Mercer County, Missouri

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Mercer County
Mercer County Courthouse in downtown Princeton
Mercer County Courthouse in downtown Princeton
Map of Missouri highlighting Mercer County
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 40°25′N 93°34′W / 40.42°N 93.57°W / 40.42; -93.57
Country United States
State Missouri
FoundedFebruary 14, 1845
Named forJohn Francis Mercer
SeatPrinceton
Largest cityPrinceton
Area
 • Total455 sq mi (1,180 km2)
 • Land454 sq mi (1,180 km2)
 • Water1.3 sq mi (3 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total3,538
 • Estimate 
(2018)
3,641
 • Density7.8/sq mi (3.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district6th

Mercer County is a county located in the northwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,538.[1] making it the second-least populous county in Missouri. Its county seat is Princeton.[2] The county was organized February 14, 1845 and named for General John F. Mercer of the Revolutionary War.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Mercer County was organized February 14, 1845, from part of Grundy County.[3] It is named in honor of General Hugh Mercer, who fought and died in the American Revolutionary War. The first permanent settlements in what is now Mercer County were in 1837, when a few families from other parts of Missouri moved to the area. James Parsons, a Tennessee native, is generally considered to be the first permanent settler, in the spring of 1837.[4] The land was still included as part of Livingston County at that time and would remain so until 1841 when it would become part of the newly created Grundy County. Prior to 1837, the land was used by Native American tribes, primarily the Sac/Fox and Potawatomi, as prime hunting grounds. The occasional temporary hunting village would be established by the tribes; otherwise, the land was devoid of humans. The town of Princeton, named for the battle where General Mercer was killed, was established as the county seat in 1847.[5] The northern boundary of the county was in dispute for the first six years of its existence due to the Honey War, a bloodless territorial dispute between Missouri and Iowa. The boundary was 9.5 miles farther north than present day prior to an 1851 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Civil War[edit]

Mercer County, like its neighbor to the east Putnam County, was a staunch supporter of the Union. Most county residents had roots in northern U.S. states "back east" like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, and did not have the strong slave-holding tradition of other northern Missouri counties like Macon, Audrain, and Monroe (commonly referred to as Little Dixie), whose population largely emigrated from Southern states. In the 1860 U.S. Census, only 12 Mercer County families were listed as slave owners, with a combined total of 24 slaves.[6] Fewer than 20 Mercer County men fought for the Confederacy, while well over 1,000 volunteered for Union service. Among the units containing men from Mercer County were the 23rd, 27th and 35th Regiments, the 2nd and 12th Cavalry, the 5th Kansas Cavalry, and various smaller units of the Missouri State Militia.[7] The 44th Missouri Infantry (USA), consisting of men from Mercer, Grundy, Sullivan, and other northwest Missouri counties, served a pivotal role in the Union victory at the Battle of Franklin, TN, on November 30, 1864.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 455 square miles (1,180 km2), of which 454 square miles (1,180 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) (0.3%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18502,691
18609,300245.6%
187011,55724.3%
188014,67327.0%
189014,581−0.6%
190014,7060.9%
191012,335−16.1%
192011,281−8.5%
19309,350−17.1%
19408,766−6.2%
19507,235−17.5%
19605,750−20.5%
19704,910−14.6%
19804,685−4.6%
19903,723−20.5%
20003,7570.9%
20103,7850.7%
20203,538−6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2015[13]

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 3,785 people, 1,600 households, and 1,089 families residing in the county. The population density was 8 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 2,125 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.72% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. Approximately 0.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,600 households, out of which 28.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 6.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.90% were non-families. 29.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.00% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 24.20% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 22.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,640, and the median income for a family was $35,313. Males had a median income of $26,690 versus $19,814 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,140. About 10.20% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.30% of those under age 18 and 14.50% of those age 65 or over.

2020 Census[edit]

Mercer County Racial Composition[15]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 3,291 93%
Black or African American (NH) 0 0%
Native American (NH) 8 0.23%
Asian (NH) 0 0%
Pacific Islander (NH) 0 0%
Other/Mixed (NH) 84 2.37%
Hispanic or Latino 155 4.4%

Education[edit]

Public libraries[edit]

  • Mercer County Library[16]

Politics[edit]

Local[edit]

The Republican Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Mercer County. Republicans hold all of the elected positions in the county. In the 2020 presidential election, Mercer County had the highest Republican turnout in the state of Missouri with greater than 86% of the population voting for Donald Trump.

Mercer County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Diane Blunk Republican
Circuit Clerk Tammy Crouse Republican
County Clerk Judy Hamilton Republican
Collector Susan Moore Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Jerry Allen Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
Shane Grooms Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Zachary Martin Republican
Coroner Douglas B. Priest Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Horseman Republican
Public Administrator Kelli Judd Republican
Recorder Tammy Crouse Republican
Sheriff Steve Stockman Republican
Treasurer Susan Moore Republican

State[edit]

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 86.86% 1,533 11.56% 204 1.58% 28
2016 71.58% 1,224 26.61% 455 1.81% 31
2012 66.26% 1,090 30.58% 503 3.16% 52
2008 60.29% 1,043 35.84% 620 3.87% 67
2004 69.69% 1,237 29.24% 519 1.07% 19
2000 64.20% 1,144 34.01% 606 1.79% 32
1996 34.10% 516 64.24% 972 1.65% 25

All of Mercer County is a part of Missouri's 3rd District in the Missouri House of Representatives and is represented by Danny Busick (R-Newtown).

