Taney County, Missouri

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Taney County, Missouri
Seal of Taney County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Taney County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
FoundedJanuary 4, 1837
Named forRoger B. Taney
Largest cityBranson
 • Total651.48 sq mi (1,687 km2)
 • Land632.36 sq mi (1,638 km2)
 • Water19.12 sq mi (50 km2), 2.93%
 • (2010)51,675
 • Density31/sq mi (12/km²)
Congressional district7th
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5
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Taney County, Missouri
Seal of Taney County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Taney County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
FoundedJanuary 4, 1837
Named forRoger B. Taney
Largest cityBranson
 • Total651.48 sq mi (1,687 km2)
 • Land632.36 sq mi (1,638 km2)
 • Water19.12 sq mi (50 km2), 2.93%
 • (2010)51,675
 • Density31/sq mi (12/km²)
Congressional district7th
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5

Taney County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,675.[1] Its county seat is Forsyth.[2] The county was officially organized on January 4, 1837, and named in honor of Roger Brooke Taney, the fifth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, most remembered for later delivering the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford.

Taney County includes the popular tourist destination city of Branson. It is included in the Branson, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Springfield-Branson, MO Combined Statistical Area. With a wide range of live music shows, restaurants and shopping locations, Taney County is also the home of Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes.


The first Taney County Courthouse was built by the early pioneers in 1837 and destroyed on July 22, 1861, during a Civil War Battle. The second Courthouse was destroyed by fire on December 19, 1885. The third Courthouse was removed in 1952 to permit the building of Bull Shoals Lake. The fourth, and present, Courthouse was occupied on August 1, 1952. In 1989, an addition was started and completed in 1991.


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 651.48 square miles (1,687.3 km2), of which 632.36 square miles (1,637.8 km2) (or 97.07%) is land and 19.12 square miles (49.5 km2) (or 2.93%) is water.[3]

The county is drained by White River and its affluents.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Minor Highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Est. 201252,9562.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 39,703 people, 16,158 households, and 11,052 families residing in the county. The population density was 24/km² (63/mi²). There were 19,688 housing units at an average density of 12/km² (31/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. Approximately 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Taney County were 20.8% German, 18.9% American, 12.4% Irish, and 12.3% English, according to Census 2000.

There were 16,158 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.40% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,771, and the median income for a family was $47,664. Males had a median income of $25,431 versus $19,655 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,663. About 9.40% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]

Denotes a municipality whose physical boundaries extend beyond Taney County


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Taney County, 81.4% possess a high school diploma or higher while 14.9% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Taney County is home to the College of the Ozarks.

Public Schools[edit]

Private Schools[edit]

Alternative & Vocational Schools[edit]


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Taney County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Taney County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (32.88%), Roman Catholics (12.36%), and Presbyterians (9.13%).



The Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Taney County. Republicans hold every elected position in the county.

Taney County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
AssessorChuck PennelRepublican
Circuit ClerkBrenda Kay NealRepublican
County ClerkDonna NeeleyRepublican
CollectorSheila L. WyattRepublican
Ronald HousemanRepublican
(District 1)
Brandon WilliamsRepublican
(District 2)
Danny StrahanRepublican
CoronerKevin TweedyRepublican
Prosecuting AttorneyJeffrey M. MerrellRepublican
Public AdministratorCarol S. DavisRepublican
RecorderRobert A. DixonRepublican
SheriffJimmie RussellRepublican
TreasurerMelanie SmithRepublican


Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
YearRepublicanDemocraticThird Parties
200851.16% 10,90346.31% 9,8702.53% 540
200468.88% 13,20729.91% 5,7341.21% 233
200060.03% 9,00337.30% 5,5942.67% 400
199658.07% 7,51638.89% 5,0343.04% 394

Taney County is divided into three legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives, all of which are held by Republicans.

Missouri House of Representatives - District 62 - Taney County (2010)
RepublicanDonald E. Phillips5,051100.00+29.69
Missouri House of Representatives - District 142 - Taney County (2010)
RepublicanRaymond Weter*1,46685.88-14.12
LibertarianBradley W. Stubbs24114.12+14.12
Missouri House of Representatives - District 143 - Taney County (2010)
RepublicanLyle Rowland5,35374.14+8.27
IndependentMichael Chipman1,86725.86+25.86

All of Taney County is a part of Missouri's 29th District in the Missouri Senate and is currently represented by State Senator Jack Goodman (R-Mt. Vernon). In 2008, Goodman ran unopposed and was reelected with 100 percent of the vote. The 29th Senatorial District consists of Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Ozark, Stone, and Taney counties.

Missouri Senate - District 29 - Taney County (2008)
RepublicanJack Goodman17,564100.00


Currently, Taney County is split in its federal representation, with Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau) representing most of the central and eastern portions of the county in Missouri's 8th Congressional District while Billy Long (R-Springfield) represents the western parts of the county (including Branson) in Missouri's 7th Congressional District. Following redistricting, all of Taney County will now be included in the 7th Congressional District.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Taney County (2010)
RepublicanJo Ann Emerson2,58865.85-0.97
DemocraticTommy Sowers1,04926.69-2.77
IndependentLarry Bill1543.92+3.92
LibertarianRick Vandeven1393.54+0.91

Political Culture[edit]

Past Presidential Elections Results
YearRepublicanDemocraticThird Parties
200868.02% 14,73630.85% 6,6831.13% 245
200470.43% 13,57829.05% 5,6010.52% 101
200063.84% 9,64733.70% 5,0922.46% 373
199652.01% 6,84435.13% 4,62312.86% 1,693

Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Taney County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Taney County in 2000 and 2004 by more than two-to-one margins, and like many other rural counties throughout Missouri, Taney County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Taney County in over 50 years.

Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Taney County traditionally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to strongly influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Taney County with 80.04 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 Taney County with 56.64 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 Taney County’s longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like 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 Taney County with 77.78 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 also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)[edit]

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

Taney County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain1,784 (25.90%)
Mike Huckabee3,850 (55.89%)
Mitt Romney976 (14.17%)
Ron Paul195 (2.83%)
Taney County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton2,626 (63.69%)
Barack Obama1,391 (33.74%)
John Edwards (withdrawn)78 (1.89%)


In 2009, Taney County officials voted to begin charging inmates $45 a day to stay at the jail. One critic referred to the charge as a "poor person's tax."[7]

The 2010 film "Winter's Bone" was filmed entirely in Taney County and Christian County. Many locals were cast in significant roles in the film.

The NAIA Men's Basketball Championships are hosted every March at College of the Ozarks.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Taney". The American Cyclopædia. 1879. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0515/p25s10-usgn.htm

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°39′N 93°02′W / 36.65°N 93.04°W / 36.65; -93.04