State Trivia ~ Gems of Missouri

State Trivia Logo 03.25.14


Good morning & good Monday!

I’m excited to kick-off our STATE TRIVIA WEEK here at Petticoats and Pistols! The Fillies live all over the place, and, at the suggestion of one of you, our readers, we’re going to introduce you to our states. Mine?

“The Gateway to the West”

MO flag

Missouri was the 24th state in the USA, joining the union on August 10, 1821.
State Nickname – “The Show Me State”
State Motto – “Salus populi suprema lex esto ” – The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law
State Song – Missouri Waltz
State Capital – Jefferson City
Name for Residents – Missourians
Major Rivers – Mississippi River, Missouri River, Osage River
Major Lakes – Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Clearwater Lake, Lake Wappapello
Highest Point – Taum Sauk Mountain- 1,772 feet (540 m) above sea level
Number of Counties – 114 (plus one independent city, St. Louis)

Those are some of the “stats” of the state. But here are a few of the “gems”:

St. Charles, located on the Missouri River, was the location of the first state capitol. The site is a State Park:  Old St. Charles features many historic buildings from the early history of the state. Check out The Lewis & Clark Boathouse:

President Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar (near Joplin) on May 8, 1884 (he was the 33rd US President, serving from 1945 to 1953). He retired in Independence, in the house his wife, Bess, owned.


Samuel Clemens In TophatSamuel Langhome Clements (right), better know as Mark Twain, was born in Florida, MO, and  grew up in Hannibal. His most well-remembered character, Huckleberry Finn’s home is Hannibal. Colonel Potter’s, too, for you MASH fans

Independence was a jumping off point for many wagon trains heading west. I had so much fun exploring the museums in this delightful town.


The Gateway Arch
The nation’s tallest monument at 630 feet tall and 630 feet wide at the base, the Gateway Arch was completed in October, 1965. The vision of renowned architect Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch commemorates Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States.

St. Genevieve
French settlement on the Mississippi River, established in the early 1700s as part of the Illinois Country of the Upper Louisiana Territory.

The second battle of the Civil War, The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, took place near what is now the city of Springfield, MO.

The Gratiot Street Prison, run by the Union, was in St. Louis during the Civil War. The site is now the Ralston Purina headquarters.


The Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than California has coastline.

Missouri has so many Caves we’re known as “the cave state.” There’s Bridal Cave, Meramec Cavern, Fantastic Cavern, Onondaga, Cathedral… Check out all 6400 known caves–

I’ll stop now. But there are just so many cool things about my state!

Anyone of you readers live in Missouri? What did I miss?

Leave a comment and I’ll pick a name from the hat to win reader’s choice of the anthologies Wishing For a CowboyHearts and Spurs AND a Missouri keepsake keychain.



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41 thoughts on “State Trivia ~ Gems of Missouri”

  1. Tracy, I loved hearing about your great state of Missouri. The areas I have visited have been very nice and I hope to come back to visit more of the state. Thank you for this informative post.

    melback at cebridge dot net

  2. I love hearing about other states. I’ve never been outside my own state and never been father than an hour away.

  3. What about Ft. Leonard Wood? That is in the Missouri Ozarks isn’t it? My daughter took her basic training there and we went to her graduation ceremony. My hubby insisted on a side trip to The Bass Pro Shop that was close by.

  4. Here’s one fact about The Gateway Arch I know: it was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. I’d love to see it some day.

  5. Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than California?! WOW. Now that is hard to picture. I have been thru this wonderful state many times. Whenever we travel, my hubby and I use back roads as much as possible. Oh what gems and beautiful things we have discovered that way. We love to learn more about states. Actually I’m going to write this week’s state info down and use it for our USA homeschooling this month. 🙂

  6. Such good stuff here, Tracy! I visited relatives in Kansas City (they actually lived on a lake on the Kansas site but we did stuff in KC itself…) and I’ve only seen the Arch from the air. But I have ancestors from Cape Girardeau so I definitely want to explore more some day. Enjoyed this!

  7. Susan, I’m so glad you’ll be able to make use of the info! Be sure to add the state animal: the Missouri Mule–I forgot to add them. :-/

    “Missouri designated the Missouri mule as the official state animal in 1995. Mules were introduced to Missouri in the 1820s and quickly became popular with farmers and settlers because of their hardy nature. Missouri mules pulled pioneer wagons in the 19th century and played an important role in moving troops and supplies in World Wars I and II. For decades Missouri was the nation’s primary mule producer.”

  8. Tracy, how interesting. I’ve never known much about Missouri despite the fact my mother was born in Kansas City, Missouri. I love your state song. Very pretty. It’s plain to see why you love it there. Enjoy the beauty.

  9. I think its interesting to here about other states. I have never been to Missouri but would like to visit some time.

  10. I’ve never been that far east. It is always interesting to find out about other States. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thank your for sharing these wonderful bits of trivia about Missouri! I have enjoyed a visit to the Branson area and hope to visit other parts of the state one day!

  12. Interesting information about your state. There is a wonderful little book called
    HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPE which tells how come some of the states are weirdly-shaped. Check it out.

  13. I love the state Motto: The Show Me State
    I always wished Nebraska had a little bit edgier state motto ours is currently: The Good Life

    I think it should be: Freezing, Scorching, Flat

    Or my second choice: Nebraska, it’s not for wimps

    But nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo we’ve got to use The Good Life.

  14. Hey Tracy! I love Missouri, too. (Even though I’m from Oklahoma!) It’s a beautiful state. When I was little we went through the Meramec Caverns–I still remember that so well. Also George Washington Carver was born there in your great state, if I’m not mistaken, and there is a huge “Shepherd of the Hills” statue I seem to recall seeing–we had gone there to visit my great aunt and uncle. I’ve driven by the Arch but never got to stop and visit it. I’ve been to Kansas City but it was when my daughter was in honors choir and they performed at the Hallmark Center, so we didn’t get to do any “adventuring”.

  15. Well, looks like I’m too late for a chance to win, but two of my sisters lived in Missouri. One had her first baby there, but right name the town has slipped my mind. We also went to live by them for a little while but my husband couldn’t find work so we went back to OK. I was only 16. My oldest sister lived in Odessa, MO. for a lot of years and we visited her many times. I flew in twice to Kansas City on one trip also. And, I got to enjoy a visit to Branson once. That’s a place I would love to visit many times, but can’t. I love the Missouri Waltz, but love it by The Collins Kids. GOD bless, Maxie

  16. Maxie, I’m so glad you dropped by, though! Branson is a great place to visit. So many wonderful music shows and things to do. I, too, could go back often. Thanks for the comment!

  17. Have driven through St. Louis many, many times on cross country trips. The only time we could stop and visit the arch, it was closed due to a fire. We did visit Branson for a reunion and enjoyed the countryside. It is a pretty area with the rolling hills and was an enjoyable trip out. I will admit that Branson is a place we said we would never go. We avoid that type of touristy spot. That being said, we enjoyed our stay. We spent much of the time out in the countryside and did see a few shows.

  18. I am a Missourian. Walt Disney was from my great state. St. Joseph, my home town was part of The Pony Express. Jesse James was shot here. I could go on and on!

  19. My claim to fame…my grandad Knell (Edward Knell) and Brother Adams (from Lamar, MO) led the Inargural Parade for President Truman, with their Missouri Mules! They flipped a coin to see who would sit on the side that would be closest to the President while he was in the stand. My grandad won! We had the picture of this! My grandad was also the Show Me Mules Supt. at the Missouri State Fair for years.

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