Webster County Courthouse in Marshfield
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 3, 1854|
|Named for||Daniel Webster|
|• Total||594 sq mi (1,540 km2)|
|• Land||593 sq mi (1,540 km2)|
|• Water||1.2 sq mi (3 km2) 0.2%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||67/sq mi (26/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Congressional districts||4th, 7th|
Webster County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,202.Its county seat is Marshfield. The county was organized in 1855 and named for U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster.
Webster County is part of the Springfield, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Webster County was organized on March 3, 1855 and encompasses 590 miles of the highest extensive upland area of Missouri's Ozarks. The judicial seat is Marshfield, which lies 1,490 feet above sea level. Webster County is the highest county seat in the state of Missouri. Pioneer Legislator John F. McMahan named the county and county seat for Daniel Webster, and his Marshfield, Massachusetts home.
Marshfield was laid out in 1856 by R.H. Pitts, on land that was given by C.F. Dryden and W.T. and B.F.T. Burford. Until a courthouse was built, the county business was conducted at Hazelwood where Joseph W. McClurg, later Governor of Missouri, operated a general store. Today's Carthage Marble courthouse was built in 1939-1941 and is the county's third.
During the U.S. Civil War, a small force of pro-Southern troops was driven out of Marshfield in February 1862, and ten months later a body of Confederates was routed east of town. On January 9, 1863, General Joseph O. Shelby’s troops burned the stoutly built Union fortification at Marshfield and at Sand Springs, evacuated earlier. By 1862, the telegraph line passed near Marshfield on a route later called the “Old Wire Road.”
A part of the 1808 Osage Native American land cession, the county was settled in the early 1830s by pioneers from Kentucky and Tennessee. A Native American trail crossed southern Webster County and many prehistoric mounds are in the area.
The railroad-building boom of the post Civil War period stimulated the county's growth as a dairy, poultry, and livestock producer. The Atlantic & Pacific (Frisco) Railroad was built through Marshfield in 1872, and by 1883 the Kansas City, Springfield, and Memphis (Frisco) crossed the county. Seymour, Rogersville, Fordland and Niangua grew up along the railroad routes.
Early schools in the county were Marshfield Academy, chartered in 1860; Mt. Dale Academy, opened in 1873; and Henderson Academy, chartered in 1879.
On April 18, 1880, an intense tornado measuring F4 on the Fujita scale struck Marshfield. Its damage path was 800 yards (730 m) wide and 64 miles (103 km) long. The tornado killed 99 people and injured 100, and it is said that 10% of Marshfield's residents were killed and all but 15 of its buildings were destroyed. The composition “Marshfield Cyclone” by the African-American musician John W. (Blind) Boone gave wide publicity to the cyclone, which is still listed as one of the top ten natural disasters in the history of the nation.
Astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889–1953) was born in Marshfield and attended through the third grade in the public school system. A replica of the Hubble telescope sits in the courthouse yard and the Marshfield stretch of I-44 was named in his honor.
Marshfield holds claim to the oldest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi River. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush and wife Barbara visited the parade on July 4, 1991, while campaigning for the presidency through Missouri. Webster County also boasts the longest continuous county fair in the state of Missouri.
The annual Seymour Apple Festival, established in 1973, has grown to one of Missouri's largest free celebrations, with estimated crowds of more than 30,000 congregating on the Seymour public square each second weekend of September. The festival pays tribute to Seymour's apple industry, which began in the 1840s, with Seymour being called "The Land Of The Big Red Apple" around the turn of the 20th century, when Webster County produced more than 50 percent of the state's apple crop.
Webster County straddles the drainage divide between the Missouri and Arkansas rivers and the headwaters of the James, Niangua, Gasconade, and Pomme de Terre rivers arise in Webster County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 594 square miles (1,540 km2), of which 593 square miles (1,540 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
1990-2000 2010-2015 2019
As of the census mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.20% White, 1.16% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Approximately 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.of 2000, there were 31,045 people, 11,073 households, and 8,437 families residing in the county. The population density was 52 people per square mile (20/km2). There were 12,052 housing units at an average density of 20 per square
There were 11,073 households, out of which 37.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.00% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.80% were non-families. 20.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.90% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,948, and the median income for a family was $46,941. Males had a median income of $28,168 versus $20,768 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,948. About 9.60% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.
|Webster County, Missouri|
|Elected countywide officials|
|Circuit Clerk||Jill Peck||Republican|
|County Clerk||Stanley D. Whitehurst||Republican|
| Commissioner |
| Commissioner |
| Commissioner |
|Prosecuting Attorney||Ben Berkstresser||Republican|
|Public Administrator||Danielle Boggs||Republican|
|Recorder||Gary Don Letterman||Republican|
|Surveyor||Dennis D. Amsinger||Republican|
The Republican Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Webster County. Republicans hold all of the elected positions in the county.
|2016||66.52%11,450||30.07% 5,039||3.41% 572|
|2012||54.56%8,406||42.65% 6,570||2.79% 430|
|2008||46.31% 7,521||51.14%8,306||2.55% 414|
|2004||67.61%10,086||31.18% 4,651||1.21% 181|
|2000||56.66%6,721||41.35% 4,904||2.99% 236|
|1996||54.63%5,512||41.43% 4,180||3.94% 397|
Webster County is split between Missouri's 137th and 141st Districts in the Missouri House of Representatives.
All of Webster County is part of Missouri's 33rd District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Mike Cunningham (R-Rogersville).
