Reynolds County, Missouri

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Reynolds County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Reynolds County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded February 25, 1845
Named for Thomas Reynolds
Seat Centerville
Largest city Ellington
Area
 • Total 814.41 sq mi (2,109 km2)
 • Land 811.20 sq mi (2,101 km2)
 • Water 3.21 sq mi (8 km2), 0.39%
Population
 • (2010) 6,696
 • Density 8/sq mi (3/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Reynolds County is a county located in the Ozark Foothills Region in the Lead Belt of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,696.[1] Its county seat is Centerville.[2] The county was officially organized on February 25, 1845, and was named in honor of former Governor of Missouri Thomas Reynolds.[3]

The county is home to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, a popular tourist attraction in the state of Missouri.

History[edit]

Reynolds County was officially organized on February 25, 1845. It is still an area of rugged beauty near the geologic center of the Ozark Highland. Reynolds County was formerly part of Ripley County which was formed in 1831 and part of Wayne County which was formed in 1818. It was also previously part of Washington County and part of Ste. Genevieve County.

The Reynolds County Courthouse has burned twice. The first time was in December 1863 when the Confederate army burned it. A new courthouse was built in the fall of 1867 on the same foundation as the previous one. This courthouse was burned in late November 1871. Both times all records were destroyed. Temporary quarters again burned May 27, 1872, while a new "fireproof" courthouse was being built.

Education[edit]

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Reynolds County, 65.2% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 7.5% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools[edit]

Religion[edit]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Reynolds County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Reynolds County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (78.80%), Baptist Missionary Association of America (8.24%), and Methodists (4.24%).

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 814.41 square miles (2,109.3 km2), of which 811.20 square miles (2,101.0 km2) (or 99.61%) is land and 3.21 square miles (8.3 km2) (or 0.39%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,849
1860 3,173 71.6%
1870 3,756 18.4%
1880 5,722 52.3%
1890 6,803 18.9%
1900 8,161 20.0%
1910 9,592 17.5%
1920 10,106 5.4%
1930 8,923 −11.7%
1940 9,370 5.0%
1950 6,918 −26.2%
1960 5,161 −25.4%
1970 6,106 18.3%
1980 7,230 18.4%
1990 6,661 −7.9%
2000 6,689 0.4%
2010 6,696 0.1%
Est. 2012 6,667 −0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 6,689 people, 2,721 households, and 1,915 families residing in the county. The population density was 8 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 3,759 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.65% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Approximately 0.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Reynolds County were 37.6% American, 12.1% Irish, 11.6% German, and 11.4% English, according to Census 2000.

There were 2,721 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.20% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 27.90% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 101.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,546, and the median income for a family was $37,891. Males had a median income of $26,753 versus $18,322 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,847. About 16.10% of families and 20.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.90% of those under age 18 and 15.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]

Politics[edit]

Local[edit]

The Democratic Party completely controls politics at the local level in Reynolds. Democrats hold every elected position in the county.

Reynolds County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Rick Parker Democratic
Circuit Clerk Randy L. Cowin Democratic
County Clerk Mike Harper Democratic
Collector Cindy Jenkins Democratic
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Joe Loyd Democratic
Commissioner
(District 1)
Doug Warren Democratic
Commissioner
(District 2)
Wayne Henson Democratic
Coroner Jeffrey N. McSpadden Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Robert A. Johnson Democratic
Public Administrator Mallory Fox Democratic
Recorder Myra Turner Democratic
Sheriff Tom Volner Democratic
Treasurer Wanda Corder Democratic

State[edit]

Reynolds County is divided into two legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives, both of which are held by Republicans.

