Douglas County, Missouri

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Douglas County, Missouri
Douglas County Court House - Ava, MO.jpg
Douglas County courthouse in Ava
Map of Missouri highlighting Douglas County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded October 19, 1857
Named for Stephen A. Douglas
Seat Ava
Largest city Ava
Area
 • Total 814.60 sq mi (2,110 km2)
 • Land 814.53 sq mi (2,110 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0 km2), 0.01%
Population
 • (2010) 13,684
 • Density 16/sq mi (6/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Douglas County is a county located in the south-central portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,684.[1] The county seat and only incorporated community is Ava.[2] The county was officially organized on October 19, 1857,[3] and is named after U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas[4] (D-Illinois) and later Democratic presidential candidate.

History[edit]

Previously, the county seat was located at Arno, west of Ava. Prior to that, Vera Cruz (formerly called Red Bud) was the county seat. Vera Cruz is located on Bryant Creek, which flows through the middle of the county. The Civil War Battle of Clark's Mill took place near Vera Cruz on November 7, 1862 and resulted in a Confederate victory.[5] After the American Civil War, during a period of general chaos, a group from the western part of the county broke into the Arno courthouse and removed the records back to Vera Cruz. Later in 1871, a new town site was selected, present-day Ava, near the location of the former U.S. Civil War military Post Office, Militia Spring. The location of this new town seemed to satisfy most of the residents of Douglas County to be their point of county government.

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 814.60 square miles (2,109.8 km2), of which 814.53 square miles (2,109.6 km2) (or 99.99%) is land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) (or 0.01%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

List Of Highways[edit]

State Highways[edit]
Missouri Supplemental Routes[edit]
  • Missouri Supplemental Route A shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route B shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route C shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route K shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route N shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route P shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route T shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route W shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route Y shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route AB shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route BB shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route DD shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route EE shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route FF shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route JJ shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route NN shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route TT shield
  • Missouri Supplemental Route ZZ shield

National protected area[edit]

Religion[edit]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Douglas County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Douglas County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (22.95%), Church of the Nazarene (16.28%), and Mormons (13.70%).

Established in 1950, a Trappist monastery, Assumption Abbey, can be found nestled on 3,000 acres in the Ozark hills. An associated Friary, Our Lady of the Angels, is located nearby. Both facilities have overnight rooms available to be utilized by the public for a small fee in order to find a place of solace and quiet reflection.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,414
1870 3,915 62.2%
1880 7,753 98.0%
1890 14,111 82.0%
1900 16,802 19.1%
1910 16,664 −0.8%
1920 15,436 −7.4%
1930 13,959 −9.6%
1940 15,600 11.8%
1950 12,638 −19.0%
1960 9,653 −23.6%
1970 9,268 −4.0%
1980 11,594 25.1%
1990 11,876 2.4%
2000 13,084 10.2%
2010 13,684 4.6%
Est. 2012 13,585 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 13,084 people, 5,201 households, and 3,671 families residing in the county. The population density was 16 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 5,919 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.86% White, 0.11% Black or African American, 0.95% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. Approximately 0.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Douglas County are 31.3% American, 13.2% English, 12.3% German, and 9.7% Irish, according to Census 2000.

There were 5,201 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.00% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 24.50% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 17.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,335, and the median income for a family was $36,648. Males had a median income of $22,706 versus $17,060 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,710. About 12.90% of families and 17.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.80% of those under age 18 and 18.20% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

The county has only one incorporated town: Ava, the county seat. Also, a number of current and historic communities are present:[9][10]

  • Ann
  • Arden
  • Arno
  • Ava
  • Basher
  • Bertha
  • Blanche
  • Brushyknob
  • Bryant
  • Buckhart
  • Champion
  • Coldspring
  • Cross Roads

Education[edit]

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Douglas County, 69.7% possess a high school diploma or higher while 9.9% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools[edit]

Ava High School in Ava, Missouri

Private Schools[edit]

Politics[edit]

Local[edit]

The Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Douglas County. Republicans hold all of the elected positions in the county.

Douglas County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Alicia Miller-Degase Republican
Circuit Clerk Kim Hathcock Republican
County Clerk Karry Davis Republican
Collector Laura Stillings Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Larry Pueppke Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
Richard Mitchell Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Danny Dry Republican
Coroner Rick Miller Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Roger Wall Republican
Public Administrator Linda Coonts Republican
Recorder Tina Boyd Republican
Sheriff Chris Degase Republican
Surveyor Ray Riggs Republican
Treasurer Theresa Miller Republican

State[edit]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 59.43% 3,869 36.97% 2,407 3.59% 234
2008 45.27% 3,014 48.95% 3,259 5.78% 385
2004 70.08% 4,412 28.40% 1,788 1.52% 96
2000 63.53% 3,317 34.73% 1,813 1.74% 91
1996 61.03% 3,145 36.06% 1,858 2.91% 150
1992 57.14% 3,203 42.86% 2,403 0.00% 0
1988 74.63% 3,671 24.90% 1,225 0.47% 23
1984 75.00% 3,846 25.00% 1,282 0.00% 0
1980 60.76% 3,151 38.78% 2,011 0.46% 24
1976 63.51% 2,924 36.21% 1,667 0.28% 13
1972 67.00% 3,350 32.90% 1,645 0.10% 5
1968 59.75% 2,420 40.25% 1,630 0.00% 0
1964 58.64% 2,217 41.16% 1,551 0.00% 0
1960 73.68% 3,242 26.32% 1,158 0.00% 0

In the Missouri House of Representatives, all of Douglas County is a part of Missouri’s 155th District and is currently represented by Lyle Rowland, a Republican from Cedar Creek. Rowland was reelected to a second term in 2012 in the newly redrawn district.

