Howell County, Missouri

Last updated
Howell County
Howell County MO Courthouse 20151021-023.jpg
Howell County Courthouse in West Plains
Map of Missouri highlighting Howell County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Missouri in United States.svg
Missouri's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°46′N91°53′W / 36.77°N 91.89°W / 36.77; -91.89
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Missouri.svg  Missouri
FoundedMarch 2, 1857
Named for Josiah Howell, pioneer settler
Seat West Plains
Largest cityWest Plains
Area
  Total928 sq mi (2,400 km2)
  Land927 sq mi (2,400 km2)
  Water1.1 sq mi (3 km2)  0.1%
Population
 (2010)
  Total40,400
  Estimate 
(2018)
40,076
  Density44/sq mi (17/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th
Website www.howellcounty.net

Howell County is a county located in the southern portion of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,400. [1] The largest city and county seat is West Plains. [2] The county was officially organized on March 2, 1851, and is named after Josiah Howell, a pioneer settler in the Howell Valley.

Contents

Howell County comprises the West Plains, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Howell County was organized on March 2, 1857, from Oregon County, and is named for Josiah Howell, who made the first settlement in Howell Valley.

The first Circuit Court met in a log cabin one mile east of West Plains, according to an 1876 account. A small, wooden courthouse was built on the square in West Plains in 1859. It was damaged during the Civil War in 1862. The county was reorganized three years later, but all of the county records were destroyed in an 1866 fire. A second courthouse was built in West Plains in 1869. It was a small, three-room, frame building, about 24 by 30 feet.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 928 square miles (2,400 km2), of which 927 square miles (2,400 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.1%) is water. [3] It is the third-largest county in Missouri by land area and fourth-largest by total area.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1860 3,169
1870 4,21833.1%
1880 8,814109.0%
1890 18,618111.2%
1900 21,83417.3%
1910 21,065−3.5%
1920 21,1020.2%
1930 19,672−6.8%
1940 22,27013.2%
1950 22,7252.0%
1960 22,027−3.1%
1970 23,5216.8%
1980 28,80722.5%
1990 31,4479.2%
2000 37,23818.4%
2010 40,4008.5%
2018 (est.)40,076 [4] −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [5]
1790-1960 [6] 1900-1990 [7]
1990-2000 [8] 2010-2015 [1]

As of the census [9] of 2000, there were 37,238 people, 14,762 households, and 10,613 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (16/km2). There were 16,340 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.41% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.97% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Approximately 1.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Howell County were 28.3% American, 16.4% German, 12.2% Irish, and 12.1% English.

There were 14,762 households, out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,761, and the median income for a family was $38,047. Males had a median income of $22,960 versus $16,968 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,184. About 14.00% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.3% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.

Religion

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Howell County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Howell County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (47.70%), Churches of Christ (8.81%), and Roman Catholics (6.99%).

Education

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Howell County, 73.4% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 10.9% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

Private schools

Alternative and vocational schools

Colleges and universities

Public libraries

Politics

Local

Howell County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Daniel Franks Republican
Circuit Clerk Cindy Weeks Republican
County Clerk Dennis K. Von Allmen Republican
Collector Larry Spence Republican
Commissioner
(Presiding)
Mark B. Collins Republican
Commissioner
(District 1)
Bill Lovelace Republican
Commissioner
(District 2)
Billy D. Sexton Republican
Coroner James T. "Tim" Cherry Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Michael P. Hutchings Republican
Public Administrator Charm L. Eagleman Republican
Recorder Sharon Trowbridge Republican
Sheriff James M. "Mike" Shannon Republican
Surveyor Ralph Riggs Republican
Treasurer Ernestine Doss Republican

The Republican Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Howell County. Republicans hold all elected positions in the county. District 2 (Southern) Commissioner Billy Sexton took office as a Democrat but announced in 2014 he was changing parties and sought re-election as a Republican. [13]

