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Time To Relocate

You are happy in your job.  You are good at it, your work is appreciated, and you have a career that you love.  The boss calls you into the office.  He tells you that they are planning on expanding.  They are so happy with your work that you are being offered the chance to head the new company.  More money, more perks, a company car and the chance to take your expertise to an entire new division of the company, in another state.  It is a huge decision.  While all the job aspects of the new position sound great, there is a family to consider.  A family who has made a lifetime here in this location, a family who would be resistant to change all of that for a company car and a few extra bucks.

Your kids would have to attend a new school, your wife would be leaving all of her friends, you would be leaving neighbors and relationships that you have spent a significant amount of time nurturing.  This is home.  What to do?  You and your wife need to make this decision together.  Maybe it is the right time for a move.  Maybe the kids will be in between schools and it is a good time to make the move to a new school.  Even if the kids are not thrilled with the idea, if you and your wife make the decision that this is the best thing for your family, your children will adjust.  They will make new friends and so will you.  The new school may be better than the old one.  A new home, a new environment does not have to be sad, it may just be the adventure of a lifetime.

Missouri Military Academy

United States Coast Guard Academy

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The Missouri Military Academy for young men, located in Audrain County, Missouri, was founded in 1889 and is one of the best private schools in the country.  With emphasis on preparing young men for college and life after the Academy, striving for academic excellence, while they continually enhance the technology to meet the every changing educational challenges of the future.  The Academy demands discipline and nurtures self-discipline, stressing the values of honor, integrity, perseverance and duty.

Graduates of the Academy have been recruited by some of the most prestigious colleges in the country, including The Air Force Academy, Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel.  The Military Academy also boasts the privilege of nominating cadets to the US Military Academy at West Point, the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, the US Air Force Academy and the US Coast Guard Academy, the University of Southern California and Penn State University to name a few.

The Missouri Military Academy has a middle school for grades six to eight.  The classes are small, with about ten students to a class, offering a full curriculum of English, Reading, Social Studies, Math and Science.  Elective courses include Art, Drama and Music.  Mandatory athletics throughout the year fulfill the physical education requirement for the seventh and eighth grade students.  The Academy also offers an Academically Elite Day School for students achieving a 3.0 or greater grade point average.  With a rigorous academic curriculum, the 2010 graduating class of 46 cadets garnered more than three million dollars in academic and athletic scholarships.

With the US Department of Education recognizing The Missouri Military Academy for young men as one of the best private schools in the country, this might just be the place you want to take a look at to shape your young man, and prepare him for the future.  If it is a military type school that you are considering, take the time to take a look at The Missouri Military Academy for young men.

Where To Vacation This Year

Taj Mahal, Agra, India.

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It is time to plan the family vacation for this year.  You cannot be too extravagant in this economy so, at least for this year, the Taj Mahal and kissing the Blarney Stone will have to wait.  The Jersey shore has done its job.  It has been a nice staple for the many a year, but you are looking for at least a little variety.  Mom wants the kids to learn something on this vacation.  Dad wants a week’s worth of really good food.  The kids want to make sure there is something fun to do.  Other than place with the mouse and his girlfriend, where is there to go so that everyone gets their wish.

Why not visit Audrain County, Missouri?  While not exactly on everyone’s list of places to visit, maybe it should be.  Audrain County has a lot to offer.  For mom, who wants to mix a little education with this vacation, there are historical sites like Graceland, a historical manor that is now a museum, where Ulysses S. Grant once stayed.  The Missouri Military Academy, founded in 1889 remains one of the best private schools in the country.  For dad, who wants to sample the cuisine, family style eating abounds.  Audrain County is rich in agriculture and most of the food is grown right on the farms from where it is served.  You can learn to milk a cow and see where the livestock are kept and fed.  After a long day on the farm, visit one of the many family style restaurants and feast on the fresh picked vegetables as well as fresh meat, right from the farm.

For the kids, there is the Pool at the Fairgrounds, if the weather is hot.  For a small fee, the kids can swim and splash all day.  Not to mention, the Miss Missouri pageant is held in Audrain County, and you can plan your vacation around that.

Audrain County has something for everyone, all packed into a great vacation.

The Miss Missouri Pageant

Oh there she is, Miss Missouri.  Just ask Erika Hebron, Miss Missouri 2010.   The Miss Missouri pageant is held in Audrain County.  From the preliminary competition in swimsuit, interview and evening gown on the Wednesday before the pageant to the Saturday crowning of Miss Missouri, it is a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation.  The talent section of the competition is first and is awarded separately then the other competitions.  The interview is 50% of the score, with the evening gown and swimsuit competition at 25% each.

