St. Francois County, Missouri lies at the foothills of the enchanting Ozark Mountains in the heart of the lush Parkland region. Characterized by pristine streams, state parks and several federal and state wildlife and recreation areas, St. Francois County acts as an excellent resource for recreational entertainment.
St. Francois County, founded in 1821, takes its name from Saint Francis of Assisi. According to the Census 2000 data, St. Francois County reported a population of 55,641, spread throughout its communities, and has experienced a nine-percent growth since that time. Bonne Terre, Desloge, Farmington and Park Hills are the county’s larger cities. Towns with 1,500 residents or less include Bismarck, Iron Mountain Lake, Leadington and Leadwood.
Farmington, population 13,924, is the largest city and serves as the seat of St. Francois County. Farmington, also called “The City of Tradition and Progress”, remains true to its heritage while securing a successful future with a healthy economy and progressive business atmosphere. Farmington boasts an impressive array of shopping opportunities that includes major department stores as well as a selection of unique specialty shops.
Bonne Terre is the home of St. Francois State Park and is the setting for the “The Moon Pool”, written by Max McCoy. Sites of interest include the Shephard House Museum and the Bonne Terre Mines, which features some of the largest man-made caverns on the planet. The Mines also offer excellent opportunities for scuba diving. Desloge is a friendly mid-sized city firmly rooted in its mining past. Park Hills is home to St. Joe State Park and the Missouri Mines Historic Site.
The vast landscape of St. Francois County, MO parks, such as the renowned Mark Twain National Forest, provides an astounding array of activities sure to please the avid outdoorsman. Numerous reservoirs, rivers and streams in the area are available for canoeing, fishing and boating. These include the beautiful St. Francis River, which provides visitors with the thrill of white water kayaking.
St. Francois County has a robust economy, primarily comprised of the sectors of education, health and social services. Manufacturing and retail trade also make strong contributions to the financial balance of the area. St. Louis, Missouri is approximately an hour away and serves as a priceless resource for business purposes, as well as entertainment and recreation. In addition, St. Francois County lies in close proximity to several small and commercial airports, which provide convenient access to other business markets.
St. Francois County, MO boasts premium educational choices from its top-notch public school system to the numerous higher learning institutions in the area. The Mineral Area College in Park Hills offers associate degrees as well as graduate degrees from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Jefferson College is half an hour’s drive away in Hillsboro, while several additional higher learning facilities exist within little more than an hour’s drive, in St. Louis. These include Maryville University of St. Louis, Saint Louis University and Webster University.
St. Francois County, Missouri embodies the inviting atmosphere of life in the country, while within a short distance of the amenities that only a major metropolitan city such as St. Louis can offer. Its location in the midst of the lovely Ozark Mountains and the warm, friendly residents, make St. Francois County an enviable place to call home.
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