Wright County, Missouri
|Wright County, Missouri|
Location in the state of Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
|Founded||January 29, 1841|
|Named for||Silas Wright|
|Largest city||Mountain Grove|
|• Total||683.18 sq mi (1,769 km2)|
|• Land||682.13 sq mi (1,767 km2)|
|• Water||1.05 sq mi (3 km2), 0.15%|
|• Density||28/sq mi (10.65/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Wright County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,815. Its county seat is Hartville. The county was officially organized on January 29, 1841, and is named after Silas Wright (D-New York), a former Congressman, U.S. Senator and Governor of New York.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Cities and towns
- 5 Education
- 6 Religion
- 7 Politics
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Wright County is bordered by Laclede County on the north, Texas County on the east, Douglas County on the south, and Webster County on the west. It is in the part of the state considered Southwest Missouri. Formed from part of Pulaski County on January 29, 1841, Wright County was named in honor of Silas Wright, a prominent New York Democrat. The county seat of Hartville was probably named after Hartsville, Tennessee, from where many early settlers originally came. Wright County lost part of its land in 1845 to Texas County, in 1849 to Laclede, and in 1855 a big chunk to Webster.
It appears there were no Native American settlements early in the area, although the wandering Delawares, Shawnees, and Piankashaws did come through. Early white settlers were in the county in 1836 and were probably hunters. Earliest known settlers (by 1840) were Samuel Thompson, Robert Moore, John W. Burns, Jeff and Robert Montgomery, Benjamin Stephens, James Young, William Franklin, Isham Pool, and the Tuckers, according to Goodspeed.
The county has been devastated several times by storms. The tornado that swept through Southwest Missouri that devastated Webster County on April 18, 1880, also killed Polly and Sallie Scott and Mack, according to Goodspeed, in Wright County. A flood that occurred April 22–23, 1885, drowned James Woods and his son Yat. Another tornado on May 8, 1888, did considerable damage, as did a hailstorm near the same time that reportedly left hail 3-4 inches deep and in drifts 5–8 feet high, after falling for two hours. Goodspeed gives great accounts of these storms, as well as others.
A good-sized portion of the county is located in the Mark Twain National Forest. The Gasconade River and its tributaries flow through the county, as well allowing for great recreational opportunities.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 683.18 square miles (1,769.4 km2), of which 682.13 square miles (1,766.7 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 1.05 square miles (2.7 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.
|Webster County||Texas County|
National protected area
- Mark Twain National Forest (part)
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,955 people, 7,081 households, and 5,020 families residing in the county. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 7,957 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.61% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Approximately 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,081 households out of which 33.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the county the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $30,685, and the median income for a family was $37,139. Males had a median income of $24,876 versus $17,608 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,319. About 17.30% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.10% of those under age 18 and 17.60% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
- Hartville R-II School District - Hartville
- Grovespring Elementary School - Grovespring - (K-06)
- Hartville Elementary School (PK-06)
- Hartville High School (07-12)
- Mansfield R-IV School District - Mansfield
- Wilder Elementary School (PK-05)
- Mansfield Jr. High School (06-08)
- Mansfield High School (09-12)
- Mountain Grove R-III School District - Mountain Grove
- Mountain Grove Elementary School (K-04)
- Mountain Grove Middle School (05-08)
- Mountain Grove High School (09-12)
- Norwood R-I School District - Norwood
- Norwood Elementary School (PK-04)
- Norwood Middle School (05-08)
- Norwood High School (09-12)
- Manes R-V School District - Manes
- Manes Elementary School (K-08)
- Mountain Grove Christian Academy - Mountain Grove - (PK-12) - Non-denominational Christian
- Liberty Faith Christian Academy - Norwood - (K-12) - Non-denominational Christian
Alternative & Vocational Schools
- Ozark Mountain Technical Center - Mountain Grove - (09-12) - Vocational/Technical
- Ozark Regional Juvenile Detention Center - Mountain Grove - (05-12) - Juvenile Hall
- Skyview State School - Mountain Grove - (K-12) - A school for handicapped students and those with other special needs.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Wright County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Wright County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (49.92%), National Association of Free Will Baptists (19.84%), and Pentecostals (7.55%).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2014)|
The Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Wright County. Republicans hold every elected position in the county.
