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The Catholic Encyclopedia
The State of Missouri was carved out of the Louisiana Territory, and derives its name from the principal river flowing through its centre. The name (pronounced Miz-zoo'ri) signifies "big muddy" in the Indian language. Geographically, Missouri is the central commonwealth of the Federal Union.
The boundaries are the State of Iowa on the north; Arkansas on the south; on the east the Mississippi River separates it from Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee; on the west it is bounded by Nebraska, Kansas, and the new State of Oklahoma. It lies between 40°30' and 36°30' N. lat., except that a small projection, between the Rivers St. Francis and Mississippi, extends about 34 miles farther south between Tennessee and Arkansas. The area of the state is 69,415 square miles.
The Missouri River follows the western boundary of the state as far south as Kansas City; then turning east, it flows across the state and empties itself into the Mississippi about twelve miles above St. Louis. The portion of the state lying north of the Missouri is a great extent of gently rolling prairie, intersected here and there by streams which are lined with timber and flow south into the Missouri or east into the Mississippi. The western portion of the state, north of the Missouri River, is generally level, but rises to about one thousand feet above sea-level in the northwestern corner of the state. The eastern portion, north of the Missouri River, is more broken, with some hilly land bordering the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The portion of the state south of the Missouri is more rolling; it is well wooded, especially in the south-east, with some swamp lands in the extreme south-eastern section. The Ozark Mountains break into the south central part of the state, but rise to no considerable height (highest elevation 1600 feet). West of these mountains the land is rolling, but arable and fertile, being especially adapted to fruit-growing. It is in this section that the famous Missouri red apples are grown in the greatest quantities.
According to the first federal census of Missouri; taken in 1810, the state had then 20,845 inhabitants. The census of 1910 places the population at 3,293,335. According to the Missouri Bureau of Labor Statistics for 1909, the population of the state at the beginning of that year was 3,925,335.
Agricultural and farm products
The value of the output of farm crops alone for the year 1908 was $171,815,553. Of the total crop valuation $98,607,605 consisted of Indian corn, in the production of which Missouri is the first state in the Union. The greater portion of the crop is consumed by live stock within the state; this portion is not estimated in the surplus given below. The surplus in livestock for the year ending 31 December, 1908, consisting of cattle, horses, hogs, mules, and sheep, was 7,097,055 head, valued at $112,535,494. Missouri is constantly gaining as a wool-producing state; in 1908 there was $1,306,922 worth of wool sold. The farm-yard products are important items in the agricultural statistics; the surplus of poultry, eggs, and feathers for the year 1908 was $44,960,973. Missouri has never been considered an important dairying state, but since 1904 there has been a remarkable growth in this industry. The statistics in 1904 show an estimated total value from the dairies of $4,900,783, while the statistics of 1908 give a total value of $20,651,778. The cotton crop of 1908 brought, $3,723,352.
Mines and timber
In 1907 the Federal authorities ranked Missouri the chief lead-producing state of the Union. The returns from the smelters for 1908 show that the state mined enough lead ore to produce 122,451 tons of primary lead. The total valuation of the lead produced in 1908 was $8,672,873. For 1908 the State Mining Department placed the production of zinc ore at 197,499 tons, and its value at $6,374,719. Nickel, copper, and cobalt are among the valuable minerals produced in Missouri. According to the United States geological survey of 1907, Missouri and Oregon were the only states producing nickel: 400 tons of metallic nickel, 200 tons of metallic cobalt, and 700 tons of metallic copper were produced in 1908. Iron ore to the value of $218,182 was produced in the year 1908. There was an output of $26,204 in silver. In the production of clay and shale goods Missouri held seventh rank in 1908. In cement the state also held seventh place. The total output in lime, cement, brick, and tiling for 1908 aggregated a value of $8,904,013. Petroleum wells exist in one or two counties close to the Kansas border, and some natural gas has been found in the state. Coal exists in abundance, the value of the output in 1908 being $5,644,330. The products of the forests of Missouri produced in 1908 over 450,000,000 feet of assorted lumber with an estimated valuation of $8,719,822, while over $4,000,000 worth of railroad ties were also produced in that year.
