Map of Missouri highlighting Audrain County
Image via Wikipedia

Audrain County is located in the northern center of Missouri and is primarily known for its firebrick and farms. Organized on December 17, 1836, Audrain County has a population of 25,853, as of the 2000 census. It was named after James H. Audrain, who was a state legislature member.

Audrain is one of the top agricultural counties and its primary crops are corn, soybeans and wheat. The early settlers came primarily from Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. John B. Morris, one of the first settlers, became the first postmaster. He also owned a general store and operated a tavern. While the county saw little development in its first years, in 1856 a railroad was placed through the county that eventually led to the counties development. This meant that trade could prevail because there was now a way to reach other counties surrounding Audrain.

From the 1870s to the 1890s, the county grew agriculturally. More settlers arrived in the area and more railroads were built. Farming became the counties main source of income. Corn and oats were the major crops growing at this time. The main livestock were hogs, sheep, horses and mules.

Up until the 1930s, horses were becoming more popular and Audrain county hosted some of the finest show horses. Showing horses became the main attraction in the county as well as at other county fairs.

The first public school was built in 1873. By the early 1900s over 100 schools were in the area and surrounding counties. Around the 1970s these schools were consolidated into three primary school districts. In 1889 Missouri Military Academy was founded and is still around today. The Department of Education even named the academy one of the nation’s best private schools.

Today, the residents make sure to preserve old buildings as well as stay afloat on the history of the county.