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Carter County, Missouri

US county information
NameCarter County
StateMissouri
SeatVan Buren
Largest cityVan Buren
US Area
Total Area509.02 sq mi (1318.4 km2)
Land Area507.58 sq mi (1314.6 km2)
Water Area1.44 sq mi (3.7 km2)
Population Est.5890 (2008)
Density4.6/km2 (12/sq mi)
Named forZimri A. Carter, a pioneer settler who came to Missouri from South Carolina in 1812
Time zoneCentral
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5: -6/-5

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Carter County is a county located in the central western portion of the Ozark Foothills Region in Southeast Missouri in the United States. The county was officially organized on March 10, 1859, and is named after Zimri A. Carter, a pioneer settler who came to Missouri from South Carolina in 1812. It was created from portions of Ripley, Shannon and Wayne counties. On the first Monday of April 1859 three men (Adam Lane, of Ripley County, John Bulford, of Reynolds County and D. C. Reed, of Shannon County) met at the home of James Brown to select a seat for the newly created Carter County. They selected Van Buren which, until 1847, had been the county seat of Ripley County. At the time of its creation Carter County was attached to Ripley County for the purpose of representation in the General Assembly.

The 1860 U.S. Census shows the newly created Carter County with a population of 1197 free persons and 20 slaves held by 8 slave owners. The 1920 US Census shows a peak population for Carter County of 7482. The population then declined until it reached a low of 3878 in the 1970 U.S. Census. The population has since risen steadily. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the county's population was 6,265.

The largest city and county seat is Van Buren .


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