Mexico, Missouri

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Mexico is a city in Audrain County, Missouri, United States. The population was 11,320 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Audrain County[3]. The Mexico Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Audrain County. Mexico hosts the annual Miss Missouri Pageant; the winner goes on to represent the state of Missouri in the Miss America pageant.



Mexico is located at 39°9′57″N 91°53′5″W / 39.16583°N 91.88472°W / 39.16583; -91.88472 (39.165814, -91.884761)[4]. N.E. of the centre of the state, and about 110 m. N.W. of St Louis. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.7 square miles (30.3 km²), of which, 11.4 square miles (29.4 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it (2.90%) is water.


Mexico was laid out as "New Mexico" in 1836 and was a major stop for settlers heading to the Republic of Texas (thus the name New Mexico), and became the county seat under its present name in 1837. The word "New" was dropped after the Mexican-American War that saw Texas become a part of the United States.

There is an apocryphal story concerning the name. When a University of Missouri student, questioned on radio, was unable to give an account of her hometown's name, the question was put to L. Mitchell White, then editor and publisher of the Mexico Ledger: "'The first settlers found a wooden sign along the trail. It pointed southwest, and on it had been painted Mexico.'" To avoid unnecessary labor, the sign was left in place. "It was easier to call their town 'Mexico' than to take down the old sign." [5]

Mexico was incorporated as a town in 1855, was entered by the Wabash road in 1858 and by the Alton in 1872, and was first chartered as a city in 1874. The city is situated in the blue grass region of Missouri, and was a shipping-point for horses and mules. Mexico was a one-time major source for the nation's fire brick production, so much so, that it adopted the moniker "Fire Brick Capital of the World". However, the industry fell on hard times and both major refractories in the area closed around 2000. There is currently no active quarrying for clay used in fire brick or refractories production in the area.

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