De Soto, Missouri

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De Soto, Missouri
City
Location of De Soto, Missouri
Location of De Soto, Missouri
Coordinates: 38°8′26″N 90°33′27″W / 38.14056°N 90.55750°W / 38.14056; -90.55750Coordinates: 38°8′26″N 90°33′27″W / 38.14056°N 90.55750°W / 38.14056; -90.55750
Country United States
State Missouri
County Jefferson
Incorporated 1869
Area[1]
 • Total 4.30 sq mi (11.14 km2)
 • Land 4.30 sq mi (11.14 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[2] 503 ft (153 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 6,400
 • Estimate (2012[4]) 6,424
 • Density 1,488.4/sq mi (574.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 63020
Area code(s) 636
FIPS code 29-19252[5]
GNIS feature ID 0716761[6]

De Soto is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 6,400 at the 2010 census. The Van Metre family were first to settle in 1803 .The town was organized in 1857 and is named for the explorer Hernando De Soto, who claimed the Louisiana Territory for Spain.[7] De Soto was the city closest to the mean center of U.S. population in 1980. The city celebrated its Bicentennial in 2003. The city made national news on and after May 6, 2003, when straightline winds and a tornado struck.

Geography[edit]

De Soto is located at 38°08′26″N 90°33′27″W / 38.140481°N 90.557585°W / 38.140481; -90.557585.[8] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.30 square miles (11.14 km2), all of it land.[1]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 6,400 people, 2,629 households, and 1,633 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,488.4 inhabitants per square mile (574.7 /km2). There were 2,927 housing units at an average density of 680.7 per square mile (262.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.8% White, 1.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 2,629 households of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.9% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the city was 36.8 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26% were from 25 to 44; 24.2% were from 45 to 64; and 16.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 6,375 people, 2,544 households, and 1,656 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,673.6 people per square mile (646.0/km2). There were 2,741 housing units at an average density of 719.6 per square mile (277.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.71% White, 1.71% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

There were 2,544 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,725, and the median income for a family was $37,486. Males had a median income of $33,163 versus $20,039 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,971. About 11.4% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Incorporated in 1869, the City of De Soto is a third-class city with a population of 6,375 which utilizes the council-manager form of government.

De Soto is located in the southeastern part of Missouri, approximately 45 miles south of St. Louis. De Soto is in Jefferson County, which is one of the fastest growing counties in Missouri.

De Soto was part of the Louisiana Territory and was transferred from France to Spain and back to France again, and in 1803 was sold to the United States. During that same year, Isaac Van Metre came to the place that was later named De Soto and erected a cabin. A marker now stands to commemorate the first log cabin built in De Soto.

In September 1859, the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad reached DeSoto and built a depot, later constructing a railroad car repair shop and roundhouse, among other faciliites. The Iron Mountain was acquired by the Missouri Pacific railroad in 1881, and the track, the car shops, etc. were operated by the Missouri Pacific as a part of their "DeSoto Subdivision" line until the Missouri Pacific was merged into the Union Pacific in 1982. Today, the train station, roundhouse, and much of the past railroad history is long gone, although the car shops are still in operation, the largest such facility on the Union Pacific, and the remains of the old turntable still exist.

The Ron D. White film Justice Ninja Style was shot in De Soto in 1986.

The city is known as "Fountain City" because of the numerous artesian wells. Water from these wells and springs was bottled and shipped by tank car to the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis.[9]

Tornado Activity[edit]

On 12/21/1967, a category F4 tornado 16.8 miles away from the city center killed 3 people and injured 52 people and caused between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in damages.[10]

On 6/22/1969, a category F4 (max. wind speeds 207-260 mph) tornado 13.5 miles away from the De Soto city center killed 2 people and injured 22 people and caused between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in damages.[11]

On 4/22/1981, a tornado destroyed the Joachim Savings & Loan, the offices of the Republic and Press newspaper, and a tire store. One person was killed in the Savings & Loan.[12]

On May 6, 2003 around 3:45pm, a tornado outbreak broke in Kansas, Missouri & Tennessee. At 5:14pm, a tornado touched-down 2 miles northwest of De Soto. 14 minutes later, the tornado sirens went off inside Jefferson County. The tornado hit De Soto as an EF-3, causing $12,800,000 in damage. The tornado destroyed the Junior High gymnasium, caused significant damage to the High School and Vineland Elementary, destroyed 58 houses & a local grocery store. It injured 23 and killed 9 inside De Soto.[13]

Economy[edit]

The local economy is fueled by Union Pacific Railroad which operates a car repair shop on the east side of Main Street. Wal Mart, and De Soto School District #73 are the largest employers.

Education[edit]

Public schools are run by the De Soto School District #73: De Soto High School, De Soto Junior High, Vineland Elementary, Athena Elementary.

St. Rose of Lima School is the only private school in town ran by St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

The closest institution of higher education is in Hillsboro, Missouri at Jefferson College.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]