State

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 70.65%12,26625.68% 4,4593.67% 637
2012 54.23%8,84942.59% 6,9503.19% 520
2008 45.33% 7,65952.11%8,8042.56% 432
2004 64.89%10,59533.48% 5,4661.63% 267
2000 53.51%7,53744.77% 6,3061.72% 242
1996 51.71%7,03044.78% 6,0873.51% 477
1992 48.26% 6,40151.74%6,8620.00% 0
1988 71.70%8,32127.69% 3,2140.61% 71
1984 70.90%8,47629.10% 3,4790.00% 0
1980 59.53%6,95640.32% 4,7110.15% 18
1976 57.07%5,67342.77% 4,2510.16% 16
1972 61.53%6,29638.40% 3,9290.07% 7
1968 48.33% 4,60551.67%4,9230.00% 0
1964 47.58% 4,45352.42%4,9050.00% 0
1960 64.55%6,16635.45% 3,3860.00% 0

In the Missouri House of Representatives, Howell County is divided into two legislative districts, both of which are represented by Republicans.

Missouri House of Representatives — Missouri House of Representatives — District 154 — Howell County (2016)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Shaun Rhoads11,56374.93%-25.07
Independent Terry Hampton3,86825.07%+25.07
Missouri House of Representatives — District 154 — Howell County (2014)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Shaun Rhoads5,933100.00%+31.47
Missouri House of Representatives — District 154 — Howell County (2012)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Shaun Rhoads9,95068.53%
Democratic R.A. Pendergrass4,57031.47%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 142 — Howell County (2016)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Robert Ross1,19682.43%-17.57
Democratic Bobby Johnston, Jr.25517.57%+17.57
Missouri House of Representatives — District 142 — Howell County (2014)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Robert Ross589100.00%
Missouri House of Representatives — District 142 — Howell County (2012)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Robert Ross1,173100.00%

All of Howell County is a part of Missouri's 33rd District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Mike Cunningham of Rogersville.

Missouri Senate — District 33 — Howell County (2016)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Mike Cunningham14,995100.00%
Missouri Senate — District 33 — Howell County (2012)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Mike Cunningham13,700100.00%

Federal

Missouri's two U.S. Senators are Claire McCaskill of Kirkwood and Roy Blunt of Strafford.

U.S. Senate — Missouri — Howell County (2016)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Roy Blunt12,07069.61%+18.26
Democratic Jason Kander4,37525.23%-15.97
Libertarian Jonathan Dine4332.50%-4.95
Green Johnathan McFarland2181.26%+1.26
Constitution Fred Ryman2431.40%+1.40
U.S. Senate — Missouri — Howell County (2012)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Todd Akin8,34051.35%
Democratic Claire McCaskill6,69241.20%
Libertarian Jonathan Dine1,2107.45%

All of Howell County is included in Missouri's 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Jason T. Smith of Salem in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to complete the remaining term of former U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau. Emerson announced her resignation a month after being reelected with over 70 percent of the vote in the district. She resigned to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative.

U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 8th Congressional District — Howell County (2016)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jason T. Smith13,65580.64%+19.51
Democratic Dave Cowell2,77616.38%+5.05
Libertarian Jonathan Shell5052.98%+1.45
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 8th Congressional District — Howell County (2014)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jason T. Smith4,74261.13%-7.91
Democratic Barbara Stocker87911.33%-7.36
Libertarian Rick Vandeven1191.53%-0.39
Constitution Doug Enyart1632.10%-8.25
Independent Terry Hampton1,85423.90%+23.90
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 8th Congressional District — Special Election — Howell County (2013)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jason T. Smith2,26869.04%-8.16
Democratic Steven Hodges61418.69%+0.75
Libertarian Bill Slantz631.92%-2.94
Constitution Doug Enyart34010.35%+10.35
U.S. House of Representatives — Missouri's 8th Congressional District — Howell County (2012)
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson12,45677.20%
Democratic Jack Rushin2,89517.94%
Libertarian Rick Vandeven7844.86%

