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Parnell, Missouri
Location of Parnell, Missouri
Location of Parnell, Missouri
Coordinates: 40°26′19″N 94°37′15″W / 40.43861°N 94.62083°W / 40.43861; -94.62083Coordinates: 40°26′19″N 94°37′15″W / 40.43861°N 94.62083°W / 40.43861; -94.62083
Country United States
State Missouri
County Nodaway
 • Total 0.27 sq mi (0.71 km2)
 • Land 0.27 sq mi (0.71 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,030 ft (314 m)
 • Total 191
 • Estimate 
 • Density 624.09/sq mi (241.30/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 660
FIPS code 29-56360
GNIS feature ID 0724051

Parnell is a city in Nodaway County, Missouri, United States, near the Platte River. The population was 191 at the 2010 Census. It was home to the father-son horse trainers Ben and Jimmy Jones, whose horses won eight Kentucky Derbies and two Triple Crowns.


Parnell was platted on July 5, 1887 as a station stop on the Chicago Great Western Railway and it was formally incorporated in 1888. The Chicago Great Western route passing through the community was called the Diagonal Route. It ran at northeast direction from Kansas City to Waterloo, Iowa including passing through the community of Diagonal, Iowa. Among the first businesses was the Diagonal Hotel.

Ben Jones father Horace Jones organized the founding of the community and an early proposed names was Jonesville until it was discovered there was another Jonesville in Missouri. The name ultimately chosen was in honor or Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell who was at the peak of influence in creating Irish homerule when Parnell was incorporated.

The elder Horace Jones started a ranch on the northeast side of Parnell where he raised Angus cattle and saddle horses. At the ranch Ben (along with his son Horace "Jimmy") trained a horse named Seth which was in the top 20 of the national thoroughbred sires list from 1925-28. This in turn got the attention of Herbert M. Woolf, owner of Woolford Farm in Prairie Village, Kansas and Ben trained Lawrin which won the Kentucky Derby in 1938. The two were lured by Warren Wright, Sr. to train horses at Calumet Farm in 1939 where they racked up a record training 7 Kentucky Derby winners (1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1957, 1958) and two Triple Crown winners (Whirlaway and Citation). Ben's record of 6 wins remains a Derby record. He was succeeded by Jimmy as trainer and Jimmy was the trainer of record for the 1957 and 1958 wins although Ben stayed on as Calumet manager until 1961. Jimmy stayed at Calumet until 1964 when he became manager of racing at Monmouth Park.

After he retiring in 1976 Jimmy returned to 1,750 acre ranch in Parnell. He sold the ranch in 1986. He had no children and died in Maryville, Missouri in 2001. He left $7.2 million to St. Francis Hospital there.


Parnell is located at 40°26′19″N 94°37′15″W / 40.43861°N 94.62083°W / 40.43861; -94.62083 (40.438691, -94.620856). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.29 square miles (0.75 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 267
1900 432 61.8%
1910 438 1.4%
1920 473 8.0%
1930 490 3.6%
1940 450 −8.2%
1950 362 −19.6%
1960 260 −28.2%
1970 232 −10.8%
1980 223 −3.9%
1990 157 −29.6%
2000 197 25.5%
2010 191 −3.0%
2019 (est.) 171 −10.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 191 people, 90 households, and 49 families residing in the city. The population density was 658.6 inhabitants per square mile (254.3/km2). There were 127 housing units at an average density of 437.9 per square mile (169.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.5% White and 0.5% Asian.

There were 90 households, of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.6% were non-families. 43.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 32.8 years. 28.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22% were from 25 to 44; 24.1% were from 45 to 64; and 15.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.4% male and 46.6% female.

Notable people

  • Ben Jones, Thoroughbred horse trainer. Trained six Kentucky Derby winners.
  • Horace A. Jones, Thoroughbred horse trainer. Trained Citation and two other Kentucky Derby winners.
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