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Mississippi County Historical Marker


Location of sign - Off Missouri Highway 25 in Charleston, Missouri


Photo taken April 2008


Mississippi County Historical Marker

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Wayne


Text of sign:


Mississippi County


Comprising 411 square miles of Missouri's great alluvial plain, this county, organized in 1845, is a high producer of cotton, grain,

and soybeans.  The Mississippi (Algonquin Indian for Great Water), flowing along some 70 miles of the county's eastern 

boundary, separates it from Ill. and Ky.  A boundary dispute over Wolf Island was settled, 1871 in Kentucky's favor by U.S.

Supreme Court.

Charleston, the county seat, known today as "Cotton Capital" and shoe manufacturing center, was first called Mathews' Prairie 

for John Mathews, settler on a Spanish land grant there, 1801.  John Rodney laid out the town, named for Chas. Moore, 1837,

on land of W.P. Bernard, Joseph Moore, and Thankful Randol.


First settlement was Birds Point across Cairo, Ill., where a 1-mile bridge, built 1929 crosses the river.  John Johnson came there,

1800, and Abraham Bird (later one of the founders of Hannibal) had a trading post and river landing, 1805.  Settled by Ky. and 

Tenn. pioneers, the county lies in the 1808 Osage Indian land cession.  350 prehistoric mounds remain.  New Madrid's 

Earthquakes of 1811-12 violently affected the county.

(see other side)

Erected by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission 1959


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