The girls have prepared all year for the competition.  The evening gowns swirl down the runway for all to see.  The judges are feverishly scoring each one. How do they choose?  They are all so beautiful.  The swimsuit competition is another 25% of the score.  Two piece bathing suits being allowed in the competition now, they dominate the field.  Heels and bathing suits, these girls should get crowns just for walking around like that.  After this part of the competition, the finalists are announced and the girls move on to the final phase of the competition.

The all important interview portion, the big 50% of the score and the part of the competition that most definitely could push a contestant right to the front of the line.  Questions are asked about relevant events, tragedies or ways in which organizations are handling current day issues.  The contestants need to be knowledgeable in the category of which their question is asked, and try their best to answer sincerely, as they are being judged on that too. No stammering or fidgeting, just bring your spin to it.

The judges have tallied their scores, and a winner is crowned.  Her work has just begun.  Now she must prepare herself for the Miss USA pageant, where she will not only be competing for the title of Miss USA, she will be solely representing the state of Missouri, and they will all be watching.

Why Not Audrain County?

Choosing a vacation spot is the highlight of the year for some people.  You save up that vacation time, you organize all the schedules so that the family can spend some time together, time spent without phones ringing, without bosses telling you what needs to be done, no deadlines,  just some quality time with the family.  Some people have a favorite vacation spot, like hitting the beach every summer or going skiing in the winter.  Why not change it up a little?  Before the kids get to the point where they don’t want to be seen with their parents, they want to spend an entire week on the cell phones or computers, choose a spot that would interest everyone.

Why not visit Audrain County, Missouri? Audrain County is a rural town in Missouri, one that you might not think would be interesting enough to spend a vacation there.  There is a lot to do, plenty to keep everyone busy, and you just might learn something.  There are a lot of farms in Audrain County and you can visit them.  If agriculture is your interest, you can visit a farm that is growing crops, learn how they are grown and cultivated.  Maybe you want to learn what it is like to milk a cow.  There are dairy farms in Audrain County.  There are also livestock farms, learn how the cattle are fed and grown.

No fast food here.  Visit one of the many family style restaurants Audrain County has to offer.  Meals are cooked with the freshest of meat and vegetables, grown and raised locally.  The Missouri Military Academy is in Audrain County.  Founded in 1889 this school still remains one of the best private schools in the country.

Rich in history and farmlands for miles, Audrain County is the perfect place to take a family vacation.  There is so much to see and lots to learn for everyone in the family.  What better way to spend time with the family?

Audrain County: A Great Place for Agriculture

Over the course of United States history, we have transitioned from being primarily an agrarian culture in which most people are engaged in some kind of food production activity to having less than 2% of our population working in an agricultural profession. For those who are attracted to a life where attention to the cycles of the seasons and a life outdoors are still possible, Audrain County is the perfect location. Pigs and cattle are the primary livestock of this area, and grains and soybean production are essential to the local economy. Youngsters can participate in any one of eight local 4-H clubs to learn the basics of production, and adults can join Young Farmers, Audrain Pork Producers, and rely on an active local Cooperative Extension Service. With all the fresh beef and pork, Audrain County boasts a delicious Kansas City-style barbecue, with its thick tomato and molasses-based sauce.

For those interested in starting their own fruit or vegetable production enterprise, Audrain County has the warm, humid climate of a southern state that is ideal for many crops, with relatively low real estate prices. The average price of land is well under $10,000 per acre, so it provides a great environment to start a small intensive production-oriented operation. It is also possible to find farms and ranches for rent for those who may not yet have the capital to purchase land. Each Saturday from May-October, growers can sell their produce at the Mexico Area Farmers’ Market. There are also several markets in nearby Boone County. What could be better than a delicious pulled pork sandwich with fresh sweet corn and tomatoes? It is hard to imagine. In addition to having many agricultural associations to turn to for assistance, farmers can also join the Mexico Chamber of Commerce, which provides publicity for all local businesses.

Anna J. Harrison, Notable Audrain Native

Benton City is a small town of 122 people in the heart of Audrain County. It was also the hometown of Anna J. Harrison, who became the very first female president of the American Chemical Society. What is it about the area that would inspire a woman to rise to the professional heights needed to gain such an honor? Perhaps it is the strong work ethic of the local people, or the quiet rural atmosphere that lends itself to contemplation. Whatever it was, Dr. Harrison must be commended for her professional achievements at a time when it was very difficult for women to become successful academic scientists.

Dr. Harrison was born to a farming family in Benton City, and she attended high school in nearby Mexico. After earning her advanced degrees at the University of Missouri, Columbia, she immediately became a chemistry professor in Louisiana. She served the nation during World War II by doing research for the National Defense Research Council. She worked in a number of industrial positions and later became a professor at Mount Holyoke College, which is where she was based when she headed the American Chemical Society, as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was also very involved in Sigma Xi, which is also a society for science researchers. Mount Holyoke College still holds a collection of Dr. Harrison’s many articles and photographs, which are available for use by permission. These archives illuminate the many lively years when she worked as a practicing chemist in several fields of study. Her books include co-authorship of a general interest chemistry text, a work on science education, a work about human health and its relation to the environment, and the ascendent role of women in science.

