Interesting History
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Interesting History

Clay County, Missouri is full of unique and fascinating history that makes its communities great places to visit for history buffs. With so much to learn, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start looking into the history of an area. To make things a little easier, we put together a list of 7 interesting history facts from Clay County, Missouri.
1. Clay County was organized on January 2nd, 1822. It was named after Kentucky Congressman Henry Clay.
2. Clay County, Missouri had several famous residents and visitors over the years, including: the infamous brothers Jesse and Frank James and the Prophet and Leader of the Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith.
3. The first child born in Clay County was Finis Ewing Telford, he was born on March 29th, 1822.
4. William Jewell, located in Liberty, is one of the oldest private colleges in Missouri. It was founded in 1849.
5. From 1943-1945 during World War ll, a German prisoner of war camp was set up in a turkey farm in Liberty. Roughly 600 prisoners were held in this location, they were transported to farms in the area to work, aiding the local economy and war effort.
6. The creation of Smithville Lake was started in October 1979 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
7. Excelsior Springs gained recognition as a health resort in 1893 when the Excelsior Springs Bottling Company exhibited waters and ginger ale in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
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