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MEXICO, a city and the county-seat of Audrain county, Missouri, U.S.A., N.E. of the center of the state, and about no m. N.W. of St Louis. Pop. (1890), 4789; (1900), 5099, including 948 negroes and in foreign-born; (1910), 5939. It is served by the Chicago & Alton, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and the Wabash railway systems. Mexico is the seat of Hardin College and Conservatory of Music (Baptist, 1873), for young women, an institution founded and endowed by Charles H. Hardin (1820-1892), governor of the state in 1872-1874, and of the Missouri Military Academy (1889). The city is situated in the blue grass region of Missouri, and is a shipping-point for horses and mules. Among the manufactures are flour, shoes and fire-clay products. Mexico was laid out as " New Mexico " in 1836, and became the county-seat under its present name in 1837. It was incorporated as a town in 1855, was entered by the Wabash road in 1858 and by the Alton in 1872, and was first chartered as a city in 1874.

Mexico.-The judicial seat of Audrain County, a city of the third class, located near the center of the county, on the main line of the Chicago & Alton and Wabash Railroads, 110 miles from St. Louis and fifty miles from Jefferson City. It is the northern terminus of the Jefferson City branch of the Chicago & Alton Railroad. The city is delightfully situated on the divide that separates the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and is one of the most elevated points in the county. The site abounds in gently rolling ridges, with pretty valleys, affording splendid natural drainage. The streets are regularly laid out, well graded and macadamized, and beautifully shaded with trees on either side. The original site of the town was entered at the government land office by Rev. Robert C. Mansfield and James H. Smith, who, in April, 1836, laid it out as a town, which they called New Mexico, by which name it was known until it became the county seat. The owners of the town site platted fifty acres into lots, blocks, streets and alleys, and donated to the County of Audrain, for county seat purposes, the public square and each alternate lot of the town for sale, on condition that it be made the county seat. The commissioners appointed by the General Assembly to select a permanent seat of justice accepted the offer of Messrs. Mansfield and Smith, and their selection was approved by the county court. May 4, 1837, an auction sale of town lots was held for the benefit of the county building fund. In the fall of 1836 the owners of the town site held a sale of lots. The first persons to establish a business enterprise in the town were John B. Morris and William White, who, under the firm name of Morris & White, in the fall of 1836, opened a general store on Lot 4, Block 21, of the original town. Soon after Mansfield & Smith opened up a grocery store, and during the years immediately following about half a dozen stores were started. For about twenty years the town enjoyed little prosperity and could boast of only a few hundred inhabitants until May, 1858, when the North Missouri (now Wabash) Railway was completed to it. Then ensued a short era of prosperity. Three years prior the first newspaper in Audrain County was started at Mexico, and was called the "Ledger." The influx of settlers, on account of the building of the railroad, necessitated the starting of a number of business enterprises. March 5, 1855, Mexico was incorporated as a town. Its articles of incorporation were amended in 1856, and again February 17, 1857, when the trustees were authorized to condemn certain properties for street purposes. The town charter of 1855 made the police judge ex-officio justice of the peace, and gave the town council "power to punish any member or other person for disorderly behavior in their presence while sitting as a board," and "to expel a member for disorderly conduct, but shall not expel a member the second time for the same cause." The act also gave the trustees power "to prevent the firing of firearms." These laws were in effect until 1874, when the General Assembly granted Mexico .a special charter as a city. It became a city of the third class in March, 1892. Its area is one and three-fourth miles by one and onehalf miles, containing 1,680 acres. Like other towns of Missouri, the Civil War retarded its growth, and Mexico did not thrive until some years after its close. The Louisiana & Missouri River Railroad, now the Chicago & Alton, was built to it in 1872. Mexico at the close of the nineteenth century is one of the most progressive and prosperous of the smaller cities of Missouri. It is noted as a healthful residence place and has educational advantages excelled by few cities west of the Mississippi River. It is the seat of Hardin College, which is under control of the Baptist Church, and is one of the largest and best known female schools in Missouri. Also located there is Missouri Military Academy, founded in 1889, destroyed by fire in 1897, and rebuilt through the efforts of the Business Men's Association, in 1900. Under its new managers, Messrs. Yancey & Fonville, the academy is deservedly taking rank with the high class military schools of the West. There are two excellent public schools, all occupying fine buildings, and in addition a school for colored children. There are twelve churches, Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, South, Missionary Baptist, Regular Baptist, Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, German Evangelical and three churches for colored people. The city supports two daily and five weekly papers, and one semi-monthly religious paper. The "Intelligencer" is Democratic, published daily and weekly by C. M. Baskett; the "Ledger," Democratic, is daily and weekly, by R. M. White; the "State Leader" is Prohibitionist, weekly, by C. E. Stokes; the "Messenger," weekly, by John Beal; "The Audrain County Republican," weekly, by V. E. Mendenhall, and the "Regular Baptist," semi-monthly, by Rev. William Huff. The Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Modern Woodmen, Maccabees, Woodmen of the World, and various other fraternal and benevolent orders have lodges in the city, and there are numerous social clubs and miscellaneous church and charitable societies. The business interests of the city are represented by three banks, two flouring mills, a woolen mill, foundry and machine shops, ice manufacturing plant, brick works, steam laundry, three hotels and numerous small factories and shops, and about 100 stores in the different branches of trade. The city has a good opera house, an electric lighting plant, waterworks and sewerage systems, a well organized fire department, telephone exchange and telephone connections with near by towns, and long distance telephone connections with eastern cities. Its population in 1900 was 5,099.