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Reynolds County, Missouri facts for kids

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Reynolds County
The antebellum county courthouse in Centerville
The antebellum county courthouse in Centerville
Map of Missouri highlighting Reynolds 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 25, 1845
Named for Thomas Reynolds
Seat Centerville
Largest city Ellington
 • Total 814 sq mi (2,110 km2)
 • Land 808 sq mi (2,090 km2)
 • Water 5.9 sq mi (15 km2)  0.7%
 • Total 6,096
 • Estimate 
 • Density 7.489/sq mi (2.8915/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th

Reynolds County is a county located in the Ozark Foothills Region in the Lead Belt of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 6,096. Its county seat is Centerville. The county was officially organized on February 25, 1845, and was named in honor of former Governor of Missouri Thomas Reynolds.

The county is home to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, a popular tourist attraction in the state of Missouri.


Reynolds County was officially organized on February 25, 1845. It is still an area of rugged beauty near the geologic center of the Ozark Highland. Reynolds County was formerly part of Ripley County which was formed in 1831 and part of Wayne County which was formed in 1818. It was also previously part of Washington County and part of Ste. Genevieve County.

The Reynolds County Courthouse has burned twice. The first time was in December 1863 when the Confederate army burned it. A new courthouse was built in the fall of 1867 on the same foundation as the previous one. This courthouse was burned in late November 1871. Both times all records were destroyed. Temporary quarters again burned May 27, 1872, while a new "fireproof" courthouse was being built.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 814 square miles (2,110 km2), of which 808 square miles (2,090 km2) is land and 5.9 square miles (15 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • MO-21.svg Route 21
  • MO-49.svg Route 49
  • MO-72.svg Route 72
  • MO-106.svg Route 106

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,849
1860 3,173 71.6%
1870 3,756 18.4%
1880 5,722 52.3%
1890 6,803 18.9%
1900 8,161 20.0%
1910 9,592 17.5%
1920 10,106 5.4%
1930 8,923 −11.7%
1940 9,370 5.0%
1950 6,918 −26.2%
1960 5,161 −25.4%
1970 6,106 18.3%
1980 7,230 18.4%
1990 6,661 −7.9%
2000 6,689 0.4%
2010 6,696 0.1%
2020 6,096 −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,689 people, 2,721 households, and 1,915 families residing in the county. The population density was 8 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 3,759 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.65% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Approximately 0.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Reynolds County were 37.6% American, 12.1% Irish, 11.6% German, and 11.4% English.

There were 2,721 households, out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.20% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.00% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 27.90% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 101.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,546, and the median income for a family was $37,891. Males had a median income of $26,753 versus $18,322 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,847. About 16.10% of families and 20.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.90% of those under age 18 and 15.50% of those age 65 or over.


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Reynolds County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Reynolds County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (78.80%), Baptist Missionary Association of America (8.24%), and Methodists (4.24%).



Of adults 25 years of age and older in Reynolds County, 40.4% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 10.0% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

    • Bunker Elementary School (K-06)
    • Bunker High School (07-12)
  • Centerville R-I School District - Centerville
    • Centerville Elementary School (K-08)
    • Lesterville Elementary School (K-06)
    • Lesterville High School (07-12)
    • Lesterville Ranch Campus (K-12) - Black
    • Southern Reynolds County Elementary School (PK-05)
    • Southern Reynolds County High School (06-12)

Public libraries

  • Reynolds County Library District
Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Scientists:
Ernest Everett Just
Mary Jackson
Emmett Chappelle
Marie Maynard Daly
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