Most of Webster County is included in Missouri's 4th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The southwestern party of the county is included in the 7th Congressional District, which is represented by Billy Long (R-Springfield).
|Libertarian||Herschel L. Young||537||7.50%||+5.08|
|Democratic||Genevieve (Gen) Williams||921||23.46%||-4.55|
|Libertarian||Benjamin T. Brixey||226||5.76%||-4.40|
Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Webster County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Webster County in 2000 and 2004 by around two-to-one margins, and like many other rural counties throughout Missouri, Webster County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. The last Democratic presidential nominee to carry Webster County was Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Like most areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Webster County traditionally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to strongly 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 passed Webster County with 82.32 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Webster County with 57.94 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 Webster 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 Webster County with 75.50 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.
|Webster County, Missouri|
|2008 Republican primary in Missouri|
|John McCain||1,343 (26.59%)|
|Mike Huckabee||2,576 (51.00%)|
|Mitt Romney||897 (17.76%)|
|Ron Paul||168 (3.33%)|
|Webster County, Missouri|
|2008 Democratic primary in Missouri|
|Hillary Clinton||2,218 (61.20%)|
|Barack Obama||1,249 (34.46%)|
|John Edwards (withdrawn)||119 (3.28%)|
In the open Presidential Primary of 2016, there were: 1,793 votes for Democrats; 6,878 votes for Republicans; 11 Libertarian votes, and 2 votes for candidates of the Constitution Party. Among a field of Democrats, Bernie Sanders out-paced Hillary Clinton (53% vs. 45%) and others. Among Republicans, Texas Senator Ted Cruz gained more votes (53%) than future President Donald J. Trump and the other contenders.
In 2012, Rick Santorum received 1,343 votes, more than any other candidate and approximately 63% of Republican votes cast.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 2,576, than any candidate from either party in Webster County during the 2008 presidential primary.
Wright County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,815. Its county seat is Hartville. The county was officially organized on January 29, 1841, and is named after Silas Wright, a former Congressman, U.S. Senator and Governor of New York. As of 2020, Wright County is the median population center of the 48 mainland states of the United States.
Texas County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,008. Its county seat is Houston. The county was organized in 1843 as Ashley County, changing its name in 1845 to Texas, after the Republic of Texas.
Stone County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,202. Its county seat is Galena.
Stoddard County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,968. The county seat is Bloomfield. The county was officially organized on January 2, 1835, and is named for Amos Stoddard, the first American commandant of Upper Louisiana.
Shannon County is a county in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,441. Its county seat is Eminence. The county was officially organized on January 29, 1841, and was named in honor of George F. "Peg-Leg" Shannon, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is the second-largest county by area in Missouri.
Ripley County is a county in the Ozarks, Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,100. The largest city and county seat is Doniphan. The county was officially organized on January 5, 1833, and is named after Brigadier General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley, a soldier who served with distinction in the War of 1812.
Pemiscot County is a county located in the southeastern corner in the Bootheel in the U.S. state of Missouri, with the Mississippi River forming its eastern border. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,296. The largest city and county seat is Caruthersville. The county was officially organized on February 19, 1851, and is named for the local bayou, taken from the Fox dialect word, pem-eskaw, meaning "liquid mud". This has been an area of cotton plantations and later other commodity crops.
Ozark County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,723. The largest city and county seat is Gainesville. The county was organized as Ozark County, named after the Ozark Mountains, on January 29, 1841. It was renamed Decatur County, after Commodore Stephen Decatur, from 1843 to 1845, after which the name Ozark County was restored.
Oregon County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,881. Its county seat is Alton. The county was officially organized on February 14, 1845, and was named for the Oregon Territory in the northwestern United States.
Mississippi County is a county located in the Bootheel of the U.S. state of Missouri, with its eastern border formed by the Mississippi River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,358. The largest city and county seat is Charleston. The county was officially organized on February 14, 1845, and was named after the Mississippi River.
Howell County is a county located in the southern portion of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,400. The largest city and county seat is West Plains. The county was officially organized on March 2, 1851, and is named after Josiah Howell, a pioneer settler in the Howell Valley.
Greene County is located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, its population was 275,174, making it the fourth most-populous county in Missouri. Its county seat and most-populous city is Springfield. The county was organized in 1833 and is named after American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene.
Gentry County is a county located in the northwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,738. Its county seat is Albany. The county was organized February 14, 1841 and named for Colonel Richard Gentry of Boone County, who fell in the Seminole War in 1837.
Gasconade County is a county located in the east-central portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,222. The county seat is Hermann. The county was named after the Gasconade River.
Franklin County is located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 101,492. Its county seat is Union. The county was organized in 1818 and is named after Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.
Douglas County is a county located in the south-central portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,684. The county seat and only incorporated community is Ava. The county was officially organized on October 19, 1857, and is named after U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas (D-Illinois) and later Democratic presidential candidate.
Daviess County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,433. Its county seat is Gallatin. The county was organized December 29, 1836, from Ray County and named for Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, a soldier from Kentucky who was killed in 1811 at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
Christian County is located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, its population was 77,422. Its county seat is Ozark. The county was organized in 1859 and is named after William Christian, a Kentucky soldier of the American Revolutionary War.
Cape Girardeau County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Missouri; its eastern border is formed by the Mississippi River. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 75,674. The county seat is Jackson, the first city in the US to be named in honor of President Andrew Jackson. Officially organized on October 1, 1812, the county is named after Ensign Sieur Jean Baptiste de Girardot, an official of the French colonial years. The "cape" in the county's name is named after a former promontory rock overlooking the Mississippi River; this feature was demolished during railroad construction.
Rogersville is a city in Greene and Webster counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 3,073 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area. Rogersville was formally known as the "Raccoon Capital of the World". In 2006, 417 Magazine ranked Rogersville as the eighth-best place to live in Southwest Missouri.