Dr. Anna Harrison was a very active and engaged scholar with a serious breadth of intellectual accomplishment. She passed away in 1998, after a fascinating life that began right in Audrain County.

Audrain County in the Civil War

The Chance Guest House in Centralia, Missouri

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The city of Centralia lies along the border of Audrain and Boone Counties, and it was the site of an important battle during the Civil War. In September of 1864, which was during the last year of fighting, more than 20 Union soldiers who were on leave and without arms were snatched from a train by Confederates and killed. A group of Union soldiers that was in pursuit of the Confederates who perpetrated the killing were surprised, and more than 100 were killed. This occurrence is known by historians as the Centralian Massacre. The battle only lasted minutes, but it was representative of the split loyalties that haunted Missouri and the surrounding region during that time. The casualties of the Centralian Massacre were initially buried in Mexico, but were later moved to Jefferson City, where civil war buffs can still visit to remember what happened that day in Missouri.

Those visiting the Centralia area who have more horticultural interests may want to visit the Albert Bishop Chance Guest House. The Chance House is a Queen Anne-style home that has been on the National Register of Historic Places for more than 30 years. Starting in May, the Chance House’s rose garden is blooming with fragrant blossoms, and visitors looking to cool off from the hot Missouri summer can check out the famous rock grotto on the grounds. Inside the Chance House is a history museum that shows many local curiosities, including a room dedicated to the history of the civil war in this region.

Be sure to check local listings for notices about upcoming civil war re-enactments. There are also numerous markers around Centralia that show what happened here during that tumultuous time. In light of modern events that are dividing other nations, it is important to remember that similar discord has divided our own country, and understanding the history of that time will help us learn to heal our own modern differences.

The Missouri Military Academy

The Missouri Military Academy (MMA) has been described as one of the premier all-boy military boarding schools in the United States. The MMA was founded in 1889 and is located in Mexico, Missouri. The school states that its mission is to empower “young men to succeed through a program of academic excellence, character development and leadership training.”

The MMA offers classes from grades 6-12 and most of the school’s almost 300 students are in the higher grades. Classes are small, allowing more personal time between teachers and individual students. The school offers the all the standard courses along with advanced courses in American history, calculus, economics, English comp, English lit, physics, statistics and Spanish. As a military school, dress is, of course, formal.

In addition to academics, the military academy has a variety of sports programs. Sports offered include baseball, basketball, football, riflery, swimming, track and field, wrestling and more. Athletic teams are called The Colonels. The MMA facilities also include a horse stable and the Centennial Gymtorium.

Extracurricular activities are encouraged and include, in part: marching band, military police, drill team, drama club, chess club, weight training, and a World War II reenactment club called the “Railsplitters.”

The MMA has a history of excellence and an impressive record of college admissions. Thousand of students have gone on to assume important positions in a variety of fields ranging from business to art to the military. Notable alumni include Cody Fowler, former president of the American Bar Association; businessman Howard R. Hughes, Sr.; William Berry, former Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and many more.

For over 120 years, the Missouri Military Academy has been accepting and educating young men from around the world. Students are taught the importance of self-discipline and character development and when they leave the academy, they are prepared to face the challenges of the future.

Historical Highlights of Audrain County, MO

Early Settlers and Frontier Days

Audrain County was named for James H. Audrain who sat on the state legislature. Many of the county’s early settlers came from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Much of the early settlers were farmers and built their homes near forests and streams. In 1856, the North Missouri railroad was extended through the county opening it up to trade with the surrounding regions.

Involvement in the Civil War

Audrain was divided during the Civil War with hundreds of residents fighting for both the Confederacy and the Union Army. Little actual combat took place within the county limits. For most of the war, the city of Mexico was made the headquarters for federal troops. Ulysses S. Grant, future General of the Army and President of the United States, was assigned to the area for a time early in the war.

Early Industries

Because of the abundance of easily cultivated prairies, the main occupation was farming. The chief crops of the largely agricultural population were corn and oats. Livestock was mostly mules, sheep, and hogs. Horses became an important industry in the region. Audrain produced the finest Saddle Horses in the United States and was called the “Saddle Horse Capital of the World.”

Audrain was also known as the “Fire Brick Center of the World.” Fire clay deposits and local firebrick companies helped to build a leading firebrick industry. Audrain-produced firebrick was known around the world and used in a wide variety of other industries.


The county was home to the Hardin College for Young Ladies, a conservatory for women, and the Missouri Military Academy, a boys boarding school. The Hardin College opened in 1873 and closed in 1933. Two buildings of the college are currently used by Mexico Public Schools and the Academy, founded in 1889, is still active and educating young men from around the world.