  • District 150 – Currently represented by Jason T. Smith (R-Salem) and consists of the extreme northwestern parts of the county and includes the town of Bunker.
Missouri House of Representatives - District 150 - Reynolds County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jason T. Smith* 44 100.00 +38.46
  • District 152 – Currently represented by Paul Fitzwater (R-Potosi) and consists of most of the entire county and includes Ellington, Lesterville and Centerville.
Missouri House of Representatives - District 152 - Reynolds County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Paul Fitzwater 1,259 52.02 +28.63
Democratic Shane Van Steenis 1,161 47.98 -26.10

All of Reynolds County is a part of Missouri's 3rd District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by State Senator Kevin Engler (R-Farmington). In 2008, Engler defeated Democrat Dennis Riche 58.72-41.28 percent in the district. The 3rd Senatorial District consists of Carter, Iron, Reynolds, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve and Washington counties as well as parts of Jefferson County.

Missouri Senate - District 3 - Reynolds County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kevin Engler 1,942 60.29
Democratic Dennis Riche 1,279 39.71
Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 39.43% 1,239 57.13% 1,795 3.44% 108
2008 37.73% 1,223 58.65% 1,901 3.61% 117
2004 53.61% 1,746 45.13% 1,470 1.25% 41
2000 46.29% 1,416 48.38% 1,480 5.33% 163
1996 30.81% 886 66.93% 1,925 2.26% 65
1992 32.39% 1,034 67.61% 2,158 0.00% 0
1988 50.45% 1,528 49.19% 1,490 0.36% 11
1984 39.46% 1,308 60.54% 2,007 0.00% 0
1980 43.02% 1,389 56.89% 1,837 0.09% 3
1976 39.71% 1,175 60.19% 1,781 0.10% 3
Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 60.31% 1,931 36.13% 1,157 3.56% 114
2008 54.21% 1,782 43.14% 1,418 2.65% 87
2004 56.36% 1,896 43.07% 1,449 0.57% 19
2000 56.28% 1,762 41.46% 1,298 2.26% 71
1996 30.51% 903 55.10% 1,631 14.39% 426
1992 23.34% 776 60.57% 2,014 16.00% 532
1988 38.29% 1,162 61.42% 1,864 0.30% 9
1984 39.63% 1,330 60.37% 2,026 0.00% 0
1980 39.11% 1,271 59.05% 1,919 1.85% 60
1976 29.01% 879 70.73% 2,143 0.26% 8

Federal[edit]

Reynolds County is included in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Jason T. Smith (R-Salem) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to finish out the remaining term of U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-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 – Reynolds County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 2,301 72.84 +15.31
Democratic Jack Rushin 789 24.98 -13.65
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 69 2.18 +0.26

Political Culture[edit]

At the presidential level, Reynolds County is fairly independent-leaning but unlike many rural counties, it has a tendency to lean Democratic. While George W. Bush carried Reynolds County in 2000 and 2004, the margins of victory were smaller than in many of the rural areas. Bill Clinton also carried Reynolds County both times in 1992 and 1996, and like most of the rural counties in Missouri, Reynolds County favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, although not as strongly as the rest of the rural areas.

Like most rural areas throughout Southeast Missouri, voters in Reynolds County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles but are more moderate or populist on economic issues, typical of the Dixiecrat philosophy. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Reynolds County with 85.41 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 Reynolds County with 54.15 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 Reynolds 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 Reynolds County with 77.50 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 75.94 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 Reynolds County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

  • Former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) received more votes, a total of 741, than any candidate from either party in Reynolds County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary. She also received more votes than the total number of votes cast in the entire Republican Primary in Reynolds County.
U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Reynolds County (2013)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jason T. Smith 451 64.99
Democratic Steve Hodges 209 30.12
Constitution Doug Enyart 25 3.60
Libertarian Bill Slantz 9 1.30
Reynolds County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 202 (32.90%)
Mike Huckabee 283 (46.09%)
Mitt Romney 93 (15.15%)
Ron Paul 25 (4.07%)
Reynolds County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton 741 (66.22%)
Barack Obama 277 (24.75%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 70 (6.26%)
Uncommitted 16 (1.43%)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1917). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 347. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°22′N 90°58′W / 37.36°N 90.97°W / 37.36; -90.97