Knob Noster, Missouri

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Knob Noster (pronounced /ˈnɒb ˈnɒstər/) is a city in Johnson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 2,462 at the 2000 census. It is located adjacent to Whiteman Air Force Base.



The knobs of the town's namesake are not only a geographical landmark for the town, but are also claimed to be the site of a battle of Native American tribes. Sometimes there are stories that gold or treasure is buried in the knobs. This can be neither confirmed nor denied.


When first settled, Knob Noster was part of Cooper County which took in all of the territory between the Osage and Missouri Rivers. By 1820, the population was sufficient in the area so that a division of Cooper County needed to be made. The new county was called Lillard County, Missouri, and it included what are now Lafayette and Johnson Counties, as well as all the areas south to the Osage River and west to the Missouri Border. By 1834, the population was large enough, estimated at about 200 households, for Lafayette County to be divided into two counties. One retained the name Lafayette and the other was called Johnson County. On May 4, 1835, Lafayette County was further divided into four townships: Jackson, Washington, Madison, and Jefferson. Knob Noster is located in what was named Washington Township.

Coal mining

In the 1870s Knob Noster was described as "the boomingest settlement in the county," in large part because of the vast coal deposits in the area. The eastern part of Johnson County held vast amounts of coal, some veins reaching thicknesses of four to five feet which greatly added to the prosperity of Knob Noster. Unfortunately that prosperity only lasted for a decade or so before the coal supplies were exhausted.

High school

The Knob Noster High School(KNHS) was organized in 1888, and at the same time, the requirements to complete a public school education were changed from five years to eight years, including three years of high school. The first class to enter the high school was very large according to contemporary accounts, which gave no figure of enrollment, but after three years, only two remained and received diplomas. Teachers in rural schools in the area at this time were paid between $25.00 and $35.00 per month. They boarded out and paid $8 to $10 for board and laundry.

Great fire

There was a great fire in Knob Noster in the mid 1880s that destroyed much of Knob Noster. Some of it was saved and the town was eventually rebuilt.

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