Difference between revisions of "Dexter, Missouri"

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The arrival of the railroad spurred settlement of the south-central portion of Stoddard County, and in 1873, Liberty Township was organized, with lots being sold for the creation of a town in the center, near the new railroad depot. According to most accounts, the new community was dubbed "Dexter" in honor of a race horse belonging to one Mr. Dex, a prominent landowner in the area. The first lots were sold on July 4, 1873, considered to be the official "founding" of Dexter.
 
The arrival of the railroad spurred settlement of the south-central portion of Stoddard County, and in 1873, Liberty Township was organized, with lots being sold for the creation of a town in the center, near the new railroad depot. According to most accounts, the new community was dubbed "Dexter" in honor of a race horse belonging to one Mr. Dex, a prominent landowner in the area. The first lots were sold on July 4, 1873, considered to be the official "founding" of Dexter.
  
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With the presence of the railroad, the town grew rapidly, profiting first from the clearing and sale of timber from the nearby swamps, then from the conversion of ex-wetland to agriculture. A thriving business district developed on higher ground along Stoddard and Walnut Streets, followed by prominent churches, a school district established in 1880, and many stately homes.
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Though the timber and railroads ceased to be quite as important to the local economy by the mid-20th century, the presence of large deposits of gravel and clay nearby, as well as trade opportunities provided by the intersection of major highways in Dexter, maintained the town's prosperity. Since 1900, it has been the largest town in Stoddard County, and among the larger ones in Southeast Missouri at large.
  
 
[[Category:Missouri Cities and Towns]]
 
[[Category:Missouri Cities and Towns]]

Revision as of 22:14, 24 June 2019

Dexter is a city in Stoddard County, Missouri. It is the largest community in the county, with a population of 7,864 at the 2010 Census.

History

Settlement in the Dexter area began in the early 1850s, but did not occur on a large scale at this time, as it was located closer to the unhealthy swamps in the southern part of the county and away from the more established region around Bloomfield.

After the Civil War, plans resumed for the construction of an east-west railroad that would connect the Ozarks with Cairo, Illinois and the vital Mississippi River trade. Work on a railroad had begun in 1859 but was halted by the outbreak of war. Eventually named the Cairo, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad, it was gradually extended west to Poplar Bluff, the first train operating in September 1873.

The arrival of the railroad spurred settlement of the south-central portion of Stoddard County, and in 1873, Liberty Township was organized, with lots being sold for the creation of a town in the center, near the new railroad depot. According to most accounts, the new community was dubbed "Dexter" in honor of a race horse belonging to one Mr. Dex, a prominent landowner in the area. The first lots were sold on July 4, 1873, considered to be the official "founding" of Dexter.

With the presence of the railroad, the town grew rapidly, profiting first from the clearing and sale of timber from the nearby swamps, then from the conversion of ex-wetland to agriculture. A thriving business district developed on higher ground along Stoddard and Walnut Streets, followed by prominent churches, a school district established in 1880, and many stately homes.

Though the timber and railroads ceased to be quite as important to the local economy by the mid-20th century, the presence of large deposits of gravel and clay nearby, as well as trade opportunities provided by the intersection of major highways in Dexter, maintained the town's prosperity. Since 1900, it has been the largest town in Stoddard County, and among the larger ones in Southeast Missouri at large.