Bates County, Missouri

Bates County, Missouri

Bates County Courthouse in Butler
Map of Missouri highlighting Bates County
Location in the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1841[1]
Named for Frederick Bates
Seat Butler
Largest city Butler
  Total 851 sq mi (2,204 km2)
  Land 837 sq mi (2,168 km2)
  Water 15 sq mi (39 km2), 1.7%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 16,446
  Density 20/sq mi (8/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Bates County is a county located in the west central part of the U.S. state of Missouri, two counties south of the Missouri River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,049.[2] Its county seat is Butler.[3] The county was organized in 1841 and named after Frederick Bates, the second Governor of Missouri.[4]

Bates County is part of the Kansas City, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area. This mostly rural county has an overwhelmingly ethnic European-American population, which has declined in number since the early 20th century as people move to cities.


The borderlands of Kansas and Missouri were battlegrounds for insurgents during the American Civil War, with raids going back and forth across the border. Bates County is noted as the site for the first combat engagement during the war of African-American soldiers serving with the Union and against Confederate forces, which occurred on October 28–29, 1862. The First Kansas Colored Division (part of the state militia) fought Confederate guerrillas at the Battle of Island Mound four miles north of present-day Rich Hill, Missouri, and the Union forces won.

The Kansas soldiers were badly outnumbered but stood their ground, fighting valiantly. The skirmish was covered by the New York Times, which noted the men's bravery at a time when many people questioned whether former slaves could make good soldiers.[5] Their heroic action preceded President Abraham Lincoln's announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863 and establishment of the United States Colored Troops.

Following a massacre of men and boys and the burning of Lawrence, Kansas by Confederate bushwhackers in the summer of 1863, the United States General Ewing ordered the evacuation of the civilian population from rural areas of Bates and nearby counties except for within a mile of certain Union-controlled cities, in order to cut off sources of support for Confederate insurgents. This was done under Order No. 11. The county had been a base of Confederate guerrillas. But, Ewing's order generated outrage and added to support of guerrillas in some areas.

This mostly rural county continued to support agriculture in the decades after the Civil War. Since the late 20th century, population has declined as people have moved to cities for work.

Legacy and honors


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 851 square miles (2,200 km2), of which 837 square miles (2,170 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (1.7%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201516,446[9]−3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2015[2]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 16,653 people, 6,511 households, and 4,557 families residing in the county. The population density was 20 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 7,247 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.33% White, 0.61% Black or African American, 0.59% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Approximately 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,511 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.50% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 17.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,731, and the median income for a family was $36,470. Males had a median income of $30,298 versus $19,772 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,477. About 11.50% of families and 14.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools

Private schools



Bates County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Roger Pruden Democratic
Circuit Clerk Diana L. Rich Democratic
County Clerk Marlene Wainscott Democratic
Collector Jimmy Platt Democratic
Donna Gregory Democratic
(District 1)
Jim Scott Democratic
(District 2)
±Larry Berry Democratic
Coroner Gary Schowengerdt Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Hugh C. Jenkins Democratic
Public Administrator Sharon Cumpton Democratic
Recorder Lucille Mundey Democratic
Sheriff Chad Anderson Democratic
Surveyor W.C. “Bill” Lethcho Democratic
Treasurer Jimmy Platt Democratic


Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 45.46% 3,513 51.40% 3,972 3.14% 243
2008 41.75% 3,431 55.43% 4,555 2.82% 232
2004 53.22% 4,479 45.09% 3,795 1.69% 142
2000 48.88% 3,783 49.02% 3,794 2.10% 162
1996 34.70% 2,483 63.33% 4,531 1.97% 141
1992 42.06% 3,204 57.94% 4,414 0.00% 0

Bates County is divided into three legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives, all of which are held by Republicans.

All of Bates County is a part of Missouri’s 31st Senatorial District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by Ed Emery (R-Lamar).


All of Bates County is included in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District and is currently represented by Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. House of Representatives – Missouri’s 4th Congressional District - Bates County (2014)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Vicky J. Hartzler 2,943 68.41
Democratic Nate Irvin 1,088 25.29
Libertarian Herschel L. Young 270 6.28

Political culture

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 58.35% 4,833 39.49% 3,271 2.15% 179
2008 64.60% 5,020 32.90% 2,557 2.50% 194
2004 59.11% 5,004 40.14% 3,398 0.75% 64
2000 54.48% 4,245 43.45% 3,386 2.07% 161
1996 40.69% 2,904 45.17% 3,224 14.14% 1,009
1992 32.33% 2,499 38.72% 2,993 28.95% 2,238

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)

Bates County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 594 (37.71%)
Mike Huckabee 503 (31.94%)
Mitt Romney 368 (23.37%)
Ron Paul 71 (4.51%)
Bates County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Clinton 1,427 (63.51%)
Barack Obama 676 (30.08%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 106 (4.72%)




Unincorporated communities


Bates County is divided into 24 townships:

See also


  1. "Bates County History". Bates County. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 208.
  5. "AFFAIRS IN THE WEST.; A Negro Regiment in Action--The Battle of Island Mounds--Desperate Bravery of the Negros--Defeat of the Guerrillas--An Attempted Fraud", New York Times, 19 November 1862, accessed 22 February 2016
  6. "Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site". Missouri State Parks. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  7. " 'The Battle of Island Mound' wins two Emmy Awards from NATAS Mid-American Chapter", 7 October 2015 Press Release, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, accessed 29 February 2016
  8. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  9. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  10. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  11. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  12. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  13. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  14. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.

External links

Coordinates: 38°16′N 94°20′W / 38.26°N 94.34°W / 38.26; -94.34

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