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Douglas County, Missouri

Douglas County, Missouri
Douglas County courthouse in Ava
Map of Missouri highlighting Douglas County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded October 19, 1857
Named for Stephen A. Douglas
Seat Ava
Largest city Ava
 • Total 815 sq mi (2,111 km2)
 • Land 814 sq mi (2,108 km2)
 • Water 1.0 sq mi (3 km2), 0.1%
 • (2010) 13,684
 • Density 17/sq mi (7/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Douglas County is a

  • Digitized 1930 Plat Book of Douglas County from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books

External links

  • Searching for Booger County - Ozark Folk Histories, Sandy Ray Chapin, Boogeyman Books (2002) ISBN 978-0-9668075-3-0
  • Baldknobbers - Vigilantes on the Ozarks Frontier, Mary Hartman and Elmo Ingenthron, Pelican Publishing (1988) ISBN 978-0-88289-683-0

Further reading

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 165. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 108. 
  5. ^ U.S. National Park Service CWSAC Battle Summary
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets Past and Present of Douglas County, MissouriMoser, Arthur Paul;
  14. ^ Post Offices in Douglas County, MO


See also

The county has only one incorporated town: Ava, the county seat. Also, a number of current and historic communities are present:[13][14]


Douglas County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Clinton 827 (62.32%)
Barack Obama 454 (34.21%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 39 (2.94%)
Douglas County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 516 (21.15%)
Mike Huckabee 1,343 (55.04%)
Mitt Romney 270 (11.07%)
Ron Paul 290 (12.09%)
  • Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 1,343, than any candidate from either party in Douglas County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primaries. He also received 16 more votes than the total number of votes cast in the entire Democratic Primary in Douglas County.

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

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)

Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Douglas 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 Douglas County with 85.78 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 Douglas County with 59.36 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 Douglas 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 Douglas County with 71.97 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.

Douglas County is, like most other counties located in the GOP bastion of Southwest Missouri, a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Douglas County in over 50 years. While statewide elections tend to be closer throughout the state, this is not the case in Douglas County, as no Democratic gubernatorial nominee had won the county in over 50 years until Governor Jay Nixon's narrow pluralistic win in 2008. Furthermore, with all local elected offices being held by Republicans, voters have kept the traditionally Republican dominance alive in Douglas County.

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 70.90% 4,649 26.08% 1,710 3.02% 198
2008 65.63% 4,405 31.88% 2,140 2.49% 167
2004 71.09% 4,498 27.52% 1,741 1.39% 88
2000 68.15% 3,599 29.27% 1,546 2.58% 136
1996 50.17% 2,601 33.64% 1,744 16.18% 839
1992 44.35% 2,569 36.71% 2,126 18.66% 1,081
1988 64.85% 3,225 34.89% 1,735 0.26% 13
1984 70.44% 3,662 29.56% 1,536 0.00% 0
1980 65.50% 3,440 31.93% 1,677 2.57% 135
1976 56.82% 2,652 42.45% 1,981 0.73% 34
1972 75.73% 3,773 24.27% 1,209 0.00% 0
1968 67.11% 2,836 23.14% 978 9.75% 412
1964 58.87% 2,280 41.13% 1,593 0.00% 0
1960 78.08% 3,611 21.92% 1,014 0.00% 0

Political culture

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Douglas County (2013)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jason T. Smith 1,011 75.22
Democratic Steve Hodges 245 18.23
Constitution Doug Enyart 66 4.91
Libertarian Bill Slantz 22 1.64
U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 – Douglas County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 4,942 77.42 +11.12
Democratic Jack Rushin 1,116 17.48 -8.72
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 325 5.09 +1.52

All of Douglas County is included in Missouri's 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Republican 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 Republican 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. Senate - Class III – Douglas County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roy Blunt 3,522 67.41
Democratic Robin Carnahan 1,199 22.95
Constitution Jerry Beck 263 5.03
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 241 4.61

Blunt was elected to his first term in 2010 with 54.23 percent of the statewide vote over former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Libertarian Jonathan Dine of Riverside, and Constitutionalist Jerry Beck of Novelty; Douglas County voters backed Blunt with just under 67 and a half percent of the vote.

U.S. Senate - Class I – Douglas County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican W. Todd Akin 3,498 53.55
Democratic Claire McCaskill 2,486 38.06
Libertarian Jonathan Dine 548 8.39

McCaskill was reelected to her second term in 2012 with 54.81 percent of the statewide vote over former Republican U.S. Representative W. Todd Akin of Town & Country and Libertarian Jonathan Dine of Riverside; Douglas County voters, however, supported Akin with just over 55 and a half percent of the vote.