In the Missouri Senate, all of Douglas County is a part of Missouri’s 33rd District and is currently represented by Republican Dan W. Brown of Caulfield. Cunningham ran unopposed in 2012 and was elected to his first term in the Missouri Senate to succeed fellow Republican Chuck Purgason of Caulfield. Purgason successfully served two terms/eight years in the Missouri Senate and was ineligible to seek a third term due to term limits.

Federal[edit]

Missouri's two U.S. Senators are Democrat Claire McCaskill of Kirkwood and Republican Roy Blunt of Strafford.

McCaskill was reelected to her second term in 2012 with 54.81 percent of the statewide vote over former Republican U.S. Representative W. Todd Akin of Town & Country and Libertarian Jonathan Dine of Riverside; Douglas County voters, however, supported Akin with just over 55 and a half percent of the vote.

U.S. Senate - Class I – Douglas County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican W. Todd Akin 3,498 53.55
Democratic Claire McCaskill 2,486 38.06
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 548 8.39

Blunt was elected to his first term in 2010 with 54.23 percent of the statewide vote over former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Libertarian Jonathan Dine of Riverside, and Constitutionalist Jerry Beck of Novelty; Douglas County voters backed Blunt with just under 67 and a half percent of the vote.

U.S. Senate - Class III – Douglas County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 3,522 67.41
Democratic Robin Carnahan 1,199 22.95
Constitution Jerry Beck 263 5.03
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 241 4.61

All of Douglas County is included in Missouri's 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Republican Jason T. Smith of Salem in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to complete the remaining term of former Republican U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau. Emerson announced her resignation a month after being reelected with over 70 percent of the vote in the district. She resigned to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 – Douglas County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 4,942 77.42 +11.12
Democratic Jack Rushin 1,116 17.48 -8.72
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 325 5.09 +1.52
U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Douglas County (2013)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jason T. Smith 1,011 75.22
Democratic Steve Hodges 245 18.23
Constitution Doug Enyart 66 4.91
Libertarian Bill Slantz 22 1.64

Political Culture[edit]

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 70.90% 4,649 26.08% 1,710 3.02% 198
2008 65.63% 4,405 31.88% 2,140 2.49% 167
2004 71.09% 4,498 27.52% 1,741 1.39% 88
2000 68.15% 3,599 29.27% 1,546 2.58% 136
1996 50.17% 2,601 33.64% 1,744 16.18% 839
1992 44.35% 2,569 36.71% 2,126 18.66% 1,081
1988 64.85% 3,225 34.89% 1,735 0.26% 13
1984 70.44% 3,662 29.56% 1,536 0.00% 0
1980 65.50% 3,440 31.93% 1,677 2.57% 135
1976 56.82% 2,652 42.45% 1,981 0.73% 34
1972 75.73% 3,773 24.27% 1,209 0.00% 0
1968 67.11% 2,836 23.14% 978 9.75% 412
1964 58.87% 2,280 41.13% 1,593 0.00% 0
1960 78.08% 3,611 21.92% 1,014 0.00% 0

Douglas County is, like most other counties located in the GOP bastion of Southwest Missouri, a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Douglas County in over 50 years. While statewide elections tend to be closer throughout the state, this is not the case in Douglas County, as no Democratic gubernatorial nominee had won the county in over 50 years until Governor Jay Nixon's narrow pluralistic win in 2008. Furthermore, with all local elected offices being held by Republicans, voters have kept the traditionally Republican dominance alive in Douglas County.

Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Douglas County traditionally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to strongly influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Douglas County with 85.78 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Douglas County with 59.36 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Douglas 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 Douglas County with 71.97 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)[edit]

In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary, voters in Douglas County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

  • Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 1,343, than any candidate from either party in Douglas County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primaries. He also received 16 more votes than the total number of votes cast in the entire Democratic Primary in Douglas County.
Douglas County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 516 (21.15%)
Mike Huckabee 1,343 (55.04%)
Mitt Romney 270 (11.07%)
Ron Paul 290 (12.09%)
Douglas County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton 827 (62.32%)
Barack Obama 454 (34.21%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 39 (2.94%)

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. 165. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 108. 
  5. ^ U.S. National Park Service CWSAC Battle Summary
  6. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Moser, Arthur Paul; A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets Past and Present of Douglas County, Missouri
  10. ^ Post Offices in Douglas County, MO

Further reading[edit]

  • Searching for Booger County - Ozark Folk Histories, Sandy Ray Chapin, Boogeyman Books (2002) ISBN 978-0-9668075-3-0
  • Baldknobbers - Vigilantes on the Ozarks Frontier, Mary Hartman and Elmo Ingenthron, Pelican Publishing (1988) ISBN 978-0-88289-683-0

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°56′N 92°30′W / 36.93°N 92.50°W / 36.93; -92.50