Taney County, Missouri
|Founded||January 4, 1837|
|Named for||Roger B. Taney|
|• Total||652 sq mi (1,690 km2)|
|• Land||632 sq mi (1,640 km2)|
|• Water||19 sq mi (50 km2) 2.9%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||86/sq mi (33/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Taney County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 56,066. Its county seat is Forsyth. It is included in the Branson, Missouri, Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Taney County was officially organized on January 4, 1837, and named in honor of Roger Brooke Taney, the fifth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, best known for delivering the infamous majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford. However, unlike Roger B. Taney, who pronounced his name /ˈtɔːni/, the "Taney" in Taney County is generally pronounced /ˈteɪni/.
The county includes the popular tourist destinations Branson, Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes.
The first Taney County Courthouse was built on the mouth of Bull Creek at the confluence of the White River by early pioneers in 1837. Its use as a courthouse ended after Forsyth became the county seat; it was destroyed in a tornado in 1963.
The county's second courthouse, in Forsyth, was destroyed in a Civil War battle on July 22, 1861. The rebuilt courthouse was destroyed by fire on December 19, 1885. A third courthouse was removed in 1952 to permit the building of Bull Shoals Lake. The fourth, and present, courthouse was occupied on August 1, 1952. An addition was completed in 1991 after two years of construction.
In 1904, the White River Railway was extended through the rugged terrain of Stone and Taney counties. By then, both counties had for years had a sundown town policy, forbidding African Americans to live there.
In 2008, a New Taney County Judicial Center was built. That Judicial Center houses the courtrooms, the Circuit Clerk, and the County Jail. (https://www.taneycounty.org/index.php?section=history)
- Christian County (north)
- Douglas County (northeast)
- Ozark County (east)
- Marion County, Arkansas (southeast)
- Boone County, Arkansas (south)
- Carroll County, Arkansas (southwest)
- Stone County (west)
- U.S. Route 65
- U.S. Route 160
- Route 76
- Route 86
- Route 125
- Route 165
- Route 176
- Route 248
- Route 265
- Route 376
- Route 465 (decommissioned in early 2020, now part of MO-76)
National protected area
- Mark Twain National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 39,703 people, 16,158 households, and 11,052 families residing in the county. The population density was 24/km2 (63/mi2). There were 19,688 housing units at an average density of 12/km2 (31/mi2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. About 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Taney County were 20.8% German, 18.9% American, 12.4% Irish, and 12.3% English.
There were 16,158 households, out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.40% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,771, and the median income for a family was $47,664. Males had a median income of $25,431 versus $19,655 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,663. About 9.40% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Taney County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Taney County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (32.88%), Roman Catholics (12.36%), and Presbyterians (9.13%).
The Taney County Sheriff's Office and its jail are in Forsyth, which also has a police department.
Firefighting services are provided by Central Taney County Fire Protection District and Western Taney County Fire Protection District.
Colleges and universities
- Bradleyville R-I School District - Bradleyville
- Bradleyville Elementary School (PK-06)
- Bradleyville High School (07-12)
- Branson R-IV School District - Branson
- Branson Primary School (PK)
- Branson Buchanan Elementary (K-04)
- Branson Cedar Ridge Elementary (K-04)
- Branson Buchanan Intermediate (04-06)
- Branson Cedar Ridge Intermediate (04-06)
- Branson Jr. High School (07-08)
- Branson High School (09-12)
- Forsyth R-III School District - Forsyth
- Forsyth Elementary School (K-04)
- Forsyth Middle School (05-08)
- Forsyth High School (09-12)
- Hollister R-V School District - Hollister
- Hollister Elementary School (PK-04)
- Hollister Middle School (05-06)
- Riedgedale Elementary School
- Hollister Jr. High School (07-08)
- Hollister High School (09-12)
- Kirbyville R-VI School District - Kirbyville
- Kirbyville Elementary School (K-03)
- Kirbyville Middle School (04-08)
- Mark Twain R-VIII School District - Rueter
- Mark Twain Elementary School (K-08)
- Taneyville R-II School District - Taneyville
- Taneyville Elementary School (K-08)
- Trinity Christian Academy - Hollister - (PK-12) - Non-denominational Christian
- Riverview Bible Baptist Church School - Forsyth - (05-08) - Baptist
- School of the Ozarks - Point Lookout
Alternative and vocational schools
- Delmina Woods Youth Facility - Forsyth - (06-12) - Alternative/Other School
As of 2020, the Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Taney County. Republicans hold every elected position in the county. However, the Democratic Party previously controlled politics at the local level during the late 19th century and much of the first half of the 20th century.
|Taney County, Missouri|
|Elected countywide officials|
|Auditor||Rick C. Findley||Republican|
|Circuit Clerk||Beth Wyman||Republican|
|County Clerk||Donna Neeley||Republican|
|Sheila L. Wyatt||Republican|
|Prosecuting Attorney||William Duston||Republican|
|Public Administrator||Carol S. Davis||Republican|
|Recorder||Robert A. Dixon||Republican|
|2020||77.32% 20,221||20.35% 5,323||2.33% 609|
|2016||71.03% 16,579||25.67% 5,992||3.30% 770|
|2012||59.56% 12,761||37.67% 8,071||2.77% 593|
|2008||51.16% 10,903||46.31% 9,870||2.53% 540|
|2004||68.88% 13,207||29.91% 5,734||1.21% 233|
|2000||60.03% 9,003||37.30% 5,594||2.67% 400|
|1996||58.07% 7,516||38.89% 5,034||3.04% 394|
Taney County is divided into three legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives, all of which are held by Republicans.
- District 138 — Currently represented by Don Phillips (R-Kimberling City) and consists of a small part the southwestern section of the county.
- District 155 — Currently represented by Lyle Rowland (R-Cedar Creek) and consists of the eastern part of the county, including Cedar Creek, Forsyth, Kirbyville, Kissee Mills, Powersite, and Taneyville.
- District 156 — Currently represented by Jeffery Justus (R-Branson) and consists of most of the western part of the county, including Branson, Bull Creek, Hollister, Merriam Woods, Ridgedale, Rockaway Beach, and Table Rock.
|Libertarian||Benjamin T. Brixey||836||3.62%||-1.84|
Taney County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Taney County in 2000 and 2004 by more than two-to-one margins. Taney County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. The last time the Republican Party failed to carry Taney County was in 1860.
Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Taney 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 passed Taney County with 80.04 percent of the vote, and the state in general with 71 percent of support from voters, making Missouri 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 Taney County with 56.64 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 Taney 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 Taney County with 77.78 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)
In the 2008 presidential primary, voters in Taney County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.
- "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Engineering Conquest of the Ozarks: Construction of White River Railroad Through Mountainous Districts of Stone and Taney Counties". The St. Louis Republic. St. Louis, Missouri. February 21, 1904. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
Then came the contractors with their hundreds of horses, their powerful machines for moving and piling stone and earth, their great camp of men, Irishmen for foremen, Austrians, Italians and negroes, the last most woefully unwelcome in these two counties, where no negroes have been allowed to live for many years.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879). The American Cyclopædia. .
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Taney County Ambulance District earns financial reward". KY3. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Brosseau, Kadee. "Taney County paramedics honor local life-savers at Tuesday's open house". www.ky3.com. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Breeding, Marshall. "Forsyth Public Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Breeding, Marshall. "Taneyhills Community Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- Brandt, Maxwell; ‘A Few Lists of 2008 Election Results’
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Taney County, Missouri.|
- Taney County government's website
- Digitized 1930 Plat Book of Taney County Archived 2011-08-16 at the Wayback Machine from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books