Discovering Canton, Missouri: A Hidden Gem on the Mississippi

Hello, dear readers! Today, we’re taking a virtual trip to the charming city of Canton, Missouri. Nestled in Lewis County, this city is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Let’s dive in and explore what makes Canton so special.

Canton, with a population of 2,774 as of the 2020 census, is a city that beautifully blends the past and the present. It’s home to Culver-Stockton College, a small liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Interestingly, Canton also had the oldest continuously operating ferry across the Mississippi River, which sadly closed in April 2014.

The city’s history is fascinating. Founded in 1830, Canton predates Lewis County by three years. Its early history is a tale of two cities, with the nearby village of Tully slowing Canton’s growth due to its better location for steamboats to anchor. However, a series of floods, especially a major one in 1851, destroyed much of Tully, allowing Canton to flourish.

Canton’s growth was further propelled by the founding of “Christian University” in 1853, now known as Culver-Stockton College. The college has been a foundation of the community since its reopening in 1865 after the Civil War.

Canton has also seen its fair share of natural disasters, with major flooding occurring many times in the town’s history. However, the construction of a bigger and stronger levee in the 1960s has largely mitigated this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canton, Missouri

1. What is the significance of Culver-Stockton College in Canton?

Culver-Stockton College, founded in 1853, has been a cornerstone of the Canton community. After a brief closure during the Civil War, the college reopened in 1865 and has been operational ever since. Its campus is home to Henderson Hall, also known as “Old Main,” which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2. How has Canton’s location near the Mississippi River influenced its history?

The Mississippi River has played a crucial role in Canton’s history. The river was a major transportation route, which led to the establishment of the oldest continuously operating ferry across the Mississippi in Canton. However, the river has also been a source of challenges, causing several major floods throughout the city’s history.

3. What industries were prominent in Canton in the 19th century?

Canton was a gateway to northeast Missouri’s agricultural sector after the Civil War, with several industries catering to those needs. Pork processing began in the 1840s, and by the late 1870s, thousands of hogs were being slaughtered. Other manufactured items included iron plows, wagons, a patented hand corn planter, and buttons made from mussel shells from the nearby river.

Canton, Missouri, is a city with a rich history and a vibrant community. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or someone looking for a new place to explore, Canton has something to offer. So, why not plan a visit and experience the charm of Canton firsthand?