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McDonald County, Missouri facts for kids

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McDonald County
The Old McDonald County Courthouse in Pineville
Map of Missouri highlighting McDonald 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 March 3, 1849
Named for Sergeant Alexander McDonald, a soldier in the American Revolutionary War
Seat Pineville
Largest city Anderson
 • Total 540 sq mi (1,400 km2)
 • Land 539 sq mi (1,400 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)  0.04%
 • Total 23,083
 • Estimate 
 • Density 42.7/sq mi (16.50/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th
McDonald County MO Courthouse 20151022-106
McDonald County courthouse in Pineville

McDonald County is a county located in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,083. Its county seat is Pineville. The county was organized in 1849 and named for Sergeant Alexander McDonald, a soldier in the American Revolutionary War. The county has three sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Old McDonald County Courthouse and the Powell Bridge.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 540 square miles (1,400 km2), of which 539 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.04%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-49 (MO).svg Interstate 49
  • US 71.svg U.S. Route 71
  • MO-43.svg Route 43
  • MO-59.svg Route 59
  • MO-76.svg Route 76
  • MO-90.svg Route 90


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,236
1860 4,008 79.2%
1870 3,756 −6.3%
1880 7,816 108.1%
1890 11,283 44.4%
1900 13,574 20.3%
1910 13,539 −0.3%
1920 12,690 −6.3%
1930 13,936 9.8%
1940 15,749 13.0%
1950 14,144 −10.2%
1960 11,798 −16.6%
1970 12,357 4.7%
1980 14,917 20.7%
1990 16,938 13.5%
2000 21,681 28.0%
2010 23,083 6.5%
2020 23,303 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 21,681 people, 8,113 households, and 5,865 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (16/km2). There were 9,287 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.66% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 2.88% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 3.70% from other races, and 3.30% from two or more races. Approximately 9.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.0% were of American, 11.5% German, 10.5% Irish and 6.6% English ancestry.

There were 8,113 households, out of which 35.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.90% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,010, and the median income for a family was $31,530. Males had a median income of $23,434 versus $18,157 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,175. About 15.60% of families and 20.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.60% of those under age 18 and 17.20% of those age 65 or over.



Public schools

  • McDonald County R-I School District - Anderson
    • Noel Primary School (PK-02) - Noel
    • Pineville Primary School (PK-02) - Pineville
    • Anderson Elementary School (PK-05) - Anderson
    • Noel Elementary School (03-08) - Noel
    • Pineville Elementary School (03-08) - Pineville
    • Rocky Comfort Elementary School (PK-08) - Rocky Comfort
    • Southwest City Elementary School (PK-08) - Southwest City
    • White Rock Elementary School (PK-08) - Jane
    • Anderson Middle School (06-08) - Anderson
    • McDonald County R-I High School (09-12) - Anderson

History of McDonald County R-I School District

The present McDonald County R-I School District is the result of consolidations of several county school districts. The first two school districts to consolidate were the Pineville and Anderson school districts. This was the first step in what was a long-range plan to combine all of the remaining high schools in the county with the exception of the Goodman School District which would become a part of the Neosho school system. The plan for the Pineville–Anderson consolidation was approved and the state offered a $50,000 matching grant for the building of a new high school. If the remaining high schools were to have joined, an additional $200,000 in matching grants would have been recurred.

The first consolidated class from Pineville and Anderson was the Class of 1966. David Alumbaugh was a member of that class and remembers it was the class that elected the school mascot as the mustang and the school colors of red and black. There was not a new high school so each town maintained a high school faculty but all activities including athletics were combined. When asked what the mood of the people in Pineville was concerning the school consolidation, Alumbaugh said, "I don't remember it being a great deal; most people considered it inevitable it was going to happen sooner or later." It was something that could not be stopped, according to Larry Warner who taught during the first year (1966) at the Pineville campus and then at the new high school in Anderson its next year. "It was something that was really needed. The faculty at the old Pineville High School was not very good either at the end of their careers or just beginning. The kids got along fine at the new school but it was the parents who fought."

The next school district to consider joining Pineville and Anderson was the Noel School District. Noel Lawmen had a serious concern on where the new high school, which would serve all students, would be located. The proposed site was about a mile east of the city of Anderson at the junction of Highway 76 and then new Highway 71. The Noel patrons wanted a site more close to the center of the county which would be just north of the Indian River Bridge at the city of Lanagan. The Noel School Board sent a letter to the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education calling for a vote of the people of McDonald County on the site but this didn't happen. The reasoning for there not being a countywide vote couldn't be found, but the proposed new high school site had already been approved by the Missouri Department of Education. ...... Once a school district was asked to be included in the reorganized district the people of the district asked to be included and the people of the reorganized district both voted. What this meant was that the people of Pineville and Anderson could vote in other districts even if that other district's patrons didn't want to come into the reorganized district, they had to. This led to many of the hard feelings that last even today in McDonald County about the school consolidation. With the addition of Noel to the reorganization there were only the high schools of Goodman, Rocky Comfort and Southwest City left. The school district of Goodman decided to join the school district of Neosho. This left Southwest City with its school population of 89 and Rocky Comfort with its high school population of 107 as the only other two schools left in the county. Southwest City, located only miles from the Arkansas and Oklahoma borders, had no other choice. There were no Missouri schools close to it so it asked and was voted into the reorganized plan. Rocky Comfort is located on the eastern edge of McDonald County and would have been much closer to reorganize with the town of Wheaton in Barry County. Rocky Comfort ended up joining the reorganization of the McDonald County schools.

Public libraries

  • McDonald County Library

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de McDonald para niños

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