Pemiscot County, Missouri

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Pemiscot County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Pemiscot County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 19, 1851
Named forA Native American word meaning "liquid mud"
Largest cityCaruthersville
 • Total512.41 sq mi (1,327 km2)
 • Land493.08 sq mi (1,277 km2)
 • Water19.33 sq mi (50 km2), 3.77%
 • (2010)18,296
 • Density41/sq mi (16/km²)
Congressional district8th
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5
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Pemiscot County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Pemiscot County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 19, 1851
Named forA Native American word meaning "liquid mud"
Largest cityCaruthersville
 • Total512.41 sq mi (1,327 km2)
 • Land493.08 sq mi (1,277 km2)
 • Water19.33 sq mi (50 km2), 3.77%
 • (2010)18,296
 • Density41/sq mi (16/km²)
Congressional district8th
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5

Pemiscot County is a county located in the Bootheel in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,296.[1] The largest city and county seat is Caruthersville.[2] The county was officially organized on February 19, 1851, and is named for the local bayou, taken from the Fox dialect pem-eskaw, meaning "liquid mud".[3]


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 512.41 square miles (1,327.1 km2), of which 493.08 square miles (1,277.1 km2) (or 96.23%) is land and 19.33 square miles (50.1 km2) (or 3.77%) is water.[4] Fishing is a popular activity among residents in the area.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Pemiscot County, 58.2% possess a high school diploma or higher, while 8.4% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their greatest educational attainment.

Public Schools[edit]

Alternative/Vocational Schools[edit]


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Pemiscot County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Pemiscot County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (69.98%), Methodists (7.56%), and Churches of Christ (4.76%).


Historical population
Est. 201218,111−1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 20,047 people, 7,855 households, and 5,317 families residing in the county. The population density was 41 people per square mile (16/km²). There were 8,793 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 71.76% White, 26.23% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. Approximately 1.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Pemiscot County were 31.9% American, 7.8% Irish, 5.6% English, and 5.5% German, according to Census 2000.

There were 7,855 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.00% were married couples living together, 18.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 28.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.00% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,992, and the median income for a family was $33,945. Males had a median income of $27,476 versus $17,358 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,599. About 24.80% of families and 30.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.20% of those under age 18 and 23.20% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]



The Democratic Party completely controls politics at the local level in Pemiscot County. Democrats hold every elected position in the county.

Pemiscot County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
AssessorDonna Champion SniderDemocratic
Circuit ClerkKelly Cagle ManersDemocratic
County ClerkPam TreeceDemocratic
CollectorKeith JeanDemocratic
Jim AtchisonDemocratic
(District 1)
Lee WatkinsDemocratic
(District 2)
Wendell HoskinsDemocratic
CoronerJames BrimhallDemocratic
Emergency Management DirectorJim AtchisonDemocratic
Prosecuting AttorneyWilliam CarterDemocratic
Public AdministratorCarol DeRousse MillerDemocratic
RecorderPam StrawbridgeDemocratic
SheriffTommy GreenwellDemocratic
TreasurerFrankie R. StewartDemocratic


All of Pemiscot County is a part of Missouri’s 162nd District in the Missouri House of Representatives and is currently represented by Terry Swinger (D-Caruthersville).

Missouri House of Representatives - District 162 - Pemiscot County (2010)
DemocraticTerry Swinger*2,851100.000

All of Pemiscot County is a part of Missouri's 25th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by State Senator Rob Mayer (R-Dexter). In 2008, Mayer defeated Democrat M. Shane Stoelting 65.32-34.68 percent in the district. The 25th Senatorial District consists of Butler, Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Ripley, Stoddard, and Wayne counties.

Missouri Senate - District 25 - Pemiscot County (2008)
RepublicanRob Mayer3,58655.61
DemocraticM. Shane Stoelting2,86244.39


Pemiscot County is included in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District and is currently represented by Jason T. Smith (R-Salem) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to finish out the remaining term of U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau). Emerson announced her resignation a month after being reelected with over 70 percent of the vote in the district. She resigned to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 – Pemiscot County (2012)
RepublicanJo Ann Emerson3,78262.57-0.25
DemocraticJack Rushin2,18436.14+0.95
LibertarianRick Vandeven781.29+0.51
U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Special Election – Pemiscot County (2013)
RepublicanJason T. Smith50658.36
DemocraticSteve Hodges33838.99
ConstitutionDoug Enyart131.50
LibertarianBill Slantz101.15
Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
YearRepublicanDemocraticThird Parties
201238.64% 2,33858.83% 3,5592.53% 153
200837.26% 2,49160.50% 4,0452.24% 150
200444.93% 2,96553.46% 3,5281.61% 106
200034.61% 2,05363.80% 3,7841.59% 94
199626.24% 1,46172.31% 4,0261.45% 81
199234.78% 2,27565.22% 4,2670.00% 0
198848.65% 3,03350.87% 3,1710.48% 30
198446.17% 3,11253.83% 3,6290.00% 0
198042.25% 3,06757.60% 4,1810.15% 11
197640.99% 2,74358.86% 3,9390.15% 10

Political Culture[edit]

Past Presidential Elections Results
YearRepublicanDemocraticThird Parties
200856.80% 3,59842.16% 2,6711.05% 66
200856.11% 3,95442.98% 3,0290.91% 64
200449.93% 3,39849.68% 3,3810.39% 27
200045.38% 2,75053.55% 3,2451.07% 65
199632.06% 1,82059.38% 3,3718.56% 486
199231.93% 2,16157.98% 3,9249.90% 670
198848.18% 3,06651.67% 3,2880.16% 10
198453.13% 3,73346.87% 3,2930.00% 0
198045.51% 3,51953.54% 4,1400.94% 73
197635.12% 2,54164.69% 4,6810.19% 14

At the presidential level, Pemiscot County is a fairly independent-leaning or battleground county although, like many counties in the impoverished Bootheel with a large African American population, it has a significant tendency to vote Democratic. While George W. Bush carried Pemiscot County by just 17 votes in 2004, Al Gore won the county in 2000, although both times the margin of victory was significantly closer than in many other rural areas. Bill Clinton also carried Pemiscot County in both 1992 and 1996 by double-digit margins. As was the case in many of the other rural counties in Missouri, Pemiscot County favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, although the margin of victory was smaller than in many of the other rural areas.

In 1968, Pemiscot County was the only county in Missouri to be won by George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama who ran as a pro-segregationist presidential candidate. In 2008, Pemiscot County swung the most Republican of all counties in the state, despite the state swinging Democratic as a whole.

As in most rural areas throughout Missouri, voters in Pemiscot County generally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles, but are more moderate or populist on economic issues, typical of the Dixiecrat philosophy. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it passed Pemiscot County with 84.73 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters, as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Pemiscot County, with 52.41 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters, as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Pemiscot County’s longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes, such as increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Pemiscot County with 78.01 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)[edit]

In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary, voters in Pemiscot County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

Pemiscot County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain233 (23.75%)
Mike Huckabee565 (57.59%)
Mitt Romney149 (15.19%)
Ron Paul20 (2.04%)
Pemiscot County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton1,270 (70.83%)
Barack Obama466 (25.99%)
John Edwards (withdrawn)34 (1.90%)
Uncommitted19 (1.06%)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1917). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 338. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°13′N 89°47′W / 36.21°N 89.78°W / 36.21; -89.78