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Buchanan County, Missouri facts for kids

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Buchanan County
The Buchanan County Courthouse in downtown St. Joseph
The Buchanan County Courthouse in downtown St. Joseph
Map of Missouri highlighting Buchanan County
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Missouri
Founded December 31, 1838
Named for James Buchanan
Seat St. Joseph
Largest city St. Joseph
 • Total 415 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Land 408 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Water 6.6 sq mi (17 km2)  1.6%
 • Total 84,793
 • Density 204.32/sq mi (78.89/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 6th

Buchanan County is located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 84,793. Its county seat is St. Joseph. When originally formed in 1838, the county was named Roberts County, after settler Hiram Roberts. It was renamed in 1839 for James Buchanan, then a U.S. Senator and later President of the United States. The county was formed from land annexed to Missouri, as were five other counties.

Buchanan County is included in the Kansas City CSA.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 415 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km2) is land and 6.6 square miles (17 km2) (1.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 6,237
1850 12,975 108.0%
1860 23,861 83.9%
1870 35,109 47.1%
1880 49,792 41.8%
1890 70,100 40.8%
1900 121,838 73.8%
1910 93,020 −23.7%
1920 93,684 0.7%
1930 98,633 5.3%
1940 94,067 −4.6%
1950 96,826 2.9%
1960 90,581 −6.4%
1970 86,915 −4.0%
1980 87,888 1.1%
1990 83,083 −5.5%
2000 85,998 3.5%
2010 89,201 3.7%
2020 84,793 −4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 85,998 people, 33,557 households, and 21,912 families residing in the county. The population density was 210 people per square mile (81/km2). There were 36,574 housing units at an average density of 89 per square mile (34/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.73% White, 4.36% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Approximately 2.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 33,557 households, out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.30% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.70% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.30% under the age of 18, 11.00% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,704, and the median income for a family was $42,408. Males had a median income of $31,697 versus $21,827 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,882. About 8.50% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.00% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2010), Buchanan County is sometimes regarded as being on the northern edge of the Bible Belt, with evangelical Protestantism being the most predominant religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Buchanan County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (24.96%), Roman Catholics (20.35%), and nondenominational evangelical groups (15.95%).




Unincorporated communities


Buchanan County is divided into 12 townships:

  • Agency
  • Bloomington
  • Center
  • Crawford
  • Jackson
  • Lake
  • Marion
  • Platte
  • Rush
  • Tremont
  • Washington
  • Wayne


Public schools

    • Rushville Elementary School (PK-06)
    • De Kalb Junior/Senior High School (07-12)
    • East Buchanan County C-I Middle School (06-08) - Easton
    • Mid-Buchanan County Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Mid-Buchanan County High School (07-12)
    • Coleman Elementary School (K-06)
    • Edison Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Ellison Elementary School (K-06)
    • Field Elementary School (K-06)
    • Hosea Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Humboldt Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Hyde Elementary School (K-06)
    • Lake Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Lindbergh Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Mark Twain Elementary School (K-06)
    • Neely Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Parkway Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Pershing Elementary School (K-06)
    • Pickett Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Skaith Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Webster Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Bode Middle School (07-08)
    • Robidoux Middle School (07-08)
    • Spring Garden Middle (07-08)
    • Truman Middle School (07-08)
    • Benton High School (09-12)
    • Central High School (09-12)
    • Lafayette High School (09-12)

Private schools

Public libraries

  • Rolling Hills Consolidated Library—Belt Branch
  • Saint Joseph Public Library

Notable people

  • Charles S. L. Baker, African American businessman and inventor
  • Kay Barnes, Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri (1999–2007)
  • Dwayne Blakley, professional football player
  • Ryan Bradley, figure skater
  • Norbert Brodine, cinematographer
  • Byron Browne, professional baseball player
  • Charles Francis Buddy, bishop, attended Christian Brothers School
  • Rob Calloway, boxer
  • Harold F. Cherniss, historian of ancient Greece and Plato scholar at Princeton
  • Walter Cronkite, iconic television journalist
  • Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Katherine Kennicott Davis, composer of "The Little Drummer Boy"
  • Eminem, rapper and recording artist
  • Eugene Field, popular poet in his day, worked for the St. Joseph Gazette and wrote a famous poem about Lover's Lane in St. Joseph
  • Ralph D. Foster, broadcasting pioneer
  • Betty Garrett, actress, known for On the Town and Laverne & Shirley
  • Elijah Gates, State Treasurer of Missouri (1877-1881)
  • Anthony Glise, guitarist
  • Jody Hamilton, wrestler
  • Larry Hamilton, wrestler
  • Fred Harman, artist, drew the Red Ryder cartoons and worked with Walt Disney
  • Coleman Hawkins, jazz saxophonist
  • Edie Huggins, television journalist
  • Bela M. Hughes, pioneer, prominent St. Joseph lawyer in 1850s and 1860s
  • William Hyde (journalist), journalist
  • Henry Iba, Oklahoma State University men's basketball coach
  • Brian McDonald, writer
  • Jeff Morris, actor, known for The Blues Brothers
  • Timothy Omundson, actor
  • Isaac Parker, federal judge, U.S. Representative from Missouri (1871-1875)
  • Travis Partridge, professional football player
  • Forrest E. Peden, decorated World War II soldier
  • Tom Pendergast, political boss
  • Seraphine Eppstein Pisko, executive secretary of the Denver Jewish Hospital
  • Frank Posegate, mayor of St. Joseph
  • LeRoy Prinz, choreographer and film director
  • Arthur Pryor, trombonist
  • Sid Rogell, Hollywood producer
  • Nellie Tayloe Ross, first woman elected governor of a U.S. state; Governor of Wyoming (1925–1927)
  • Martin Rucker, professional football player
  • Mike Rucker, professional football player
  • Jay Sarno, hotel mogul, founder of Caesars Palace
  • Bill Snyder, Kansas State football coach
  • Eddie Timanus, Jeopardy! champion, won five times in 1999 despite being blind
  • Steve Walsh, musician of band Kansas
  • Ruth Warrick, actress, known for Citizen Kane and All My Children
  • Jim Webb, U.S. Senator from Virginia (2007-2013)
  • Silas Woodson, 21st Governor of Missouri (1873-1875)
  • Huston Wyeth, industrialist
  • Jane Wyman, Oscar–winning actress and first wife of Ronald Reagan
  • Delmer J. Yoakum, artist
  • Olive Young, actress and blues singer

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Buchanan (Misuri) para niños

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