|Wright County, Missouri|
|Elected countywide officials|
|Circuit Clerk||Joe Chadwell||Republican|
|County Clerk||Nelda Masner||Republican|
|Prosecuting Attorney||Jason W. MacPherson||Republican|
|Public Administrator||John T. Miller||Republican|
|Missouri House of Representatives - District 144 - Wright County (2010)|
All of Wright County is a part of Missouri's 33rd District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by State Senator Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield). In 2008, Purgason defeated Democrat Eric Reeve 67.31-32.69 percent in the district. The 33rd Senatorial District consists of Camden, Howell, Laclede, Oregon, Shannon, Texas, and Wright counties.
|Missouri Senate - District 33 - Wright County (2008)|
|2012||61.13% 4,866||36.16% 2,878||2.71% 216|
|2008||49.57% 4,198||47.53% 4,025||2.90% 245|
|2004||71.37% 5,955||27.33% 2,280||1.30% 109|
|2000||62.56% 4,872||35.73% 2,783||1.71% 133|
|1996||62.03% 4,310||35.13% 2,441||2.84% 197|
|1992||56.36% 4,280||43.64% 3,314||0.00% 0|
|1988||74.68% 4,789||24.92% 1,598||0.41% 26|
|1984||74.30% 4,928||25.70% 1,705||0.00% 0|
|1980||60.21% 4,035||39.67% 2,659||0.12% 8|
|1976||61.66% 3,780||38.29% 2,347||0.05% 3|
Wright 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 – Wright County (2012)|
|Republican||Jo Ann Emerson||6,172||79.07||+7.77|
|U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Wright County (2013)|
|Republican||Jason T. Smith||1,412||80.41|
|2012||73.29% 5,830||24.55% 1,953||2.16% 172|
|2008||67.94% 5,784||30.03% 2,557||2.03% 173|
|2004||72.97% 6,090||26.22% 2,188||0.81% 68|
|2000||68.75% 5,391||28.70% 2,250||2.55% 200|
|1996||53.67% 3,754||32.59% 2,280||13.74% 961|
|1992||44.60% 3,427||36.62% 2,814||18.55% 1,425|
|1988||64.92% 4,151||34.91% 2,232||0.17% 11|
|1984||70.38% 4,687||29.62% 1,973||0.00% 0|
|1980||66.27% 4,451||32.49% 2,182||1.24% 83|
|1976||54.87% 3,397||44.92% 2,781||0.21% 13|
Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Wright County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Wright County in 2000 and 2004 by more than two-to-one margins, and like many other rural counties throughout Missouri, Wright County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Wright County in over 50 years.
Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Wright 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 Wright County with 86.28 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 Wright County with 64.84 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 Wright 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 Wright County with 70.99 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)
- Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 1,878, than any candidate from either party in Wright County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary. He also received more votes than the total number of votes cast in the entire Democratic Primary in Wright County. Wright County was Huckabee’s strongest county in Missouri.
|Wright County, Missouri|
|2008 Republican primary in Missouri|
|John McCain||746 (23.69%)|
|Mike Huckabee||1,878 (59.64%)|
|Mitt Romney||298 (9.46%)|
|Ron Paul||178 (5.65%)|
|Wright County, Missouri|
|2008 Democratic primary in Missouri|
|Hillary Rodham Clinton||1,143 (69.48%)|
|Barack Obama||452 (27.48%)|
|John Edwards (withdrawn)||36 (2.19%)|
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Eaton, David Wolfe (1918). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 372.
- "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- "Wright. III. A S. county of Missouri". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties, Missouri (1889) full text
- Digitized 1930 Plat Book of Wright County from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books