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Seymour, Missouri

Seymour is a city in Webster County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,834 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The City of Seymour has an alderman/mayor government structure. The current mayor of Seymour is Jerry Miller. The current Chief of Police is Jeff Rogers. Seymour has one grocery store, three gas stations, two banks, a YMCA, one high school, two elementary schools and one middle school, a modern public library, and a town museum is in the works. Seymour has an active Lions Club, Arts Council and a Masonic Lodge.

Seymour has an award winning weekly newspaper whose office is located on the west side of the town square; the Webster County Citizen is edited by Dan Whemer.

The Seymour Merchants Association holds an annual Apple Festival the second weekend of every September. Crowds of up to 30,000 people descend on the town to buy handmade crafts and listen to live gospel music. There is still an apple orchard in Seymour.

Outside of Seymour is a large Old Order Amish Community who provide to the local economy. The local McDonald’s, Bank, Post Office and several other businesses have hitching post for Amish Buggies.

The Town has three murals painted on building sides on the square, one depicts rolling hills of the surrounding Ozarks, and another depicts the former train depot in 1881.

History

Seymour was incorporated in 1881 when the Frisco Railroad was built. The land the town was built on was a marsh. The town's square originally had dirt streets. In 1904 the Seymour area was a leading producer of apples in the state. A post Civil War house was built by Col. Thomas C. Love north of town, the farm had one of the largest apple orchards in the state, giving Seymour its nickname "Land of the Big Red Apple". The Col. Thomas C. Love House is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1941 Harold Owen opened a theater on the square, it was open and closed through the years; but currently is open in the winter time when the still operating Owen Drive-In is closed for the winter. The Owen Drive-In used to accommodate small plane pilots who could fly into the theater and watch a movie. Harold Owen still operates the Drive-In during the summer and fall.

In the early 1960's, U.S. Highway 60 ran through the middle of town. In Missouri, Highway 60 runs from the Illinois state line near Charleston, in the bootheel, across the state to the Oklahoma state line near Neosho, on the Ozarks plateau. At that time, also, the Frisco railroad ran through town, providing both passenger and freight service to Seymour, including less-than-car-load service. The Frisco was absorbed by the Burlington Northern in 1980. The old Frisco railroad depot has long since been torn down.

In the early 1960's, most of the business district was centered around the public square. There were three major grocery stores in Seymour--White's, which was connected with a general store, and owned by Charles White; the MFA supermarket, which was part of the MFA complex (feed and agriculture, hardware and groceries); the MFA general manager was Sherman Eddings, and two of the ladies who worked in the office were Dorothy Herman and Lucille Brown; and Williams', which was owned by the Williams family, who also had a variety store. There was a feed mill, Marlin Milling, which was owned by the Marlin family. Alvin Marlin had been a paratrooper in World War II and had jumped into Normandy on D-Day. Mr. Pennington owned an Oklahoma Tire and Supply store. Paul Hunter ran the Western Auto Store. The movie theater was owned by the Owens family. The local newspaper, the "Webster County Citizen," was owned and run by Joe Stanard. Miller's cafe was on the square, as was a pool hall. Ron Durnford owned an oil company and also a service station, which was on highway 60. An independent auto garage was owned by Wilson Kale (sp?) and Donnie Fann. Joe Criswell owned and ran the local dry cleaners, which was a short way out of the main town on BB Highway.

The postmaster was Bob Nichols, whose father owned a local implement company. The Mayor was Benton George, who owned a tire recapping company. The agent for the Frisco Railroad was Virgil L. Walker, Jr. He was also a veteran of World War II, having served with the 104th Infantry Division in France and Germany. The medical doctor was J.R. Gill, DO. The veterinarian was Louis W. "Doc" Touchen. The librarian at the local library was Mrs. Erb. The largest church was the First Baptist Church, whose pastor was Rev. Moore. One of the pastors who served the Seymour Methodist Church during this time was Rev. August Wilm.

Dean Matney owned and ran the East Side Barber Shop on the square. George "Speedy" Bolinger owned the sundry store (soda fountain). Cliff Winslow owned the "Anchor Inn," a small restaurant located on highway 60. Next to it was a service station owned by George Loveland. Chuck Carter owned the local propane service.

In the schools, in 1962-63, Walter Hall was superintendent; William Guthrie, principal; in the high school, Bob Mahaffey taught vocational agriculture; Floyd Blankenship taught various science courses; Dean Blankenship taught history; Wayne Barlow taught industrial arts; Bill Halbrook taught physical education and was the coach for sports. Elementary school teachers included Claddie Nichols and Bette Durnford.

City Marshals at various points during the early 1960s time included Jack Griechen and William "Pistol Bill" Silvey. Seymour's policeman was Fred Cornelius. Seymour had public utilities. Oscar Noel was the electric utility man, while Joe Hensley oversaw the water department.

Seymour was the second largest city in Webster County at that time. It is now the third largest city, having been surpassed by Rogersville. The largest city was, and still is, Marshfield, which is the county seat of Webster County.

http://www.seymourmissouri.org

Geography

Seymour is located at (37.147671, -92.768882).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.8 km²), all of it land.

Seymour is located on the Springfield Plateau in the Ozark Mountains.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,834 people, 711 households, and 479 families residing in the city. The population density was 699.3 people per square mile (270.3/km²). There were 792 housing units at an average density of 302.0/sq mi (116.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.29% White, 0.05% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.71% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.80% of the population.

There were 711 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,093, and the median income for a family was $30,048. Males had a median income of $25,938 versus $16,481 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,486. About 13.7% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 32.1% of those age 65 or over.

References

External links

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