Missouri House of Representatives — District 3 — Mercer County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Nate Walker 1,510 100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 3 — Mercer County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Nate Walker 1,018 100.00% +24.34
Missouri House of Representatives — District 3 — Mercer County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Nate Walker 1,220 74.66%
Democratic Rebecca McClanahan 414 25.34%

All of Mercer County is a part of Missouri's 12th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby).

Missouri Senate — District 12 — Mercer County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Dan Hegeman 986 100.00%

Federal[edit]

U.S. Senate — Missouri — Mercer County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 1,231 72.37% +22.34
Democratic Jason Kander 396 23.28% -17.58
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 28 1.65% -7.46
Green Johnathan McFarland 18 1.06% +1.06
Constitution Fred Ryman 28 1.65% +1.65
U.S. Senate — Missouri — Mercer County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Todd Akin 813 50.03%
Democratic Claire McCaskill 664 40.86%
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 148 9.11%

All of Mercer County is included in Missouri's 6th Congressional District and is currently represented by Sam Graves (R-Tarkio) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 6th Congressional District — Mercer County (2016)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sam Graves 1,444 86.00% +4.89
Democratic David M. Blackwell 197 11.73% -2.66
Libertarian Russ Lee Monchil 30 1.79% -2.71
Green Mike Diel 8 0.48% +0.48
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri’s 6th Congressional District — Mercer County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sam Graves 992 81.11% +0.03
Democratic Bill Hedge 176 14.39% -2.24
Libertarian Russ Lee Monchil 55 4.50% +2.21
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 6th Congressional District — Mercer County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sam Graves 1,311 81.08%
Democratic Kyle Yarber 269 16.63%
Libertarian Russ Lee Monchil 37 2.29%
United States presidential election results for Mercer County, Missouri[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,541 86.62% 222 12.48% 16 0.90%
2016 1,486 85.16% 216 12.38% 43 2.46%
2012 1,255 75.83% 353 21.33% 47 2.84%
2008 1,169 66.88% 519 29.69% 60 3.43%
2004 1,207 66.43% 582 32.03% 28 1.54%
2000 1,250 67.86% 555 30.13% 37 2.01%
1996 660 41.75% 700 44.28% 221 13.98%
1992 626 33.86% 843 45.59% 380 20.55%
1988 875 49.89% 877 50.00% 2 0.11%
1984 1,229 58.41% 875 41.59% 0 0.00%
1980 1,266 58.67% 821 38.04% 71 3.29%
1976 1,025 46.44% 1,177 53.33% 5 0.23%
1972 1,592 72.40% 607 27.60% 0 0.00%
1968 1,406 60.76% 783 33.84% 125 5.40%
1964 1,040 44.75% 1,284 55.25% 0 0.00%
1960 2,354 67.26% 1,146 32.74% 0 0.00%
1956 2,035 64.73% 1,109 35.27% 0 0.00%
1952 2,482 72.40% 936 27.30% 10 0.29%
1948 1,595 61.23% 1,008 38.69% 2 0.08%
1944 2,249 68.40% 1,035 31.48% 4 0.12%
1940 2,787 66.98% 1,364 32.78% 10 0.24%
1936 2,757 59.87% 1,834 39.83% 14 0.30%
1932 1,357 46.78% 1,520 52.40% 24 0.83%
1928 2,869 75.54% 925 24.35% 4 0.11%
1924 2,508 62.54% 1,209 30.15% 293 7.31%
1920 3,170 74.17% 1,044 24.43% 60 1.40%
1916 1,733 61.13% 1,042 36.75% 60 2.12%
1912 995 34.88% 780 27.34% 1,078 37.78%
1908 1,909 68.13% 852 30.41% 41 1.46%
1904 1,896 68.18% 819 29.45% 66 2.37%
1900 1,973 62.79% 1,106 35.20% 63 2.01%
1896 1,958 57.72% 1,405 41.42% 29 0.85%
1892 1,643 55.75% 809 27.45% 495 16.80%
1888 1,921 62.92% 1,097 35.93% 35 1.15%

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Village[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other communities[edit]

Historical communities[edit]

Source[18]

Townships[edit]

Source[19]

  • Harrison
  • Lindley
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Medicine
  • Morgan
  • Ravanna
  • Somerset
  • Washington

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Missouri Secretary of State, Missouri History: What are the Origins of Missouri Counties?
  4. ^ A Directory of Towns, Villages and Hamlets of Mercer County, Missouri by Arthur Paul Mosler.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, Edited by Howard L. Conard Vol. IV, Pages 327-328. Published 1901
  6. ^ The Post-Telegraph newspaper, Mercer, Missouri. April 1960.
  7. ^ Rogers' Souvenir History of Mercer County, by W.B. Rogers. 714 pages. Published 1911.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Mercer County, Missouri".
  16. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Mercer County Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  18. ^ USGenWeb: GNIS Query Results, Mercer County, Missouri
  19. ^ USGenWeb Project, Mercer County, Missouri

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°25′N 93°34′W / 40.42°N 93.57°W / 40.42; -93.57