)
Mitt Romney 220 (27.95%)
Ron Paul 95 (12.07%)
Daviess County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton 534 (62.75%)
Barack Obama 283 (33.25%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 23 (2.70%)

Notable natives and residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 283. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′N 93°59′W / 39.96°N 93.99°W / 39.96; -93.99