In the  summer of 1831, the commissioners , Hancock S. Jackson of Randolph County,  Stephen Glascock of Ralls County, and Joseph Holliday of Pike County, selected the site to be the county seat of the new Monroe County .  They then retired to the home of J.C. Fox, near Middle Grove to consider a name. They allowed Mrs. Fox to name the town, Paris after her home town of Paris, Kentucky.

 Paris is nestled in the agriculturally fertile Salt River Valley.  Despite its small size (1,500 in Paris and less than 9,000 in the county), the area offers virtually every accommodation and novelty found in much larger population centers. And Paris and the surrounding community are quickly becoming a focal point of the newly formed 18,000 acre Mark Twain Lake . 

Visitors to the newly completed Mark Twain Lake will be attracted to Florida's Mark Twain Shrine. The museum is in tribute to Samuel Clemens, who was born in the county.  Along with Twain's original birthplace, the museum possesses the author's handwritten manuscript of "Tom Sawyer".

Paris is the "hometown" of internationally acclaimed artist Gordon Snidow, whose works can be found in the county's historical society's museum at the courthouse, and the late Mary Margaret McBride, author and radio and television personality.

The area is proud of its past. One of Missouri's four remaining covered bridges can be found just west of town and the county's history can be found uniquely muraled in the rotunda of the courthouse. Annually, thousands make a trek to Paris to help salute America's agricultural past when they visit the Mark Twain Old Threshers Association Steam Show.


Paris, Mo. county seat of Monroe County, Pop.1,374.

It is the home of Mark Twain Lake & Park.  There are several small manufacturing companies, Carter Barber Shop ( The best haircut in the area), also, one of the last remaining covered bridges, Union Covered Bridge that I as a small child of 5 y.o. walked across with my sisters and brothers to Union School, now nonexistent.  (submitted by Cathlene Stewart)



(The following article was extracted from an edition of MISSOURI SHOWS YOU, a publication of the Missouri Recreation Association, Inc., dated abt. 1949)

On U.S. Highway 24, Highway 15 & 154, Wabash R. R.

Historic – Three covered bridges. Glenn House (Hotel of Jefferson) scene of Civil War "Battle of Paris". Burial place of Tom Blue, Negro, only man ever sentenced to death in county, later found innocent. Burial place of John Irvin, Confederate, captured by General Grant, sentenced as spy, released by personal letter to Grant from General Lee. Birth house of Hugh Glenn, pioneer plainsman, "Wheat King of World", for whom Glenn County, California, is named. Brick Flanders House, first house built in Paris. At Florida, 12 miles east, is 1280 acre Mark Twain State Park – museum, Mark Twain birth house. Also house where General U.S. Grant made first field headquarters, and burial place of Braxton Pollard, Revolutionary War hero. Six miles west of Paris, cliffside Indian pictographs, 400 years old. Ten miles mortheast, tavern where Lincoln’s "Other Mary" once lived.

Famous People – Home Mary Margaret McBride, authoress, radio star; former home Boone Hel, noted Old West desperado; editorial office and home Jack Blanton, "The Country Editor" of Norman Rockwell (Saturday Evening Post) fame.

Fishing, Hunting – County reared by four branches of Slat River, and Main Salt; several tributary streams. Over 800 miles fishing waters, greatest fishing water mileage any Missouri county. Bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, rough fish. Quail, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon or possum, skunk, muskrat, mink coyotes. Fine fox hunting.

Paris has modern hotel, tourist court and trailer camp facilities, cafes featuring Dixie-type cooking for which county is famous. Smoked country hams, golden sorghum molasses. Free publication memorial library of 10,000 volumes; seven churches; third oldest high school in state; Crispus Attucks (Revolutionary War’s first hero) Negro school; municipally owned light, water, ice, sewage plant; 40 blocks concrete streets; one of finest Missouri courthouses; over three million bank deposits; natural amphitheatre; playground; seat annual Monroe County Fair; has all chief lodges, literary clubs, Legion, Progressive Club (Junior Chamber of Commerce), Rotary, Commercial Association.

On Wabash railroad through freight line, and transcontinental bus and freight truck routes.

Rolling prairie and river hills. General grain farming, clover, soybeans, cane, bluegrass; outstanding livestock breeding and fattening. Dairying, pultry, Saddle horses. Potters’ and firebrick clay. Some coal. County contains a few of the finest type colonial homes, still in use.

Paris on direct highway to home President Truman, Independence; 24 miles from boyhood home General Bradley, Moberly; 25 miles from Mexico, world saddle horse center; 18 from Perry, eastern gateway Mark Twain Park.

Paris reached from east, from Hannibal, boyhood home Mark Twain, over Highways 61, 19 into Perry, No. 154 to Mark Twain birthplace, No. 154 to Paris, or Highways 36 or 24; from west over No. 24; north and south over No. 15.

With a Virginia and Kentucky heritage of courtesy; interesting and historic spots, recreation, highway and freight routes, low living costs, available labor, Paris is a pleasant and interesting place to visit or live, and a fertile field for establishment of small industry, especially based on agricultural raw products.

Submitted by Lisa Perry