Political culture

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [14]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 81.3%15,18117.2% 3,2181.5% 277
2016 79.6%13,89316.5% 2,8813.9% 681
2012 70.6%11,54426.9% 4,3952.5% 407
2008 64.5%10,98233.7% 5,7361.8% 311
2004 67.8%11,09731.3% 5,1181.0% 164
2000 64.1%9,01833.0% 4,6413.0% 416
1996 44.3%5,99138.9% 5,26116.8% 2,272
1992 39.6% 5,36040.6%5,49219.8% 2,685
1988 62.5%7,27737.1% 4,3240.4% 44
1984 68.5%8,20431.5% 3,767
1980 60.1%7,14937.6% 4,4722.4% 282
1976 46.8% 4,69252.5%5,2650.8% 78
1972 72.2%7,25327.8% 2,795
1968 57.2%5,63128.1% 2,76314.7% 1,444
1964 48.3% 4,63251.8%4,968
1960 72.2%7,09527.8% 2,734
1956 64.1%5,47335.9% 3,066
1952 66.2%6,60833.6% 3,3490.3% 26
1948 54.9%4,42744.7% 3,5990.4% 34
1944 62.9%5,15136.9% 3,0200.2% 14
1940 59.2%6,15840.6% 4,2180.2% 21
1936 52.6%5,29747.0% 4,7250.4% 42
1932 42.9% 3,66055.9%4,7751.2% 105
1928 65.3%4,86934.1% 2,5430.7% 49
1924 48.2%3,13041.3% 2,68110.5% 682
1920 63.2%4,34433.8% 2,3232.9% 202
1916 50.2%2,13243.8% 1,8615.9% 252
1912 34.1% 1,46536.5%1,56529.4% 1,264
1908 51.1%2,16443.1% 1,8275.8% 245
1904 53.4%2,08941.0% 1,6055.6% 219
1900 48.8%2,05946.9% 1,9754.3% 182
1896 44.0% 1,89255.2%2,3730.8% 33
1892 41.9% 1,48446.4%1,64211.7% 413
1888 42.7% 1,37047.0%1,50610.4% 332

Howell County is, like several rural counties located in the Ozarks, conservative and strongly Republican at the presidential level. Bill Clinton of neighboring Arkansas was the last Democratic presidential nominee to win Howell County in 1992; he lost the county during his 1996 reelection bid and since then, voters in Howell County have decisively backed Republicans. Controversy occurred during the course of the 2008 presidential campaign over a billboard displayed near West Plains that depicted a picture of then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in a turban. Some were offended by the billboard and deemed it racist. [15]

Like most rural areas throughout Southeast Missouri, voters in Howell County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly won in Howell County with 83.36 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Howell County with 57.97 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Howell County's longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Howell County with 67.79 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor. (During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.)

Missouri presidential preference primary (2008)

Howell County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 1,347 (24.76%)
Mike Huckabee 2,882 (52.97%)
Mitt Romney 793 (14.57%)
Ron Paul 356 (6.54%)
Howell County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Clinton 2,307 (64.07%)
Barack Obama 1,168 (32.44%)
John Edwards (withdrawn)99 (2.75%)
Uncommitted 14 (1.06%)

In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primary, voters in Howell County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

Townships

See also

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References

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  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  4. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  5. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  6. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
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  9. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. Breeding, Marshall. "Mountain View Public Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  11. Breeding, Marshall. "West Plains Public Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  12. Breeding, Marshall. "Willow Springs Public Library". Libraries.org. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  13. "Changing political party affiliation". West Plains Daily Quill. Retrieved 2018-10-04.
  14. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  15. The Washington Post, Retrieved July 27, 2013.

Coordinates: 36°46′N91°53′W / 36.77°N 91.89°W / 36.77; -91.89