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Daviess County, Missouri facts for kids

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Daviess County
Daviess County Courthouse in Gallatin
Daviess County Courthouse in Gallatin
Map of Missouri highlighting Daviess County
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Missouri
Founded December 29, 1836
Named for Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss
Seat Gallatin
Largest city Gallatin
 • Total 569 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Land 563 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Water 5.8 sq mi (15 km2)  1.0%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 6th

Daviess County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,433. Its county seat is Gallatin. The county was organized December 29, 1836, from Ray County and named for Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, a soldier from Kentucky who was killed in 1811 at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

The county includes the town of Jamesport, which has the largest Amish community in Missouri.


According to Latter Day Saint movement founder Joseph Smith, Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in the central part of the county, was where Adam and Eve relocated after being banished from the Garden of Eden. According to LDS tradition, the site is to be a gathering spot prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith's revelation came in 1838, two years after the county was organized, and spurred in an influx of Mormon settlers. Non-Mormon residents feared they were going to lose control of the county and attempted to prevent Mormons from voting in the Gallatin election day battle. This was to be the first skirmish in the Mormon War, in which Missouri evicted the Mormons after arresting Joseph Smith and other leaders of the church.

Daviess County played a major role in the history of the outlaw James-Younger Gang. The first confirmed bank robbery involving Jesse James occurred on December 7, 1869 at the Daviess County Savings Association in Gallatin. John W. Sheets, the bank cashier, was killed in the process by Jesse James, who believed Sheets was Samuel P. Cox, who had killed James's bushwhacker colleague Bloody Bill Anderson during the American Civil War. On July 15, 1881, the gang was believed to have been responsible for the robbery of the Rock Island Line at Winston in which a conductor and passenger were killed.

After Jesse James was murdered in St. Joseph, Frank James surrendered in 1882 to face Daviess County charges in connection with the train robbery/murder as well as murder charges in the 1869 robbery. Frank James was tried from August 20-September 6, 1883. Interest was so intense that the trial was moved to the Gallatin Opera House to accommodate the crowds. James was found not guilty of involvement in both crimes. Charges were made that the jury was filled with Southern sympathizers who refused to convict one of their own.[1]

The Daviess County Savings Association and the Gallatin Opera House have since been torn down although the Winston Rock Island Line train station still stands and is used by the historical society.

Daviess County has one of only three Rotary Jails still in existence. Also known as the "Squirrel Cage Jail," [2] it is now a museum and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 569 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 563 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 5.8 square miles (15 km2) (1.0%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,736
1850 5,298 93.6%
1860 9,606 81.3%
1870 14,410 50.0%
1880 19,145 32.9%
1890 20,456 6.8%
1900 21,325 4.2%
1910 17,605 −17.4%
1920 16,641 −5.5%
1930 14,424 −13.3%
1940 13,398 −7.1%
1950 11,180 −16.6%
1960 9,502 −15.0%
1970 8,420 −11.4%
1980 8,905 5.8%
1990 7,865 −11.7%
2000 8,016 1.9%
2010 8,433 5.2%
2015 (est.) 8,253 −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the 2010 census, there were 8,433 people, 3,214 households, and 2,489 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 4,199 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.02% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Approximately 1.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,214 households out of which 31.92% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.81% were married couples living together, 8.06% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.34% were non-families. 24.64% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.89% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 7.02% from 18 to 24, 21.81% from 25 to 44, 27.38% from 45 to 64, and 17.09% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,925, and the median income for a family was $48,839. Males had a median income of $33,882 versus $28,891 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,900. About 9.80% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2010), Daviess 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 Daviess County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (30.78%), Disciples of Christ (9.12%), and Amish groups (7.07%).




Census-designated place

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