Scott County, Missouri

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Scott County is a county located in Southeast Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the population was 40,422; a 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 40,673. Its county seat is Benton[1]. The county was organized in 1821 and named for John Scott, the first Congressman from Missouri.

The Sikeston Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of all of Scott County.



The second county formed in Missouri’s Southeast Lowland Region, Scott County was created by the Missouri state legislature on December 28, 1821. The county was named in honor of John Scott (1785-1861), the first congressman from Missouri.

Southerners were the first settlers on Spanish land grants in the late 1790s. The King’s Highway (El Camino Real), laid out in 1789, crossed the county which lies in territory claimed by Osage Native American tribes until 1808. The Delaware and Shawnee tribes roamed into the area around the 1820s.

Benton, the county seat, was laid out in 1822 and is named after Thomas Hart Benton, one of Missouri’s first U.S. Senators. From 1864-1878, the county seat was located at Commerce, a town laid out in 1823 on the Mississippi River. Long known as Tywappity, the town started out as a trading post and became a river landing by 1803. Rezin Bowie, brother of James, was syndic of Tywappity Settlement before 1800. The first Baptist Church was formed here in Missouri in 1805. New Hamburg, the third town founded in the county, was settled by German immigrants in the 1840s. The first log church was St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Sikeston, the largest city in the county and the fourth settlement to be founded, was settled in 1800 and was laid out in 1860 by John Sikes on the Cairo & Fulton Railroad.

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