Kirksville, Missouri facts for kids

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Kirksville, Missouri
City
Kirksville Square (2004)
Kirksville Square (2004)
Flag of Kirksville, Missouri
Flag
Location within Adair County and Missouri
Location within Adair County and Missouri
Country United States
State Missouri
County Adair
Township Benton
Platted 1841
Incorporated 1857
Area
 • Total 14.43 sq mi (37.37 km2)
 • Land 14.39 sq mi (37.27 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 17,505
 • Estimate (2012) 17,522
 • Density 1,213.1/sq mi (468.42/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 63501
Area code 660
FIPS code 29-39026
GNIS feature ID 0735678
Website kirksvillecity.com

Kirksville is a city in and the county seat of Adair County, Missouri, United States. Located in the Benton Township, its population was 17,505 at the 2010 census. Kirksville is home to two colleges: Truman State University and A.T. Still University.

History

Child workers in Kirksville, MO
Group of men and boys at Friedman Shelby Shoe Company in 1910

Kirksville was laid out in 1841 on a 40-acre (0.06 sq mi; 16.19 ha) site, and was first incorporated in 1857.

Origin of name

According to tradition, Jesse Kirk, Kirksville's first postmaster, shared a dinner of turkey and whiskey with surveyors working in the area on the condition that they would name the town after him. Not only the first postmaster, Kirk was also the first to own a hotel and a tavern in Kirksville.

Contrary to popular belief, the name of the city has no connection to John Kirk, onetime president of Truman State University from 1899 to 1925. However, the grandson of Jesse Kirk reported that the town was named for Kirk’s son John, a figure of local legend credited with killing two deer with a single bullet. "Hopkinsville" was explained as a joking reference to the peculiar gait of John Kirk’s lame father-in-law, David Sloan; the jocular name was discarded when the village was selected for the seat of justice in Adair County.

Battle of Kirksville

The Battle of Kirksville was fought August 6–9, 1862, during the American Civil War. Union troops led by John McNeil forced Confederate volunteers under Joseph Porter to vacate the city. Casualty estimates (almost entirely Confederate) range from 150-200 dead and up to 400 wounded. According to the August 12, 1862, Quincy Herald there were 8 Federal dead and 25 wounded. The victorious Union commander, Colonel McNeil, gained brief national attention for his post-battle execution of a small number of Confederate prisoners. These prisoners had been previously captured in battle and then paroled with the understanding they would no longer take up arms against the Union, upon penalty of death if recaptured. Nonetheless, Confederate government officials were outraged, and it is said that Confederate president Jefferson Davis even called for the execution of Colonel (later Brigadier General) McNeil if he were to be captured.

Tornadoes

On the evening of April 27, 1899, a tornado passing through Adair County cut a path of destruction three blocks wide, killed 32 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings. The popular song "Just as the Storm Passed O'er" was based on the event, and the Kimball Piano Company exploited the incident for its advertising, when one of their instruments was carried a long distance by the tornado but still found in working condition.

On May 13, 2009, Kirksville was again the victim of a large tornado. A tornado estimated as an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale struck the northern edge of Kirksville destroying or severely damaging many homes, several businesses, a car dealership, and at least one factory. Two residents living just outside the city limits were killed by the tornado, and as many as a dozen other area residents were injured. The story and extensive video of the 2009 twister was featured in season 2 of Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel as well as a 2010 episode of Storm Stories on The Weather Channel.

National Register of Historic Places

The Adair County Courthouse, Bear Creek Baptist Church, Dockery Hotel, Grim Building, Capt. Thomas C. Harris House, Journal Printing Company Building, Kirksville Courthouse Square Historic District, Drs. George and Blanche Laughlin House, Masonic Temple, Dr. E. Sanborn Smith House, Orie J. Smith Black and White Stock Farm Historic District, Sojourners Club, Thousand Hills State Park Petroglyphs Archeological Site, Travelers Hotel, and Trinity Episcopal Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

Kirksville is located at (40.1947539, -92.5832496). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.43 square miles (37.37 km2), of which, 14.39 square miles (37.27 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.

