Shannon County, Missouri

Shannon County, Missouri

Shannon County courthouse in Eminence
Map of Missouri highlighting Shannon 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
Named for George Shannon
Seat Eminence
Largest city Winona
  Total 1,004 sq mi (2,600 km2)
  Land 1,004 sq mi (2,600 km2)
  Water 0.2 sq mi (1 km2), 0.02%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 8,258
  Density 8.4/sq mi (3/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Shannon County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,441.[1] Its county seat is Eminence.[2] 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.[3] It is the second-largest county by area in Missouri.

Missouri's first copper mine was opened in Shannon County in 1846 and Missouri's only manganese mine was opened here during World War II.

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.[4]


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.[5]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20158,258[6]−2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2015[1]

As of the census[11] 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 Democratic Party predominantly controls politics at the local level in Shannon County. Democrats hold all but three of the elected positions in the county.

Shannon County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Jimile Voyles Democratic
Circuit Clerk Melany Williams Democratic
County Clerk Shelly McAfee Democratic
Collector Susie Needels Republican
Jeff Cowen Democratic
(District 1)
Dale Counts Democratic
(District 2)
Herman Kelly Republican
Coroner Tim Denton Democratic
Prosecuting Attorney Jodie R. Brumble Democratic
Public Administrator Linda Brewer Democratic
Recorder Melany Williams Democratic
Sheriff Steven Blunkall Democratic
Surveyor Louie Carmack Democratic
Treasurer Michelle Shedd Republican


In the Missouri House of Representatives, all of Shannon County is a part of Missouri’s 143rd District and is currently represented by Jeff Pogue, a Republican from Salem. Pogue was elected to his first term in the newly redrawn district in 2012.

In the Missouri Senate, all of Shannon County is a part of Missouri’s 25th District and is currently represented by Republican Doug Libla of Dexter. Libla defeated former Democratic State Representative Terry Swinger of Caruthersville in 2012 and was elected to his first term in the Missouri Senate to succeed fellow Republican Rob Mayer of Dexter. Mayer successfully served two terms/eight years in the Missouri Senate and was ineligible to seek a third term due to term limits.


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.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 – Shannon County (2012)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 2,652 72.26 +8.56
Democratic Jack Rushin 868 23.65 -8.12
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 150 4.09 +1.48
U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Shannon County (2013)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jason T. Smith 538 59.58
Democratic Steve Hodges 276 30.56
Constitution Doug Enyart 68 7.53
Libertarian Bill Slantz 21 2.33

Political culture

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 61.27% 2,262 35.27% 1,302 3.46% 128
2008 54.06% 2,075 42.65% 1,637 3.29% 126
2004 60.26% 2,511 38.83% 1,618 0.92% 38
2000 59.38% 2,245 37.82% 1,430 2.80% 106
1996 35.27% 1,339 49.58% 1,882 15.15% 575
1992 30.97% 1,224 54.02% 2,135 14.65% 579
1988 48.46% 1,696 51.31% 1,796 0.23% 8
1984 52.96% 1,779 47.04% 1,580 0.00% 0
1980 44.78% 1,523 53.46% 1,818 1.76% 60
1976 33.29% 989 65.97% 1,960 0.74% 22

At the presidential level, Shannon County is a fairly independent-leaning or battleground county. 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 both times in 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)

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

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%)
Uncommitted 16 (1.22%)


Of adults 25 years of age and older, 67.6% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 7.6% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public Schools


See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. Eaton, David Wolfe (1918). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 363.
  4. Johns, Robert H.; D. W. Burgess, C. A. Doswell III, M. S. Gilmore, J. A. Hart, and S. F. Piltz (2013). "The 1925 Tri-State Tornado Damage Path and Associated Storm System". E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology. 8 (2). Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  6. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  9. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.

Coordinates: 37°10′N 91°24′W / 37.16°N 91.40°W / 37.16; -91.40

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