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Putnam County, Missouri

Putnam County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Putnam County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded February 28, 1845
Named for Israel Putnam
Seat Unionville
Largest city Unionville
 • Total 520 sq mi (1,347 km2)
 • Land 517 sq mi (1,339 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2), 0.4%
 • (2010) 4,979
 • Density 10/sq mi (4/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website //~putco.netnemr

Putnam County is a Israel Putnam, a hero in the French and Indian War and a general in the American Revolutionary War.[3]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
    • Public schools 4.1
  • Politics 5
    • Local 5.1
    • State 5.2
    • Federal 5.3
    • Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008) 5.4
  • Communities 6
    • City 6.1
    • Villages 6.2
    • Unincorporated community 6.3
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Putnam County was established February 28, 1845 from parts of Adair and Sullivan counties. The following year a portion of Putnam was removed to form of Dodge County. At this time both Putnam and Dodge extended nearly nine miles further north than present day due to a border dispute between the states of Missouri and Iowa (see Honey War for details). Following the Supreme Court's 1851 ruling that the disputed land belonged to Iowa, Dodge County was dissolved and the land returned to Putnam County.[4]

In its early years, the county seat changed frequently, often with contentious debate. Putnamville, Bryant Station (both no longer in existence), and Hartford all served, until a central location called "Harmony" (later renamed Unionville) was chosen.[5]

In the 1860 U.S. Census Putnam County had 9,240 residents, with eighteen sawmills and three flour mills.[6] Coal had been an abundant since its earliest settlement. Following the arrival of the Burlington & Southwestern Railway in 1873, coal mining became a major industry, especially in the east of the county. At one time three railroads crossed Putnam county: the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul; the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy; and the Iowa and St. Louis.[7] Putnam County lost over two-thirds of its population between the years 1900 and 2000 (see census data below), when the United States changed from a rural to an urban country.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 520 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 517 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.4%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties

Major highways


As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 4,979 people, 2,228 households, and 1,517 families residing in the county. The population density was 10 people per square mile (4/km²). There were 2,914 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 99.14% White, 0.06% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Approximately 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,228 households out of which 27.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.90% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 20.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 96.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,282, and the median income for a family was $32,031. Males had a median income of $22,957 versus $18,884 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,647. About 13.20% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.60% of those under age 18 and 12.80% of those age 65 or over.

  • Pre-1900 data from A History of Northeast Missouri, Published 1913


Public schools

  • Putnam County R-I School District – Unionville
    • Putnam County Elementary School (PK-05)
    • Putnam County Middle School (67-08)
    • Putnam County High School (09-12)



The Republican Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Putnam County. Republicans hold all but one of the elected positions in the county.

Putnam County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Paul L. Rouse Republican
Circuit Clerk Mitzi D. Shipley Republican
County Clerk Chrystal Perkins Republican
Collector Sharon Thompson Parks Republican
Randy Sands Republican
(District 1)
Shane Bradshaw Republican
(District 2)
Gerald Owings Republican
Coroner Jennifer Gilworth Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Tom Keedy Republican
Public Administrator Nancy Mikels Republican
Recorder Jeneen Roof Republican
Sheriff Jason Knight Republican
Treasurer Sharon Thompson Parks Republican


Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 64.43% 1,467 32.85% 748 2.72% 62
2004 72.75% 1,757 25.84% 624 1.41% 34
2000 66.42% 1,531 32.62% 752 0.95% 22
1996 41.71% 898 56.71% 1,332 1.58% 34
All of Putnam County is a part of Missouri’s 2nd District in the Missouri House of Representatives and is represented by Zachary Wyatt (R-Greencastle).
Missouri House of Representatives – District 2 – Putnam County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Zachary Wyatt 1,446 72.70
Democratic Rebecca McClanahan 543 27.30
All of Putnam County is a part of Missouri’s 18th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown).
Missouri Senate - District 18 – Putnam County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Brian Munzlinger 1,326 67.83
Democratic Wes Shoemyer 629 32.17


All of Putnam County is included in Missouri’s 6th Congressional District and is currently represented by Sam Graves (R-Tarkio) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
U.S. House of Representatives – Missouri’s 6th Congressional District – Putnam County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sam Graves 1,585 81.41
Democratic Clint Hylton 362 18.59
Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 68.02% 1,591 29.71% 695 2.27% 53
2004 67.89% 1,660 31.57% 772 0.53% 13
2000 68.25% 1,593 30.33% 708 1.41% 33
1996 48.60% 1,091 38.17% 857 13.23% 297

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)

Putnam County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 164 (28.08%)
Mike Huckabee 253 (43.49%)
Mitt Romney 128 (21.92%)
Ron Paul 28 (4.79%)
Putnam County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton 252 (64.62%)
Barack Obama 120 (30.77%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 18 (4.62%)




Unincorporated community

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1917). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 343. 
  4. ^ Missouri State Historical Society marker, 1958
  5. ^
  6. ^ The Missouri Handbook by P.M. Pinckard. Published 1865
  7. ^ A History of Northeast Missouri, Vol.1 Chapter 25. Published 1913.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

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

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