Perry County, Missouri

Perry County, Missouri

Infobox U.S. County
county = Perry County
state = Missouri

founded year = 1820
founded date = November 16
seat wl = Perryville
largest city wl = Perryville
area_total_sq_mi = 484
area_total_km2 = 1254
area_land_sq_mi = 475
area_land_km2 = 1229
area_water_sq_mi = 10
area_water_km2 = 25
area percentage = 1.98%
census yr = 2000
pop = 18132
density_sq_mi = 38
density_km2 = 15
time zone = Central
UTC offset = -6
DST offset = -5
footnotes =
web =
named for = Oliver Hazard Perry

Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population is 18,132. Its county seat is PerryvilleGR|6.


The county was organized on November 16, 1820 (effective January 1, 1821) from Ste. Genevieve County; and named for Oliver Hazard Perry, naval hero of the War of 1812.


Perry County offers a number of historic, architectural and scenic attractions. Visitors can explore the grounds of the St. Mary's of the Barrens Seminary, the first college founded west of the Mississippi River, dating to 1827.

Features include the National Shrine of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, the Rosati Log Cabin, the Countess Estelle Doheny Museum, with its priceless Gospel of St. John from the Gutenberg Bible and the Bishop Sheehan Memorial Museum and Rare Book Room. Guided tours of the museums are available by request.

In Perryville, the county seat, visitors can stroll the beautiful square surrounding the 1904 Perry County Courthouse, with its chiming clock tower.

The Square is considered a show place of the city with newly completed streets, decorative sidewalks, "Washington" style light fixtures and decorative tree plantings. New brick paved plaza, landscaped seating areas, park benches, a sundial, a drinking fountain, a directional marker and a gazebo have been added to the courthouse lawn.

The Faherty House, located at 11 S. Spring Street, was originally constructed by Henry Burns in 1825 as a two-room stone house with a basement. It is thought to be the oldest remaining residence in the city. A brick, two-room addition to the house was built in the 1850s. The house also stands on one of the original town lots of Perryville. The restored house features a circa 1830-1890 exterior and interior and is owned and maintained by the Perry County Historical Society.

The Perry County Museum is located at the entrance of the Perryville City Park in the Doerr House, (Wednesday & Weekends, May - October).

In southeastern Perry County, near the Mississippi River, are the early German villages of Frohna, Altenburg, and Wittenberg.

The Saxon Lutheran Memorial in Frohna is dedicated to the preservation of the religious and cultural heritage of the 1839 Saxon Immigration to Missouri (daily, year-round). The memorial boasts two original log houses, a large log barn, a collection of tools and antique farm machinery, a visitor's center, country store and gift shop.

In Altenburg, visit the Concordia Log Cabin College (1839), the Loeber Log Cabin (1839) and Trinity Lutheran Church (1867). The log cabin college was the first Lutheran Seminary west of the Mississippi River. Guided tours of historic Altenburg are available by appointment.

Traveling south, visit the Tower Rock Natural Area, a designated national landmark, which features a convert|10|mi|km|sing=on hiking trail. Tower Rock is a convert|60|ft|m|sing=on high rock, which stands majestically in the Mississippi River. The history of Tower Rock dates to 1698, when three missionaries established a landing atop the rocky island. Nearby, the early 1800s settlement of Apple Creek, Missouri features the Lady of St. Joseph Shrine.

Perry County has approximately 650 known caves. It has more caves than any other county in Missouri, which is nicknamed "The Cave State."cite news|title=Tidbits: Did You Know...|author=|publisher=Publishing Group of America (|date=|accessdate=2007-07-11|page=13]


Perry County is governed by a three member county commission. Two commissioners are elected from each of two approximately equal districts that divide the county. The third commissioner, called the presiding commissioner, is elected from the county at-large. Each of the commissioners is elected for a term of four years.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 484 square miles (1,254 km²), of which, 475 square miles (1,229 km²) of it is land and 10 square miles (25 km²) of it (1.98%) is water.

Adjacent counties

*Randolph County, Illinois (north), across the Mississippi River
*Jackson County, Illinois (northeast)
*Union County, Illinois (east)
*Cape Girardeau County (southeast)
*Bollinger County & Madison County (southwest)
*St. Francois County (west)
*Ste. Genevieve County (northwest)

Major highways

*Interstate 55
*U.S. Route 61
*Route 51


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 18,132 people, 6,904 households, and 4,957 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 7,815 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.21% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,904 households out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.00% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,632, and the median income for a family was $43,240. Males had a median income of $28,337 versus $19,720 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,554. About 5.20% of families and 9.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.90% of those under age 18 and 13.20% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns



External links

* [ Official Perry County, Missouri Website]
* [ Early History of Perry County]
* [ St. Mary's of the Barrens]
* [ Graebner, August Lawrence. "Half a Century of Sound Lutherianism in America: A Brief Sketch of the History of the Missouri Synod." St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1893.] (describes how settlers in Perry County founded the Missouri Synod)

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