Wayne County, Missouri facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Wayne County Courthouse in Greenville
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 11, 1818|
|Named for||Anthony Wayne|
|• Total||774 sq mi (2,000 km2)|
|• Land||759 sq mi (1,970 km2)|
|• Water||15 sq mi (40 km2) 1.9%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||18/sq mi (7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Wayne County is a county located in the Ozark foothills in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,521. The county seat is Greenville. The county was officially organized on December 11, 1818, and is named after General "Mad" Anthony Wayne who served in the American Revolutionary War.
Wayne County was created in December 1818 by the last Missouri Territorial Legislature from portions of Cape Girardeau and Lawrence counties. Wayne County thus actually predates statehood. In March 1819, Congress established the Territory of Arkansas, and most of Lawrence County became Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory. The small strip that had been excluded was added to Wayne County by the Missouri State Constitution of 1820. The Osage Strip on the Kansas border was added in 1825. Between 1825 and 1831, Wayne County was actually larger than the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware combined. All or part of 32 present Missouri counties once belonged to Wayne County. Despite its size, the Census of 1820 revealed that Wayne County had a total population of just 1,239 white inhabitants and 204 African American slaves.
When Wayne County was formed in 1818, the territorial legislature appointed five commissioners to govern it. They chose a small settlement called Cedar Cabin on the St. Francis River to be the county seat. Renamed Greenville, it had grown to about 1,000 by the turn of the 20th century. By 1940, however, the population had declined to 572. In 1941, the remaining inhabitants were forced to relocated because of the construction of Lake Wappapello. This new town's population had fallen to 270 in 1950, but has now increased to about 450.
The Wayne County Courthouse was destroyed by a fire in 1854. In 1866, the records in new courthouse were stolen, and in 1892 the courthouse again burned down. Thus few county records survive from that time.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 774 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 759 square miles (1,970 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (1.9%) is water.
- Madison County (north)
- Bollinger County (east)
- Stoddard County (southeast)
- Butler County (south)
- Carter County (southwest)
- Reynolds County (west)
- Iron County (northwest)
National protected areas
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,259 people, 5,551 households, and 3,841 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 7,496 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.68% White, 0.17% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. 0.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The most common first ancestries reported in Wayne County were 32.9% American, 15.0% German, 11.9% English, 11.7% Irish, 3.0% French (excluding Basque), 2.0% Dutch and 2.0% Italian.
There were 5,551 households out of which 27.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.20% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 27.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.20% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 23.50% from 25 to 44, 26.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 98.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $29,166, and the median income for a family was $34,727. Males had a median income of $26,241 versus $17,232 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,852. About 17.90% of families and 21.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.70% of those under age 18 and 15.60% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Wayne County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Wayne County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (62.76%), Methodists (10.08%), and Roman Catholics (7.07%).
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