kids encyclopedia robot

Moberly, Missouri facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Moberly, Missouri
City of Moberly
Location within Randolph County and Missouri
Location within Randolph County and Missouri
Country United States
State Missouri
County Randolph
Founded 1866
Incorporated 1868
 • Type Council-manager government
 • Total 13.17 sq mi (34.10 km2)
 • Land 13.13 sq mi (33.99 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
869 ft (265 m)
 • Total 13,974
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,037.33/sq mi (400.53/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 660
FIPS code 29-49034
GNIS feature ID 0729342

Moberly is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,974 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Columbia, Missouri metropolitan area.


4th Street Theater
The facade of the historic 4th Street theater in downtown Moberly, MO. Built in 1913; one of the oldest still working movie theaters).

Moberly was founded in 1866, and named after Colonel William E. Moberly, the first president of the Chariton and Randolph County railroads.

Like other towns in the Little Dixie region of Missouri in which it is located, Moberly has a history of racial violence.

On Independence Day, 1995, a tornado ripped through downtown Moberly. There were no reported deaths, but there was a large amount of structural damage. Another tornado tore through the area (Renick) on Sunday, March 12, 2006. Four people were killed and thirteen were injured in the F3-level tornado. Dozens of homes were destroyed.

The World War II-era US Navy frigate USS Moberly (PF-63) was named for the town. The ship participated mostly in convoy escort, earning a battle star for her assistance in sinking a German submarine U-853.

Moberly is mentioned in the Tom Waits song "Black Market Baby," from the 1999 album Mule Variations.

The Burkholder-O'Keefe House, Moberly Commercial Historic District, and Moberly Junior High School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Moberly is located at 39°25′13″N 92°26′20″W / 39.42028°N 92.43889°W / 39.42028; -92.43889 (39.420398, -92.438831). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.26 square miles (31.75 km2), of which, 12.22 square miles (31.65 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,514
1880 6,070 300.9%
1890 8,215 35.3%
1900 8,012 −2.5%
1910 10,923 36.3%
1920 12,808 17.3%
1930 13,772 7.5%
1940 12,920 −6.2%
1950 13,115 1.5%
1960 13,170 0.4%
1970 12,988 −1.4%
1980 13,418 3.3%
1990 12,839 −4.3%
2000 11,945 −7.0%
2010 13,974 17.0%
2019 (est.) 13,615 −2.6%

The Moberly Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Randolph County.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 13,974 people, 4,960 households, and 3,019 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,143.5 inhabitants per square mile (441.5/km2). There were 5,687 housing units at an average density of 465.4 per square mile (179.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.4% White, 9.7% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 4,960 households, of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.1% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the city was 35.7 years. 22% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.7% were from 25 to 44; 23.5% were from 45 to 64; and 13.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.8% male and 46.2% female.


The Railroad museum run by the Randolph county historical society, connected to a walking path that runs south, and overlooking the Municipal Auditorium and West Rollins Street.
  • Moberly Parks and Recreation operates approximately 500 acres of parkland through five parks including maintained grounds, forest, lakes, the Howard Hils Athletic Complex consisting of eight baseball/softball fields and three football/soccer fields, the Moberly Aquatic Center, Thompson Campground, The Lodge, Municipal Auditorium, the Magic City Line - a one mile long miniature train track, over two miles of paved trails, boat ramps, fishing lakes, paddleboat/canoe rentals, and shelters.
  • Moberly Midget League has provided a summer baseball program for the local youth since 1950. The program currently ranges from 8U to 14U.
  • The Moberly Optimist Club has provided a summer youth baseball for decades. The program currently ranges from T-ball to 8U.
  • The Randolph County Historical Society has its headquarters in Moberly, and has two museums: one dedicated to county history and genealogy, and another dedicated to the Wabash, MKT, and CB&Q railroads


Downtown Moberly, MO
West Reed Street, facing East from the United States post office building.

Moberly is served by The Omar Bradley Airport. Commercial service is available 33 miles to the south in Columbia at the Columbia Regional Airport or the MO-X (an airport shuttle to and from STL and MCI), 60 miles to the south in Jefferson City via the Amtrak station, 45 miles to the north in La Plata via the Amtrak station, or 55 miles to the North in Kirksville at the Kirksville Regional Airport.

The city is served by U.S. Route 63 to the east on a bypass. The old route is designated as both Business 63 and Morley Street and goes through town. U.S. Route 24 goes through town as well. Route M (formerly Route 3) also skirts the edge of town. Other routes include Route DD (indirectly goes to Sugar Creek Lake), EE, A, and AA (past the prison). At one time there was a Business 24 that ran from Morley Street via West Coates Street to Johnson Street to Concannon Street turning North on Holman St to current U.S. 24. This route was de-numbered in the late 1960s. State Route 22 was also multiplexed with U.S. 63 to U.S. 24. When U.S. 63 was re-routed in the mid-1960s Highway 22 was truncated to its current end at U.S. 63 near Sturgeon, MO.

The Norfolk Southern Railway serves Moberly running west toward Kansas City, Missouri and east toward Hannibal, Missouri and points on. Norfolk Southern also runs south between Moberly and St. Louis, Missouri (via Centralia and Mexico, MO) and points on. Moberly was once the northern terminus of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad that ran between Moberly and Boonville, Missouri. Much of this route is still somewhat visible in satellite images.

Moberly is home to one of Norfolk Southern's many rail yards. Norfolk Southern used to have a line that ran north from Moberly to Albia, Iowa, but it was abandoned in the spring of 1992. The line was reopened from 1993–1995 to help in recovery efforts after the great Flood of 1993. By 1997, the line was dismantled between Moberly and Moulton, Iowa.

The Centerville, Iowa-owned Appanoose County Community Railroad currently operates the section from Moulton to Albia, Iowa.


Moberly is home to two colleges; Central Christian College of the Bible and Moberly Area Community College. The Moberly School District consists of seven schools. The Early Childhood Center serves preschoolers; North and South Park Elementary serve grades K-2; grades 3-5 attend Gratz Brown Elementary; grades 6-8 attend Moberly Middle School; and Moberly High School and Moberly Area Technical Center serve grades 9–12. East Park School serves as an alternative school. The Seventh-day Adventist church operates Maranatha Adventist School, a K-8 school. The St. Pius X Catholic Elementary School, operated by the Catholic Church of the same name, serves grade K-8.

Moberly has a public library, a branch of the Little Dixie Regional Libraries.

Notable people

  • George W. Althouse, Nebraska state legislator
  • Russ Ball, NFL executive
  • Omar Bradley, United States Army general
  • Brent Briscoe, actor
  • Jack Conroy, author and activist
  • Jerry Doggett, sports broadcaster
  • Maud Durbin, actress
  • Jered Eames, musician
  • Brad Hunt, actor
  • Leroy Matlock, baseball pitcher in the Negro leagues
  • Dennis L. McKiernan, author
  • Hartman Rector Jr., former LDS General Authority
  • Luann Ridgeway, politician
  • Melvin B. Tolson, poet and professor at Wiley College, poet laureate of Liberia
kids search engine
Moberly, Missouri Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.