Modena was originally called Madisonville, and under the latter name was platted in 1856. A post office called Modena was established in 1858, and remained in operation until 1971. The present name most likely is a transfer from Mòdena, Italy.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Modena, Missouri
- "Mercer County Place Names, 1928–1945". The State Historical Society of Missouri. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
- "Post Offices". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
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