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


In the Missouri Senate, all of Douglas County is a part of Missouri’s 33rd District and is currently represented by Republican Dan W. Brown of Caulfield. Cunningham ran unopposed in 2012 and was elected to his first term in the Missouri Senate to succeed fellow Republican Chuck Purgason of Caulfield. Purgason successfully served two terms/eight years in the Missouri Senate and was ineligible to seek a third term due to term limits.

In the Missouri House of Representatives, all of Douglas County is a part of Missouri’s 155th District and is currently represented by Lyle Rowland, a Republican from Cedar Creek. Rowland was reelected to a second term in 2012 in the newly redrawn district.

Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 59.43% 3,869 36.97% 2,407 3.59% 234
2008 45.27% 3,014 48.95% 3,259 5.78% 385
2004 70.08% 4,412 28.40% 1,788 1.52% 96
2000 63.53% 3,317 34.73% 1,813 1.74% 91
1996 61.03% 3,145 36.06% 1,858 2.91% 150
1992 57.14% 3,203 42.86% 2,403 0.00% 0
1988 74.63% 3,671 24.90% 1,225 0.47% 23
1984 75.00% 3,846 25.00% 1,282 0.00% 0
1980 60.76% 3,151 38.78% 2,011 0.46% 24
1976 63.51% 2,924 36.21% 1,667 0.28% 13
1972 67.00% 3,350 32.90% 1,645 0.10% 5
1968 59.75% 2,420 40.25% 1,630 0.00% 0
1964 58.64% 2,217 41.16% 1,551 0.00% 0
1960 73.68% 3,242 26.32% 1,158 0.00% 0


Douglas County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Alicia Miller-Degase Republican
Circuit Clerk Kim Hathcock Republican
County Clerk Karry Davis Republican
Collector Laura Stillings Republican
Larry Pueppke Republican
(District 1)
Richard Mitchell Republican
(District 2)
Danny Dry Republican
Coroner Rick Miller Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Roger Wall Republican
Public Administrator Linda Coonts Republican
Recorder Tina Boyd Republican
Sheriff Chris Degase Republican
Surveyor Ray Riggs Republican
Treasurer Theresa Miller Republican

The Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Douglas County. Republicans hold all of the elected positions in the county.



Private schools

  • Ava R-I School District - Ava
    • Ava Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Ava Middle School (05-08)
    • Ava High School (09-12)
  • Plainview R8 School District - Goodhope, Missouri
    • Plainview Elementary School (K-08) - West of Ava
  • Skyline R2 School District - Norwood, Missouri
    • Skyline Elementary (K-08)
Ava High School in Ava, Missouri

Public schools

Of adults 25 years of age and older in Douglas County, 69.7% possess a high school diploma or higher while 9.9% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.


Established in 1950, a Trappist monastery, Assumption Abbey, can be found nestled on 3,000 acres in the Ozark hills. An associated Friary, Our Lady of the Angels, is located nearby. Both facilities have overnight rooms available to be utilized by the public for a small fee in order to find a place of solace and quiet reflection.

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Douglas County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Douglas County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (22.95%), Church of the Nazarene (16.28%), and Mormons (13.70%).


The median income for a household in the county was $31,335, and the median income for a family was $36,648. Males had a median income of $22,706 versus $17,060 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,710. About 12.90% of families and 17.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.80% of those under age 18 and 18.20% of those age 65 or over.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 24.50% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 17.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.

There were 5,201 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.00% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 13,084 people, 5,201 households, and 3,671 families residing in the county. The population density was 16 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 5,919 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.86% White, 0.11% Black or African American, 0.95% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. Approximately 0.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Douglas County are 31.3% American, 13.2% English, 12.3% German, and 9.7% Irish, according to Census 2000.


National protected area

Major highways

Adjacent counties

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 815 square miles (2,110 km2), of which 814 square miles (2,110 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) (0.1%) is water.[6]


Previously, the county seat was located at Arno, west of Ava. Prior to that, Vera Cruz (formerly called Red Bud) was the county seat. Vera Cruz is located on Bryant Creek, which flows through the middle of the county. The Civil War Battle of Clark's Mill took place near Vera Cruz on November 7, 1862 and resulted in a Confederate victory.[5] After the American Civil War, during a period of general chaos, a group from the western part of the county broke into the Arno courthouse and removed the records back to Vera Cruz. Later in 1871, a new town site was selected, present-day Ava, near the location of the former U.S. Civil War military Post Office, Militia Spring. The location of this new town seemed to satisfy most of the residents of Douglas County to be their point of county government.



  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
    • National protected area 2.3
  • Demographics 3
    • Religion 3.1
  • Education 4
    • Public schools 4.1
    • Private schools 4.2
  • Politics 5
    • Local 5.1
    • State 5.2
    • Federal 5.3
      • Political culture 5.3.1
    • Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008) 5.4
  • Communities 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

) and later Democratic presidential candidate. Illinois-D ([4]Stephen A. Douglas U.S. Senator and is named after [3]

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