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Festus, Missouri

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Title: Festus, Missouri  
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Festus, Missouri

Festus, Missouri
Festus Balloon Festival
Festus Balloon Festival
Location of Festus, Missouri
Location of Festus, Missouri
Country United States
State Missouri
County Jefferson
Incorporated 1887
 • Mayor Cpt. Mike Cage
 • Total 5.71 sq mi (14.79 km2)
 • Land 5.71 sq mi (14.79 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 425 ft (130 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 11,602
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 11,740
 • Density 2,031.9/sq mi (784.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 63028
Area code(s) 636
FIPS code 29-24094[4]
GNIS feature ID 0736296[5]

Festus is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 11,602 at the 2010 census.[6] Festus and its neighbor Crystal City are often collectively known as the "Twin Cities"; however, they are incorporated separately.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • In popular culture 4
  • Education 5
  • News & Media 6
  • Transportation 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Festus is located at (38.219490, -90.400936).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.71 square miles (14.79 km2), all of it land.[1]


The first settler in the area was Charley Conners, who built a log cabin in 1803.

Festus was settled shortly after the establishment of New Detroit (later Crystal City), which was a dry company town developed by the Crystal Plate Glass Company (later PPG Industries) after the discovery of silica in the area that would be used to manufacture glass. Initially established around 1879 by W. J. Adams as Limitville, the area that would become Festus was nicknamed "Tanglefoot" because several of its first businesses were saloons. As incorporation was discussed, a more dignified name was sought. Town legend claims the name was chosen by a church ceremony where a Bible was opened blindly and the first proper name encountered was that of Porcius Festus, the governor of Judea around 60 AD (Acts 24:27). There is another town legend that says there was a disagreement over what to name the city and it was agreed upon that a Bible would be shot and whatever proper name closest to the last page penetrated would be chosen. The City of Festus was incorporated in 1887 as a 4th class city.

Festus is home to celebrities such as Olympian Brittany Borman, television show "The Voice"'s Patrick Thomson, and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites.

The current government structure consisting of a mayor, a city council and a city administrator, was adopted in 1961. The City Council is the legislative branch and meetings of the Council are presided over by the Mayor. The City Administrator is responsible for implementing the policies of the Council as well as overseeing day-to-day operations of the city.


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 11,602 people, 4,636 households, and 3,036 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,031.9 inhabitants per square mile (784.5/km2). There were 4,972 housing units at an average density of 870.8 per square mile (336.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% White, 3.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 4,636 households of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.5% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% 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 3.04.

The median age in the city was 34.9 years. 26.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 23.5% were from 45 to 64; and 13.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 9,660 people, 100,000 households, and 2,606 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,020.2 people per square mile (780.3/km²). There were 4,040 housing units at an average density of 844.9 per square mile (326.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.66% White, 3.93% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.04% of the population.

There were 3,861 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 5.8% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $4,687, and the median income for a family was $2,940. Males had a median income of $36,159 versus $25,108 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,035. About 7.0% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

In popular culture

Festus, MO is the home of alt-country legends, The Bottle Rockets.

The town is mentioned in the 1974 country song "(We're Not) The Jet Set," in which Tammy Wynette sing about road tripping around the Midwestern and Southern part of the United States in a Chevrolet while falling in love.

No we're not the jet set
We're the old Chevrolet set
There's no Riviera
In Festus, Missouri

The town's anthem is "Festus Forever."

Festus is the greatest place, the greatest place on earth!
Festus is a good old place where we all had our birth!
From east to west, from north to south, right up to Gannon Drive
Festus is the place where we (pause) work and live and thrive!

It is mentioned in the book Yesterday's Gone season 1.


  • Festus R-VI School District (K-12)
  • Jefferson R-VII School District (K-12)
  • St. Pius X High School (Festus)
  • Our Lady Catholic School (K-8)
  • Twin City Christian Academy (K4-12)

News & Media

  • Jefferson County Leader
  • KJFF AM 1400


See also


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  6. ^ "Festus, Missouri". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

External links

  • City of Festus
  • - Festus
  • Historic maps of Festus in the Sanborn Maps of Missouri Collection at the University of Missouri
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