Saline County, Missouri

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Saline County, Missouri
Saline County Courthouse in Marshall
Map of Missouri highlighting Saline County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded November 25, 1820
Named for The salt springs in the region
Seat Marshall
Largest city Marshall
 • Total 767 sq mi (1,987 km2)
 • Land 756 sq mi (1,958 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (28 km2), 1.5%
 • (2010) 23,370
 • Density 31/sq mi (12/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Saline County is a county located along the Missouri River in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,370.[1] Its county seat is Marshall.[2] The county was established November 25, 1820, and named for the region's salt springs.

Settled primarily by migrants from the Upper South during the nineteenth century, this county was in the region bordering the Missouri River known as "Little Dixie". In the antebellum years it had plantations supported by enslaved workers. One-third of the county population was African American at the start of the American Civil War, but their proportion of the residents has declined dramatically to little more than five percent.

Saline County comprises the Marshall, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Historically Saline County was occupied for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of Missouri Native Americans. Saline County was organized by European-American settlers on November 25, 1820, and was named from the salinity of the springs found in the region.[3] After periods of conflict as settlers competed for resources and encroached on their territory, the local Native Americans, including the Osage nation, were forced by the US to relocate to reservations in Indian Territory, first in Kansas and then in Oklahoma.

Saline County was among several along the Missouri River that were settled primarily by migrants from the Upper South states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. The settlers quickly started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco; they had brought slave workers with them to central Missouri, or purchased them from slave traders. These counties settled by southerners became known as "Little Dixie." By the time of the Civil War, one-third of the county population was African American; most of them were enslaved laborers on major plantations, particularly for labor-intensive tobacco cultivation. In 1847 the state legislature had prohibited any African Americans from being educated.

After the war, freedmen and other residents had a hunger for education. The state's new constitution established public education for all citizens for the first time.[4] It was segregated, in keeping with local custom. Each township with 20 or more African-American students were supposed to establish a school for them, but rural areas lagged in the number of schools and jurisdictions underfunded those for blacks. By the early 20th century, Saline County had eighteen schools for black students.[5] The remaining black schools from the Jim Crow era have been studied by the State Historic Preservation Office and many are being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 767 square miles (1,990 km2), of which 756 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.5%) is water.[6] It is located along the Missouri River.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]


The largely rural county reached its peak of population in 1930, and has mostly declined since then. Mechanization of farms meant that fewer workers were needed. African Americans moved to cities for work and better social onditions.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 2,873
1840 5,258 83.0%
1850 8,843 68.2%
1860 14,699 66.2%
1870 21,672 47.4%
1880 29,911 38.0%
1890 33,762 12.9%
1900 33,703 −0.2%
1910 29,448 −12.6%
1920 28,817 −2.1%
1930 30,598 6.2%
1940 29,416 −3.9%
1950 26,694 −9.3%
1960 25,148 −5.8%
1970 24,633 −2.0%
1980 24,919 1.2%
1990 23,523 −5.6%
2000 23,756 1.0%
2010 23,370 −1.6%
Est. 2013 23,252 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

At the 2000 census,[11] there were 23,756 people, 9,015 households and 6,013 families residing in the county. The population density was 31 per square mile (12/km²). There were 10,019 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.03% White, 5.39% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.09% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. Approximately 4.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.7% were of German, 18.2% American, 9.8% English and 9.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 9,015 households of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.90% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.97.

In Age distribution was 24.30% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males.

The median household income was $32,743, and the median family income was $39,234. Males had a median income of $27,180 versus $19,431 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,132. About 10.50% of families and 13.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.90% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]




The Democratic Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Saline County. Democrats hold all but four of the elected positions in the county.

Saline County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Margaret Pond Democratic
Circuit Clerk Sharon D. Crawford Democratic
County Clerk Debbie Russell Democratic
Collector Grace E. Miles Democratic
Tom Stallings Republican
(District 1)
Charles Guthrie Democratic
(District 2)
Monte Fenner Democratic
Coroner William “Willie” Harlow Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Donald G. Stouffer Democratic
Public Administrator Paula J. Barr Democratic
Recorder Jamie Nichols Democratic
Sheriff Wally George Democratic
Surveyor Robert Robinson Independent
Treasurer Marty Smith Republican


Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 32.80% 3,195 56.87% 5,540 10.34% 1,007
2004 47.46% 4,691 51.30% 5,071 1.24% 123
2000 42.23% 3,945 56.14% 5,245 1.63% 152
1996 26.11% 2,315 71.45% 6,334 2.44% 216

Saline County is divided into two legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives with split representation.

  • District 26 – Joe Aull (D-Marshall). Consists of most of the entire county and included the communities of Arrow Rock, Gilliam, Grand Pass, Malta Bend, Marshall, Miami, Mount Leonard, Nelson, and Slater.
Missouri House of Representatives – District 26 – Saline County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joe Aull 5,326 100.00
  • District 118 – Stanley Cox (R-Sedalia). Consists of the communities of Blackburn, Emma, and Sweet Springs.
Missouri House of Representatives – District 118 – Saline County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Stanley Cox 513 60.50
Democratic Raymond F. Kinney 310 36.56
Constitution Curtis Shipman 25 2.95

All of Saline County is a part of Missouri’s 21st District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Bill Stouffer (R-Napton).

Missouri Senate - District 21 – Saline County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Stouffer 6,186 64.28
Democratic Joe Sadeghi 3,437 35.72


All of Saline County is included in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District and is currently represented by Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. House of Representatives – Missouri’s 4th Congressional District – Saline County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ike Skelton 4,231 60.94
Republican Vicky Hartzler 2,461 35.45
Libertarian Jason Michael Braun 168 2.42
Constitution Greg Cowan 83 1.20

Political culture[edit]

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 50.39% 4,962 47.85% 4,712 1.76% 174
2004 54.22% 5,389 45.06% 4,479 0.71% 71
2000 48.87% 4,572 49.01% 4,585 2.12% 198
1996 33.10% 2,931 53.82 4,765 13.08% 1,158

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)[edit]

  • Former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) received more votes, a total of 1,787, than any candidate from either party in Saline County during the 2008 presidential primary. She also received more votes individually than the entire number of votes cast in the Republican Primary in Saline County.
Saline County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 617 (38.30%)
Mike Huckabee 518 (32.15%)
Mitt Romney 392 (24.33%)
Ron Paul 51 (3.17%)
Saline County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton 1,787 (57.46%)
Barack Obama 1,177 (37.85%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 111 (3.57%)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1918). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 361. 
  4. ^ Robert Brigham, The Education of the Negro in Missouri, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri- Columbia, 1946, p. 83
  5. ^ Rural and Small Town Schools in Missouri, Dept. of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Officer, 2002, p. 10, accessed 15 March 2015
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Napton, William Barclay. Past and Present of Saline County Missouri. (1910) full text

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°08′N 93°12′W / 39.14°N 93.20°W / 39.14; -93.20