|Motto: "Friendly People. Friendly Place."|
Location of Lebanon, Missouri
|• Mayor||Lyle Anderson|
|• Total||14.72 sq mi (38.12 km2)|
|• Land||14.63 sq mi (37.89 km2)|
|• Water||0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)|
|Elevation ||1,265 ft (386 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||14,543|
|• Density||989.3/sq mi (382.0/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0720871|
Lebanon is a city in Laclede County, Missouri, United States. The population was 14,474 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Laclede County. The Lebanon Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Laclede County.
Lebanon is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.72 square miles (38.12 km2), of which, 14.63 square miles (37.89 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.(37.678203, -92.661694).
Lebanon is part of the historic U.S. Route 66 in Missouri and has hosted tourism-related businesses such as the Munger-Moss Motel (still extant) and Wrink's Market (closed 2009, its founder Glen Wrinkle deceased 2007). Lebanon is also home to the Headquarters of Route 66 Sodas. Interstate 44 in Missouri has bypassed U.S. Route 66 in the area; the two roads follow closely parallel paths except in the city itself.
As of the census of 2010, there were 14,474 people, 5,980 households, and 3,745 families residing in the city. The population density was 989.3 inhabitants per square mile (382.0 /km2). There were 6,728 housing units at an average density of 459.9 per square mile (177.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.1% White, 1.3% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.
There were 5,980 households of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.94.
The median age in the city was 35.4 years. 25.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.5% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,155 people, 5,132 households, and 3,181 families residing in the city. The population density was 891.9 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 5,745 housing units at an average density of 421.6 per square mile (162.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.99% White, 0.90% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population.
There were 5,132 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,668, and the median income for a family was $36,509. Males had a median income of $27,657 versus $17,509 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,636. About 12.3% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.4% of those under age 18 and 18.0% of those age 65 or over.
Culture and history
Notable onetime residents include Walter Reed and novelist Harold Bell Wright, author of The Shepherd of the Hills. While in Lebanon, Wright wrote the scathing The Calling of Dan Matthews as an indictment of the general hypocrisy of the town of Lebanon. In the novel a young preacher becomes disgusted with the closed-mindedness of his parish. Several real-life sites are mentioned in the novel.
Senator Claire McCaskill spent time in Lebanon during her childhood, as it was her mother's hometown. Congressman Richard Parks Bland and Missouri Governor Phil M. Donnelly also called the town home. Dramatist Lanford Wilson was born in Lebanon in 1937. Architect Antoine Predock was born in Lebanon in 1936.
Perhaps the most distinctive piece in Lebanon’s history is the "magnetic" water. A worker digging a new city water well in 1889 found that his tools could pick up nails. The water had magnetized them. Bathing in the magnetic waters was said to have healing powers, and visitors came to bathe in them. The Gasconade Hotel was built to accommodate them. The frame structure could house up to 500 guests, who were transported from the depot via an electric railroad. Never a great success, the Gasconade burned after only 10 years. The high school yearbook is named The Magnet in honor of this point in the town's history.
The town now serves as a hub of boat manufacturing and farming cultures. In 1983, Governor Kit Bond dubbed Lebanon the "Aluminum Fishing Boat Capital of the World."
Starting in the 1980s, Lebanon had a longtime association with the Babe Ruth League youth baseball program. Lebanon served as the host city for seven Babe Ruth World Series held in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1996 and 2000.
The construction of the Kenneth E. Cowan Civic Center in 1998 allowed Lebanon to serve as a site for numerous conventions, shows and events. The facility is named for the late Mayor Kenneth Cowan, who proposed the construction of the center prior to his death in 1995. The center includes a 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) exhibition hall that hosts a diverse range of events, including concerts, ice shows, rodeos, conventions, graduations, indoor sporting events, trade shows and more. The hall can seat 6,500 people. The facility also includes a 675-seat theater, an indoor pool, a basketball court, multi-purpose court and a fitness/weight room.
Lebanon has had a longtime association with nearby Bennett Spring State Park, which is located 12 miles (19 km) west of the city on Highway 64. Each March, several thousand anglers from across the country travel to Lebanon and Bennett Spring for the opening of trout season.
Famous residents past and present include:
- Michael S. Hopkins, NASA astronaut and Air Force colonel. Michael was a flight engineer for NASA's expedition 37/38 and had a total of 12 hours and 58 minutes of EVA time. Michael was born in Lebanon, Missouri but grew up outside of Richland, Missouri.
Registered historic places
- Laclede County Jail (also known as Laclede County Museum)
- Lebanon I-44 Speedway
- Oley Scott Field's Centerfield Woods
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Lebanon city, Missouri". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 182.
- "Astronaut Bio". www.jsc.nasa.gov. NASA JSC. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- City of Lebanon official website
- Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce
- Historic maps of Lebanon in the Sanborn Maps of Missouri Collection at the University of Missouri