Shannon County, Missouri
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.
Shannon County courthouse in Eminence
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 37°10′N 91°24′W|
|Founded||January 29, 1841|
|Named for||George Shannon|
|• Total||1,004 sq mi (2,600 km2)|
|• Land||1,004 sq mi (2,600 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2) 0.02%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||8.4/sq mi (3.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
As of the 2000 census, Shannon County ranked 78th on the list of counties with the lowest per capita income and 46th on the list of counties with the lowest median household incomes in the United States, making it the poorest county in Missouri.
The Great Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925 appears to have begun in Moore Township; most likely as constituent tornadoes of a tornado family preceding the infamous very long tack tornado that went on to kill 695 people across southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwestern Indiana over the next several hours.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,004 square miles (2,600 km2), of which 1,004 square miles (2,600 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.02%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,324 people, 3,319 households, and 2,356 families residing in the county. The population density was 3/km² (8/mi²). There were 3,862 housing units at an average density of 1/km² (4/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.05% White, 0.17% Black or African American, 1.83% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 2.69% from two or more races. Approximately 0.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Shannon County were 38.3% American, 13.4% Irish, 11.8% German, and 9.7% English.
There were 3,319 households out of which 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% 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 2.97.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.40% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 26.10% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $24,835, and the median income for a family was $30,102. Males had a median income of $21,917 versus $16,024 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,127. About 21.00% of families and 26.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.10% of those under age 18 and 20.20% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Shannon County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Shannon County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (56.22%), Methodists (12.03%), and Christian Churches & Churches of Christ (10.84%).
The Republican Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Shannon County. Republicans hold seven of the elected positions in the county.
|Shannon County, Missouri|
|Elected countywide officials|
|Circuit Clerk||Melany Williams||Democratic|
|County Clerk||Shelly Bland||Republican|
|Prosecuting Attorney||Jodie R. Brumble||Democratic|
|Public Administrator||Teresa Acord||Republican|
|Democratic||Shane Van Steenis||2,060||55.92%|
Shannon County is included in Missouri's 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Jason T. Smith (R-Salem) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to finish out the remaining term of U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-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.
|Republican||Jason T. Smith||2,865||75.73%||+7.23|
|Republican||Jason T. Smith||1,131||68.50%||+8.92|
|Republican||Jason T. Smith||538||59.58%||-12.68|
|Republican||Jo Ann Emerson||2,652||72.26%|
At the presidential level, Shannon County is a fairly independent-leaning, or battleground, county. Donald Trump took the county with nearly 76% of the votes cast in the 2016 presidential election, while fewer than 20% of votes went to Hillary Clinton, a sharp contrast from the 2008 democratic primary election. While George W. Bush carried Shannon County in 2000 and 2004, the margins of victory were smaller than in many of the other rural areas. Bill Clinton also carried Shannon County in his successful campaigns of 1992 and 1996. Like most of the other rural counties in Missouri, Shannon County favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, although not as strongly as many of the other rural counties.
Like most rural areas throughout Southeast Missouri, voters in Shannon County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Shannon County with 85.64 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 Shannon County with 55.87 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 Shannon 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 Shannon County with 74.62 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 75.94 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.
Missouri presidential preference primary (2008)
|Shannon County, Missouri|
|2008 Republican primary in Missouri|
|John McCain||223 (23.57%)|
|Mike Huckabee||515 (54.44%)|
|Mitt Romney||83 (8.77%)|
|Ron Paul||109 (11.52%)|
|Shannon County, Missouri|
|2008 Democratic primary in Missouri|
|Hillary Clinton||914 (69.72%)|
|Barack Obama||323 (24.64%)|
|John Edwards (withdrawn)||50 (3.81%)|
In the 2008 presidential primary, voters in Shannon County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Eaton, David Wolfe (1918). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 363.
- Johns, Robert H.; D. W. Burgess; C. A. Doswell III; M. S. Gilmore; J. A. Hart; S. F. Piltz (2013). "The 1925 Tri-State Tornado Damage Path and Associated Storm System". E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology. 8 (2).
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