Original Courthouse built in 1901, destroyed by a fire in 1997
History denotes that in 1540 Hernando De Soto penetrated to the Arkansas River and perhaps well into Southeast Missouri, populated only by various Indian tribes. Under the pressure of a constantly advancing white immigration, the Indians were forced to retreat further westward to survive.
The entire area of Southeast Missouri was noted for its level swampy lowlands, subject to the overflow of the Mississippi River during periods of excessively heavy rainfall.
Virgin forests attracted the timber barons who demanded the forests. Following the clearing of the land, levees were built and drainage districts were formed. As hundreds of miles of levees and dikes were constructed within the drainage districts, thousands of acres of land were reclaimed for agriculture use. The reclaimed land, was made especially rich by centuries of floods from the Mississippi River, was excellent farm land for corn, wheat, cotton, and later soybeans.
Mississippi County is located in what was formerly known as "Tywappity Bottom", a vast area bordered by the Scott County Hills on the north, St. James Bayou on the south, the Mississippi River on the east and Little River on the west.
By 1820 settlements had been made in most of the present counties of Southeast Missouri. The settlers, largely farmers, came from Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, in search for fertile and cheap land which they found around Charleston.
The site of the present City of Charleston was originally entered in 1830. In 1837, a person by the name of Thankful Randol sold Joseph Moore 22 1/2 acres of land and the City of Charleston was immediately laid out. Its original boundary was 12 blocks - four north and south and three east and west. The Original Plat was filed on May 20, 1837. An act to incorporate the City of Charleston, Missouri, in the County of Mississippi, was enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri on March 25, 1872.
Mississippi County is a culmination of old southern style with the 21st century, computer-age industry.Remnants of the county’s history can been found in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, museums, Victorian homes, preserved wetlands, and even a pre-historic fortified village.
Mississippi County is located in the easternmost part of Missouri with the north, south and east of the county being surrounded by the Mississippi River thus making approximately 80 miles of river frontage.This southeastern county is also located at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers making it the gateway to the lower Mississippi River.Kentucky and Illinois are both connected with the eastern shore of Missouri on the western bank of the river.Due to the county’s location and the tremendous role that the river has played in the settlement and development of Mississippi County, it is not hard to understand why it was named after the “Father of Waters”.
The terrain is mostly flat and the soil is extremely fertile from years of river deposits making agriculture the county’s top source of industry.With a land area of 262,000 total acres and 240,000 of those acres in crop production it creates seemingly endless fields of corn, soybeans, wheat and other various crops that all benefit from the river enriched soil.Mississippi County possesses the largest average farm size in the state of Missouri helping rank it #1 in the state's soybean production.
On February 14, 1845 a legislative act helped create what we now know as Mississippi County.Mississippi County was developed from the southern part of Scott County and Charleston was designated the county seat.In addition to Charleston there are six other incorporated cities in Mississippi County they are; Anniston, Bertrand, East Prairie, Pinhook, Wyatt, and Wilson City the two largest being Charleston and East Prairie.
Charleston, the county seat, is known for its beautiful homes and colorful gardens. The Mississippi County Historical Society Museum is located in a Victorian Era home, the Moore House. This home displays many important pieces of the county’s history such as periodic furniture, documents, and other historical artifacts. Charleston is also known as the home of former Missouri Governor Warren E. Hearnes, a museum dedicated to all of his accomplishments as Governor is located in the Charleston downtown area. Charleston has also become known for its annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival which is held every April.Spring in Charleston is a photo opportunity for any local resident or visitor to the area. As the lush lawns and gardens, looking as though the bright colors were hand painted, begin to blossom you can’t help but feel the excitement of the festival in the air. During the 4-day festival buses come from miles around carrying eager visitors ready to take the grand tour and share in the special planned events such as park activities, a carnival, delicious food, a 5-K race, various musical entertainment, horse drawn carriage rides, and a candlelight walk sure to be a maker of memories with family and friends. Every October the town hosts the annual "Battle of the Bands", area high school bands arrive to compete in parade and field performances all with eyes for the coveted first place position. In December the annual downtown Christmas parade kicks off the awaited holiday season.
East Prairie is home to the annual Fourth of July/Sweet Corn Festival.This celebration commemorates the birth of our nation and the local sweet corn harvest.Downtown East Prairie comes alive with family filled activities such as; a parade, games, various musical entertainment, bar-b-que, and fireworks.Another added event to this festival is the Tour de Corn that in recent years has become quite the attraction for hundreds of cyclists traveling from miles around.The ride is made up of many scenic, less-traveled highways located in Mississippi County.There are three different points as to which a cyclist may travel; a beginners 15 miles, a proficient riders 30 miles, for the novice cyclist a 60 mile ride and for the die hard cyclist a 100 mile route; all complete with many stops to enjoy delicious sweet corn and to receive much needed water. December marks another annual town celebration and that is "A Country Christmas Celebration". Each year the Christmas celebration hosts a parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, community caroling service and a community concert that is certain to be enjoyed by all. East Prairie also is home to three museums, the Historical Museum of Mississippi County, the Cotton Belt Caboose Museum, and the East Prairie Alumni Museum.
We invite you to come visit Mississippi County and take part in all we have to offer and to "Come Experience Life in Small-Town America". For additional information, including lodging, please contact the Charleston Chamber of Commerce at (573)-683-6509 or the East Prairie Chamber of Commerce at (573)-649-5243.
Website Designed By Emily Pullen. To contact Emily or to have an event added to the Bulletin Board please contact her at: email@example.com