Chariton County, Missouri

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Chariton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 8,438. Its county seat is Keytesville[1]. The county was organized in 1820 from part of Howard County and was named from the Chariton River.



Chariton County was settled primarily from migrants from the Upper South states, especially Kentucky and Tennessee. They brought slaves and slaveholding traditions with them, and quickly started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco. Chariton was one of several counties settled mostly by southerners to the north and south of the Missouri River. Given their culture and traditions, this area became known as Little Dixie and Chariton was at its heart.[2]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 768 square miles (1,989.1 km2), of which 756 square miles (1,958.0 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31.1 km2) (1.61%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

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