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Chariton County, Missouri facts for kids

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Chariton County
The Chariton County Courthouse in Keytesville
The Chariton County Courthouse in Keytesville
Map of Missouri highlighting Chariton 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 November 16, 1820
Named for The Chariton River
Seat Keytesville
Largest city Salisbury
 • Total 767 sq mi (1,990 km2)
 • Land 751 sq mi (1,950 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (40 km2)  2.0%
 • Total 7,408
 • Estimate 
 • Density 9.658/sq mi (3.7291/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 6th

Chariton County is a county located in the north-central portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 7,408. Its county seat is Keytesville. The county was organized November 16, 1820, from part of Howard County and is named for the Chariton River.


The second Chariton County Courthouse 1867-1973.It replaced one destroyed by Confederate raiders in September, 1864.

Chariton County was settled primarily from the states of the Upper South, especially Kentucky and Tennessee. They brought slaves and slaveholding traditions with them, and they quickly started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco. Chariton was one of several counties settled mostly by southerners to the north and south of the Missouri River. Given their culture and traditions, this area became known as Little Dixie and Chariton County was at its heart. It was heavily pro-Confederate during the American Civil War.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 767 square miles (1,990 km2), of which 751 square miles (1,950 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (2.0%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,780
1840 4,746 166.6%
1850 7,514 58.3%
1860 12,562 67.2%
1870 19,136 52.3%
1880 25,224 31.8%
1890 26,254 4.1%
1900 26,826 2.2%
1910 23,503 −12.4%
1920 21,769 −7.4%
1930 19,588 −10.0%
1940 18,084 −7.7%
1950 14,944 −17.4%
1960 12,720 −14.9%
1970 11,084 −12.9%
1980 10,489 −5.4%
1990 9,202 −12.3%
2000 8,438 −8.3%
2010 7,831 −7.2%
2020 7,408 −5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,438 people, 3,469 households, and 2,345 families residing in the county. The population density was 11 people per square mile (4/km2). There were 4,250 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.99% White, 3.19% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Approximately 0.56% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 38.8% were of German, 25.5% American, 9.7% English and 7.8% Irish ancestry.

There were 3,469 households, out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 6.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 29.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.70% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 23.70% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 22.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,285, and the median income for a family was $39,176. Males had a median income of $25,263 versus $19,068 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,515. About 8.80% of families and 11.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.40% of those under age 18 and 14.00% of those age 65 or over.



Public schools

    • Brunswick Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Brunswick High School (07-12)
    • Keytesville Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Keytesville High School (07-12)
  • Northwestern R-I School District – Mendon
    • Northwestern Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Northwestern High School (07-12)
    • Salisbury Elementary School (K-06)
    • Salisbury High School (07-12)

Private schools

Public libraries

  • Brunswick Area Library
  • Dulany Memorial Library
  • Keytesville Public Library

Notable people

  • Jane Hadley Barkley—former 2nd Lady of the U.S., wife of Alben Barkley. (Keytesville)
  • Walt Disney—Film producer, animator, business leader. (Marceline)
  • John Donaldson -- Negro league baseball pitcher. Known for pitching a large number of no-hitters. (Glasgow)
  • J. William Fulbright—Longtime U.S. Senator and namesake of the Fulbright Scholarship. (Sumner)
  • Cal Hubbard, -- Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former Major League Baseball umpire. (Keytesville)
  • Vern Kennedy—Former Major League Baseball pitcher. (Mendon)
  • Darold Knowles—Former MLB relief pitcher. First pitcher to ever appear in all seven games of a World Series. The baseball field at Brunswick R-II school is named in his honor. (Brunswick)
  • Wayne E. Meyer—U.S. Navy admiral, "Father of the Aegis weapons system". (Brunswick)
  • W. James Morgan—Union Army officer, responsible for the Burning of Platte City during the American Civil War. (Brunswick)
  • Floyd B. Parks -- U.S. Marine aviator who earned the Navy Cross posthumously for his actions leading Marine fighter squadron VMF-221 during the Battle of Midway. (Salisbury)
  • Sterling Price, - 11th Governor of Missouri. Confederate General in the Civil War (Keytesville)
  • Sol Smith Russell—Comic stage actor of the late 19th century. Russell Opera House in Brunswick is named for him. (Brunswick)
  • Wilbur Sweatman -- Ragtime and Dixieland jazz composer and performer. (Brunswick)
  • Maxwell D. Taylor - U.S. Army general and diplomat. (Keytesville)
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