Climate

Climate data for Kirksville, Missouri
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21.1)
78
(25.6)
85
(29.4)
93
(33.9)
101
(38.3)
106
(41.1)
113
(45)
111
(43.9)
103
(39.4)
95
(35)
82
(27.8)
70
(21.1)
113
(45)
Average high °F (°C) 32
(0)
38
(3.3)
50
(10)
62
(16.7)
72
(22.2)
81
(27.2)
86
(30)
85
(29.4)
77
(25)
65
(18.3)
49
(9.4)
36
(2.2)
61.1
(16.16)
Average low °F (°C) 13
(-10.6)
19
(-7.2)
29
(-1.7)
39
(3.9)
51
(10.6)
60
(15.6)
65
(18.3)
63
(17.2)
54
(12.2)
43
(6.1)
30
(-1.1)
19
(-7.2)
40.4
(4.68)
Record low °F (°C) −23
(-30.6)
−20
(-28.9)
−13
(-25)
8
(-13.3)
29
(-1.7)
40
(4.4)
46
(7.8)
40
(4.4)
25
(-3.9)
1
(-17.2)
−10
(-23.3)
−23
(-30.6)
−23
(-30.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.00
(25.4)
1.13
(28.7)
2.46
(62.5)
3.35
(85.1)
4.96
(126)
4.40
(111.8)
4.67
(118.6)
3.63
(92.2)
3.99
(101.3)
3.18
(80.8)
2.71
(68.8)
1.65
(41.9)
37.13
(943.1)

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 658
1870 1,471 123.6%
1880 2,314 57.3%
1890 3,510 51.7%
1900 5,966 70.0%
1910 6,347 6.4%
1920 7,213 13.6%
1930 8,293 15.0%
1940 10,080 21.5%
1950 11,110 10.2%
1960 13,123 18.1%
1970 15,569 18.6%
1980 17,167 10.3%
1990 17,152 −0.1%
2000 16,988 −1.0%
2010 17,505 3.0%
Est. 2015 17,520 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

Kirksville anchors a micropolitan area that comprises Adair and Schuyler counties.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 17,505 people, 6,714 households, and 3,066 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,216.5 inhabitants per square mile (469.7/km2). There were 7,434 housing units at an average density of 516.6 per square mile (199.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.3% White, 2.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.

There were 6,714 households of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.0% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 54.3% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 23.8 years. 16.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 36% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19% were from 25 to 44; 17.5% were from 45 to 64; and 11.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.1% male and 53.9% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,988 people, 6,583 households, and 2,975 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,624.0 people per square mile (627.1/km²). There were 7,303 housing units at an average density of 698.2 per square mile (269.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.38% White, 1.73% African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.93% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.

There were 6,583 households out of which 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.8% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city, the population was spread out with 15.6% under the age of 18, 37.6% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 82.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,836, and the median income for a family was $36,772. Males had a median income of $26,776 versus $22,309 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,388. About 14.4% of families and 30.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.7% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.

Congolese population

By 2015 a number of persons originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo settled in Kirksville; they first came to the U.S. through diversity visas. Many found work at a Farmland Foods facility in nearby Milan, Missouri. In 2014 five Congolese families lived in Kirksville. By February 2016 almost 40 Congolese families resided in Kirksville, totaling around 100 people.

Prior to 2015 about half of the 20-25 English as a second language program students in the Kirksville R-III School District were of Hispanic origin, but the wave of Congolese students appeared by 2015, doubling the number of ESOL students and giving it a French-speaking population not previously present. Therefore, the district began expanding its ESOL program.

Students and faculty from Truman State University took steps to help the Congolese residents acclimate to life in Kirksville.

According to Dr. Sana Camara of Truman State, many of the refugees were well-educated, and that the main barrier to success was specifically a lack of English knowledge.

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