Douglas County, Missouri

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Douglas County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 13,084. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 13,438. The largest city and county seat is Ava[1]. The county was officially organized on October 29, 1857, and is named after U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas (D-Illinois) and later Democratic presidential candidate.



Previously, the county seat was located at Arno, Missouri, west of Ava. Prior to that, Vera Cruz (formerly called Red Bud) was the county seat. Vera Cruz is located on Bryant Creek, which flows through the middle of the county. After the American Civil War, during a period of general chaos, a group from the western part of the county broke into the Arno courthouse and removed the records back to Vera Cruz. Later in 1871, a new town site was selected, present-day Ava, near the location of the former U.S. Civil War military Post Office, Militia Spring. The location of this new town seemed to satisfy most of the residents of Douglas County to be their point of county government. Locally known as "Booger County," the history of Douglas County and the surrounding area has been colorfully described in the book In Search of Booger County - Ozark Folk Histories by Sandy Ray Chapin (2002) as well as in Baldknobbers - Vigilantes on the Ozarks Frontier by Mary Hartman and Elmo Ingenthron (1988).

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