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Jefferson City facts for kids

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City of Jefferson City
Jefferson City.jpg
Flag of City of Jefferson City
Official seal of City of Jefferson City
Jeff City, JC, or Jeff
Cole County Missouri Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Jefferson City Highlighted.svg
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Country United States
State Missouri
Counties Callaway, Cole

Jefferson City is the capital of the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Cole County. Located in Callaway and Cole counties, it is the principal city of the Jefferson City metropolitan area, which encompasses the entirety of both counties. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,079. Jefferson City was named after Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

Jefferson City is on the northern edge of the Ozark Plateau on the southern side of the Missouri River near the geographic center of the state, in a region known as Mid-Missouri. It is at the western edge of the Missouri Rhineland, one of the major wine-producing regions of the Midwest. The city is dominated by the domed Capitol, rising from a bluff overlooking the Missouri River to the north. Lewis and Clark passed beneath that bluff on their historic expedition upriver before Europeans established any settlement there.


In pre-Columbian times, this region was home of an ancient people known only as the Mound Builders. By the time European settlers began arriving, the Mound Builders had vanished into history. The contemporary indigenous peoples were called the Osage Indians.

In the middle of the state, Jefferson City was chosen as the new capital in 1821 while Thomas Jefferson was actually still alive. The village was first called Lohman's Landing. For years, the village was little more than a trading post located in the wilderness about midway between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Missouri State Penitentiary

Jefferson City was selected as the site for a state prison and, in 1836, the Missouri State Penitentiary was opened. The prison was home to a number of infamous Americans, including: former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, assassin James Earl Ray, and bank robber Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd.

German immigrants created vineyards in small towns on either side of the Missouri River, especially on the north from Jefferson City east to Marthasville, outside St. Louis. Known as the Missouri Rhineland for its vineyards, first established by German immigrants in the mid-19th century, this area has become a part of the agricultural and tourist economy.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jefferson City para niños

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