kids encyclopedia robot

Lafayette County, Missouri facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Lafayette County
Lafayette County Courthouse in Lexington
Map of Missouri highlighting Lafayette County
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Missouri
Founded November 16, 1820
Named for Marquis de La Fayette
Seat Lexington
Largest city Odessa
Area
 • Total 639 sq mi (1,660 km2)
 • Land 628 sq mi (1,630 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (30 km2)  1.6%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 33,381
 • Estimate 
(2018)
32,598
 • Density 52.24/sq mi (20.170/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 5th

Lafayette County is a county located in the western portion of the U.S. state of Missouri and is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,381. Its county seat is Lexington. The county was organized November 16, 1820 from Cooper County and originally named Lillard County for James Lillard of Tennessee, who served in the first state constitutional convention and first state legislature. It was renamed Lafayette County on February 16, 1825, in honor of Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de La Fayette, who was then visiting the United States.

History

Lafayette County was settled primarily from migrants from the Upper Southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. They brought slaves and slaveholding traditions and started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco. As a result, this part of Missouri, and neighboring counties, became known as Little Dixie. In 1860 slaves made up 25 percent or more of the county's population, and the county was strongly pro-Confederate during the American Civil War.

Newcomers from Germany as well as German Americans from St. Louis began arriving shortly before the war, with many more to come afterwards. They eventually made up a large part of the populations of Concordia, Emma, Wellington, Napoleon, Higginsville, Mayview, and Lexington. The German immigrants generally supported the Union during the war.

In November 2013, Leland Ray Kolkmeyer pleaded guilty, in federal court, of a fraud scheme in which he embezzled more than $1.5 million from Wellington-Napoleon Fire Protection District and Special Road District while being their former treasurer.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 639 square miles (1,660 km2), of which 628 square miles (1,630 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 2,912
1840 6,815 134.0%
1850 13,690 100.9%
1860 20,098 46.8%
1870 22,623 12.6%
1880 25,710 13.6%
1890 30,184 17.4%
1900 31,679 5.0%
1910 30,154 −4.8%
1920 30,006 −0.5%
1930 29,259 −2.5%
1940 27,856 −4.8%
1950 25,272 −9.3%
1960 25,274 0.0%
1970 26,626 5.3%
1980 29,925 12.4%
1990 31,107 3.9%
2000 32,960 6.0%
2010 33,381 1.3%
2018 (est.) 32,598 −2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 32,960 people, 12,569 households, and 9,099 families residing in the county. The population density was 52 people per square mile (20/km2). There were 13,707 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.52% White, 2.27% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Approximately 1.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.3% were of German, 17.5% American, 9.9% English and 9.7% Irish ancestry.

There were 12,569 households, out of which 33.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.30% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.20% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,235, and the median income for a family was $45,717. Males had a median income of $31,972 versus $22,684 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,493. About 6.90% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.90% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those ages 65 or over.

Communities

Education

Public schools

    • Concordia Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Concordia High School (07-12)
    • Grandview Elementary School (PK-05)
    • Lafayette County Middle School (06-08)
    • Lafayette County High School (09-12)
    • Leslie Bell Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Lexington Middle School (05-08)
    • Lexington High School (09-12)
    • McQuerry Elementary School (K-02)
    • Odessa Upper Elementary School (03-05)
    • Odessa Middle School (06-08)
    • Odessa High School (09-12)
    • Santa Fe Elementary School (K-06)
    • Santa Fe High School (07-12)
    • Wellington-Napoleon Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Wellington-Napoleon High School (07-12)

Private schools

Public Libraries

  • Robertson Memorial Library
  • Trails Regional Library
kids search engine
Lafayette County, Missouri Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.