Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri

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Sainte Genevieve County, often abbreviated Ste. Genevieve County (French: Ste-Geneviève), is a county located in East Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 17,842. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 17,720. The largest city and county seat is Ste. Genevieve[1]. The county was officially organized on October 1, 1812, and is named after the Spanish district once located in the region, after Saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, France. It contains the earliest European settlement west of the Mississippi River, part of the French colonial mid-Mississippi valley villages.

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History

Ste. Genevieve County is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River approximately 60 miles (97 km) south of St. Louis. Ste. Genevieve is the principal town and the county seat of Ste. Genevieve County with a population of around 5,000 people. Ste. Genevieve was the first permanent civilized settlement in Missouri. The actual date of establishment is, like many other dates, connected to genealogy. There is a conflict of opinion as to the exact year depending on the preferred source. The year 1735, according to Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri, and most of the descendants of the early settlers, is the most generally accepted date. Dr. Carl J. Ekberg, in his book, Colonial Ste. Genevieve, is of the opinion that the date of the establishment of Ste. Genevieve is closer to 1750, based on interpretations of early letters, maps, and Catholic Church documents. Regardless of which date one wishes to believe, Ste. Genevieve is about 250 years old.

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