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Nodaway County, Missouri facts for kids

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Nodaway County
Nodaway County Courthouse
Nodaway County Courthouse
Map of Missouri highlighting Nodaway 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 February 14, 1845
Named for Nodaway River
Seat Maryville
Largest city Maryville
 • Total 878 sq mi (2,270 km2)
 • Land 877 sq mi (2,270 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2 km2)  0.1%
 • Total 23,370
 • Estimate 
 • Density 26.617/sq mi (10.277/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 6th

Nodaway County is a county located in the northwest part of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,370. Its county seat is Maryville. The county was organized February 14, 1845 and is named for the Nodaway River. It is the largest in area of the counties added to Missouri in the 1836 Platte Purchase and the fourth-largest county in Missouri.

Nodaway County comprises the Maryville, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Administration Building at Northwest Missouri State University
Nodaway County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places
Mozingo Lake Golf Course

The county has a rich agricultural history. It is the home of trainers Ben Jones and Jimmy Jones, whose horses won six Kentucky Derby races and two Triple Crowns.

The grounds of Northwest Missouri State University contain the official Missouri State Arboretum and were a re-creation of the landscape of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. ESPN has carried the university's participation in five national championship football games, three of which they won.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas studied to become a priest at Conception Seminary College, before giving it up for law. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration convent in neighboring Clyde has 550 relics of saints, the largest collection in the nation.

Located in Tornado Alley, many tornadoes have struck the county, including an F4 tornado on April 10, 1979, which obliterated the town of Braddyville, Iowa across the county line. Tornadoes have damaged two of the county's largest buildings, the Administration Building on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University and Conception Abbey. The 1881 Hopkins tornado is one of the first recorded F5 tornadoes.

Several sensational murders have drawn attention to the county, including a profile by CBS's 60 Minutes, as well as in movies.

Early life in the county was chronicled by writer Homer Croy, a Nodaway County native, in many books, articles, films and Broadway shows in the 1920s and 1930s.


The origin of the name "Nodaway" has been attributed to a Pottawatomie name for "placid," a Dakota Sioux name for "crossed without canoe" and various tribes names for "snake."


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 878 square miles (2,270 km2), of which 877 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.1%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in Missouri by area. Iowa is located to the north of Nodaway County.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,318
1860 5,232 125.7%
1870 14,751 181.9%
1880 29,544 100.3%
1890 30,914 4.6%
1900 32,938 6.5%
1910 28,833 −12.5%
1920 27,744 −3.8%
1930 26,371 −4.9%
1940 25,556 −3.1%
1950 24,033 −6.0%
1960 22,215 −7.6%
1970 22,467 1.1%
1980 21,196 −5.7%
1990 21,709 2.4%
2000 21,912 0.9%
2010 23,370 6.7%
2020 21,241 −9.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 21,912 people, 8,138 households, and 4,817 families residing in the county. The population density was 25 people per square mile (10/km2). There were 8,909 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.58% White, 1.35% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Approximately 0.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,138 households, out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.00% were married couples living together, 6.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.80% were non-families. 30.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.40% under the age of 18, 25.10% from 18 to 24, 23.10% from 25 to 44, 18.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,781, and the median income for a family was $42,203. Males had a median income of $28,388 versus $21,267 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,384. About 8.30% of families and 16.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.20% of those under age 18 and 13.30% of those age 65 or over.


Major highways

  • US 71.svg U.S. Route 71
  • US 136.svg U.S. Route 136
  • MO-46.svg Route 46
  • MO-113.svg Route 113
  • MO-148.svg Route 148
  • MO-246.svg Route 246


Nodaway County is served by Northwest Missouri Regional Airport in Maryville, which is a general aviation airport with no commercial service.

Points of interest




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated place

  • Quitman (disincorporated in Nov. 2012)


Public schools

    • Jefferson Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Jefferson High School (07-12)
    • Eugene Field Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Maryville Middle School (05-08)
    • Maryville High School (09-12)
    • Nodaway-Holt Elementary School (K-06)
    • Nodaway-Holt Junior/Senior High School (07-12)
    • North Nodaway County Elementary School (PK-05)
    • North Nodaway County Junior/Senior High School (06-12)
    • Parnell Elementary School (PK-06)
    • Northeast Nodaway County High School (07-12)
    • South Nodaway County Elementary School (PK-06)
    • South Nodaway County High School (07-12)
    • West Nodaway County Elementary School (PK-06)
    • West Nodaway County High School (07-12)

Private schools


  • Northwest Missouri State University – Maryville – A public, four-year university.

Public libraries

  • Maryville Public Library

Notable residents

Maryville Governor's Mansion where both Albert Morehouse and Forrest Donnell lived.
  • Sarah Caldwell (1924-2006) - Boston was an American opera conductor, impresario, and stage director.
  • Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) - author of How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Charles J. Colden (1870-1938) - U.S. Representative
  • Homer Croy (1883-1965) - author and screenwriter who wrote about life in Maryville
  • Albert David (1902-1945) - Medal of Honor winner for capture of U-505 during World War II
  • Forrest C. Donnell (1884–1980) - native of Quitman; Republican Governor from 1941 to 1945 and U.S. Senator from 1945 to 1951
  • Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) - President of the United States; was never a true county resident, but he owned a farm south of Graham
  • Ben A. Jones (1882-1961) and his son Horace A. "Jimmy" Jones (1906-2001) had a farm near Parnell and retired there. During their tenure at Calumet Farm, they trained six Kentucky Derby and two Triple Crown winners. Extensive memorabilia from the racing days are in the Nodaway County Historical Society Museum.
  • Henry L. Jost (1873–1950) - Mayor of Kansas City, who arrived in Hopkins aboard an orphan train
  • Edward H. Moore (1871-1950) - U.S. Senator from Oklahoma
  • Albert P. Morehouse (1835–1891) - Maryville resident who succeeded to Governor from 1887 to 1889
  • Harley Race (1943-2019) - professional wrestler
  • Marcus Morton Rhoades (1903-1991) - cytogeneticist
  • Grant Wallace (1867-1954) - writer of the occult
  • Jerry Wallace (1928-2008) - pop-country singer and actor

See also

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

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