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La Plata is a city in Macon Countymarker, Missourimarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 1,486 at the 2000 census.


La Plata is located at (40.024013, -92.492279) . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,486 people, 630 households, and 388 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,219.0 people per square mile (470.3/km²). There were 702 housing units at an average density of 575.9/sq mi (222.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.65% White, 0.13% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.68% of the population.

There were 630 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 26.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 79.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,583, and the median income for a family was $36,071. Males had a median income of $26,438 versus $17,880 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,675. About 9.0% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.8% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


On March 17, 1827, Drury Davis established a trading post about a half-mile west of what would become La Plata. The town would develop as the intersection of north and south stagecoach roads. The town was surveyed by Henry O. Clark in 1855. Clark presented a plat to settlers Louis Gex, Theodore Saunders and Dr. W. W. Moore. The men accepted the plan, and named the streets surrounding the city park for themselves (Clark chose a street one block south of the square, along his father's land). The streets Moore (on the North side), Gex (pronounced jay, on the West), and Sanders (to the South) make up three sides of the square. The town prospered as a small farming center, like Kirksvillemarker 13 miles to the North.

According to local tradition, the name resulted from a lottery: the townsfolk were invited to put a proposed name into a hat, and "La Plata" was the one drawn; it had been Dr. Moore's choice, under the mistaken impression that it was French for "the silver river."

The North Missouri (later known as the Wabash Railroad) came to town in 1867, and the Santa Fe Railroad twenty years later, passing through La Plata on its route from Chicagomarker to Kansas Citymarker. The Wabash railroad no longer exists, but the Amtrak station is still running on the Santa Fe rail system.


  • La Plata marker provides passenger train service. Kirksville Regional Airportmarker, six miles north of La Plata, provides commuter airline connector flights to larger cities and airlines. U.S. Highway 63 has been expanded to four lanes in the last decade, meaning easy highway access to larger cities like Columbiamarker.

Notable people & Events

  • Lester Dent, author, Doc Savage books.
  • 1999—La Plata R-2 High School won the Missouri Class 1-A Softball Title.


4. Kirksville Daily Express Sports editor.

External links

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