Rolla, Missouri

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Rolla, Missouri
City
Location of Rolla within County and State
Location of Rolla within County and State
Coordinates: 37°56′56″N 91°45′47″W / 37.94889°N 91.76306°W / 37.94889; -91.76306Coordinates: 37°56′56″N 91°45′47″W / 37.94889°N 91.76306°W / 37.94889; -91.76306
Country United States
State Missouri
County Phelps
Founded 1858
Area[1]
 • Total 11.85 sq mi (30.69 km2)
 • Land 11.83 sq mi (30.64 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 1,122 ft (342 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 19,559
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 19,789
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (640/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 65401, 65402, 65409
Area code(s) 573
FIPS code 29-62912[4]
GNIS feature ID 0751949[5]
Website rollacity.org

Rolla /ˈrɒlə/ is a city and county seat of Phelps County, Missouri, United States.[6] The population in the 2010 United States Census was 19,559.[7] Rolla is located approximately midway between St. Louis and Springfield along I-44.

It is the home of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, well known for its many engineering departments and computer science department.

The headquarters of the Mark Twain National Forest is located in Rolla. In addition, this is part of the Ozark Highlands American Viticultural Area, with vineyards established first by Italian immigrants to the area.

History[edit]

The first European-American settlers in Phelps County arrived in the early 19th century, working as farmers and iron workers along the local rivers, such as the Meramec, the Gasconade, and the Little Piney. In 1844, John Webber built the first house in what became the City of Rolla. Nine years later, railroad contractor Edmund Ward Bishop considered to be the founder of Rolla and settled in the area. The state officially established Rolla as a town in 1858.

Two stories account for how Rolla was named. Widely regarded as a folk legend, and acknowledged as such by the Phelps County Historical Society, comes from competition with neighboring Dillon, Missouri to be designated the county seat. When Rolla was made the county seat in 1861, the residents of Dillon, having lost a round, were allowed to choose the name of the new city and named it Rolla, after a good-for-nothing hunting dog.

The more widely accepted story came from a citizens' meeting about naming the town. Webber was said to prefer the name Hardscrabble (which was used to describe the soils in the region) and Bishop pushed for the name Phelps Center. New settlers from North Carolina voted to name the community after Raleigh their hometown but chose to spell the Missouri version phonetically.

With numerous settlers from the South, many residents of Rolla leaned toward the Confederacy during the American Civil War and the town was taken by Union forces in June 1861. They built two minor forts — Fort Wyman and Fort Dette — during their occupation.

For most of its history, Rolla has served as a transportation and trading center. It was the original terminus of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, colloquially known as the "Frisco Line". Today, the BNSF Railway directly runs through the town.

Rolla was also a regular stop along U.S. Route 66, as it is almost located exactly halfway between the larger cities of St. Louis and Springfield. Today, Interstate 44, U.S. Route 63, and Route 72 all run through Rolla.[8]

Geography[edit]

Rolla is located at 37°56′56″N 91°45′47″W / 37.948831°N 91.763048°W / 37.948831; -91.763048.[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.85 square miles (30.69 km2), of which, 11.83 square miles (30.64 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[1] Running through the city is the divide line that separates the vast Missouri watershed (via the Little Piney and the Gasconade) from the substantially smaller Meremec watershed (via the Bourbeuse).

Climate[edit]

Rolla has a mix of a humid subtropical and humid continental climate and a Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa".[10]

Climate data for Rolla
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 39
(4)
46
(8)
55
(13)
67
(19)
75
(24)
84
(29)
89
(32)
88
(31)
79
(26)
69
(21)
55
(13)
43
(6)
65.8
(18.8)
Average low °F (°C) 20
(−7)
25
(−4)
34
(1)
45
(7)
55
(13)
63
(17)
68
(20)
66
(19)
58
(14)
46
(8)
35
(2)
25
(−4)
45
(7.2)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.21
(56.1)
2.29
(58.2)
3.77
(95.8)
4.18
(106.2)
4.81
(122.2)
3.97
(100.8)
4.40
(111.8)
4.01
(101.9)
3.78
(96)
3.50
(88.9)
4.35
(110.5)
3.22
(81.8)
44.49
(1,130)
Source: [11]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 19,559 people, 7,574 households, and 3,765 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,653.3 inhabitants per square mile (638.3 /km2). There were 8,339 housing units at an average density of 704.9 per square mile (272.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.71% White, 4.11% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 5.70% Asian, 0.09% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.62% of the population.

There were 7,574 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 50.3% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 26.2 years. 18.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 29.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.7% were from 25 to 44; 17.1% were from 45 to 64; and 11.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 55.0% male and 45.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 16,367 people, 6,514 households, and 3,543 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,448.7 per square mile (559.2/km²). There were 7,221 housing units at an average density of 639.2 per square mile (246.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.2% White, 2.92% African American, 0.46% Native American, 4.6% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.

There were 6,514 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.6% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.1% under the age of 18, 25.3% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 112.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,479, and the median income for a family was $38,975. Males had a median income of $31,861 versus $19,625 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,916. About 13.8% of families and 22.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.3% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

Royal Canin, a major manufacturer of dog and cat food, operates in Rolla. Small-engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton operated a major plant in Rolla from 1996 to 2007.

Brewer Science, a nationwide manufacturer of semiconductors, is headquartered in Rolla.

Education[edit]

Rolla is home of the Rolla Bulldogs at Rolla High School.

Rolla is an important center for state and federal education and research in science and technology. It is the home of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, founded as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1870 and known as the University of Missouri–Rolla from 1964 through 2007. Missouri S&T, as it's now known, is well known for its engineering and computer science departments. In addition, the US Geological Survey operates a large regional facility with various centers: the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center III, the Missouri Water Science Center, the Mid-Continent Geographic Science Center, National Spatial Data Infrastructure Partnership Office Liaisons, and the Rolla Science Information and Library Services office.

Media[edit]

Rolla and surrounding communities are served by a daily newspaper, The Rolla Daily News. KTTR AM/FM and KZNN FM are the local commercial radio stations. KMST (FM) is the Public Radio station and KMNR FM is the student radio station of the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Notable places[edit]

The old Phelps County Courthouse
Phelps County Jail

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ "Dexter -- Data Extraction Tool". Missouri Census Data Center. University of Missouri. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  8. ^ [1], Rolla Chamber of Commerce, accessed 16 Jun 2008
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Rolla, Missouri
  11. ^ "Average weather for Rolla, Missouri". Weather.com. Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Missouri Governor Mel Eugene Carnahan". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ "McCASKILL, Claire, (1953 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Legends of Hockey — Wayne Dillion". 
  15. ^ "Legends of Hockey — Gary Dillon". 
  16. ^ "Partnerstädte". Sondershausen. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 

External links[edit]