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Southeast Missouri had a key role in the road to Missouri statehood in 1817-1821. The events leading to statehood, and some of the events, people, and lifeways in the area may be unfamiliar to many modern-day Missourians. Currently, Missouri is celebrating its Bicentennial, and this program aims to summarize the events leading to statehood, some of the factors affecting Missouri’s entry into the Union, and how people lived and worked during that time 200 years ago.Every Friday morning at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m. and Saturday morning at 8:18 a.m., Bill Eddleman highlights the people, places, ways of life, and local events in Southeast Missouri in 1821.The theme music for the show ("The Missouri Waltz") is provided by Old-Time Missouri Fiddler Charlie Walden, host of the podcast "Possum’s Big Fiddle Show."

MO Bicentennial Minutes: Formation of Scott and St. Francois Counties

Scott County 1821.jpg
Scott County 1821

The General Assembly formed a number of counties in the year of statehood. Among these were two designated in December 1821 in southeast Missouri: St. Francois and Scott.

St. Francois County formed by legislation enacted and activated December 19. Portions of Ste. Genevieve, Washington, and Jefferson counties comprised the new

St Francois Co 1821.jpg
St. Francois County 1821

county. Although the name came from the St. Francis River, the river commemorated St. Francois Xavier, co-founder of the Society of Jesus and a Jesuit missionary in Asia. The boundaries followed points designated from the U. S. Public Land Survey of the area, except the south boundary bordered Madison County. The enabling legislation set up a commission to locate a county seat, eventually designated at Murphy’s Settlement, or Farmington.

Scott County enabling legislation passed December 28, but specified activation on March 1, 1822. The entire county formed from New Madrid County. Scott County commemorated Missouri’s territorial representative and soon to be legislator in the U. S. House of Representatives, John Scott of Ste. Genevieve. Scott had ably represented Missouri through much of the debates and legislative actions leading to statehood.

Scott County’s boundaries began in the Mississippi River opposite the mouth of James Bayou, then led northwest to a point north of the line between congressional townships 25 and 26, then paralleled the northern boundary of a land grant confirmed to Moses Hurley where Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips lived. The boundary continued to the west boundary of New Madrid County. The division line divided New Madrid County, and Scott County was the northern portion. Cape Girardeau County formed the north boundary.

So, Happy Birthday to St. Francois and Scott counties, also celebrating their bicentennials!

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