The following table of surplus products, given out by the Bureau of Labour Statistics in 1909, is a concise statement of the surplus of the state which was added to the commerce of the world during 1908.
RÉSUMÉ OF VALUATIONS BY GROUPS
- Live stock: $112,535,494
- Farm crops: 34,991,518
- Mill products 30,283,689
- Farmyard products 44,960,973
- Apiary and cane products 117,694
- Forest products 22,958,014
- Dairy products 8,260,711
- Missouri "Meerschaum" products 424,449
- Nursery products 1,061,173
- Liquid products 1,210,739
- Fish and game products 636,629
- Packing-house products 1,872,318
- Cotton products 3,723,352
- Medicinal products 95,398
- Vegetable and canned goods 6,692,426
- Fresh fruit 5,089,384
- Wool and mohair 1,308,812
- Mine and quarry products 24,992,789
- Stone and clay products 8,904,013
- Unclassified products: 4,623,953
- Total value: $314,743,528
Although the Mississippi River runs the full length of the eastern boundary of the state, and the Missouri flows directly through the state, neither of these streams is of any considerable commercial value as a means of communication or transportation. Railroad facilities, however, are ample, there being 7991 miles of main line with about 3000 miles of sidings. There are 63 steam systems operating in the state. There are one railroad bridge, one street-car bridge, and one combination railroad, street-car, and passenger bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, and a municipal free bridge for the accommodation of railroads, electric roads, wagons, and foot traffic, is in process of construction.
The State University of Missouri was established by legislative act approved on 11 February, 1839, and the university was located at Columbia, Boone County, on 24 June, 1839. The corner-stone of the main building was laid on 4 July, 1840. Courses of instruction in academic work were begun on 14 April, 1841, and a Normal Department was established in 1867 and opened in September, 1868. The College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and the School of Mines and Metallurgy were made departments of the university in 1870, the School of Mines and Metallurgy being located at Rolla. The law department was opened in 1872, the medical department in 1873, the engineering department in 1877, and the department of journalism in 1908. In 1888 the Experiment Station was established under Act of Congress, and the Missouri State Military School in 1890. For the scholastic year 1908 there were enrolled in the entire university 3033 students. The officers of instruction and administration consisted of 104 professors, 64 instructors, and 54 assistants. Apart from the above-mentioned institutions, which are all under the supervision of the University of Missouri proper, the state maintains the Lincoln Institution at Jefferson City for the education of negro children in agriculture and mechanic arts.
The state is divided into 10,053 school districts. The total number of teachers in the public schools in the year 1908 was 17,998, the total number of pupils being 984,659. For the year ending 1 July, 1908, the public schools cost the tax-payers $12,769,689.93. The law requires that every child with sound body and mind, from six to fourteen years of age, attend either a public or private school during each school year. Missouri has the largest permanent interest-bearing school-fund of any state in the Union. This fund in 1908 amounted to $14,014,335.45. Apart from the primary and high schools there are six state normal institutions, of which one is located in each of the following cities: Columbia (Teachers' College), Kirksville, Warrensburg, Cape Girardeau, Springfield, and Maryville.
The first settlement was made at Ste. Genevieve in 1735 by the French, and the second by the French at St. Louis in 1764. The Spanish also came up the river in search of gold, and St. Louis was soon a busy trading centre for the citizens and the Indians inhabiting the surrounding territory. From the eastward soon came emigrants from other states - especially Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Virginias - and later came the emigrants from foreign shores, particularly the Germans, Irish, and some Scotch. The later growth of the state has been made up of settlers from almost all of the states lying to the eastward, but more particularly from those mentioned, with many from Maryland and the Carolinas. There are settlements of Italians, Hungarians, and Bohemians, but on the whole these nationalities make up only a small part of the population. St. Louis is a cosmopolitan city, but the predominant strains of foreign blood are German and Irish.
Missouri was admitted into the Union conditionally on 2 March, 1820, and was formally admitted as a state on 10 August, 1821, during the presidential administration of James Monroe. At a convention held at St. Louis on 19 July, 1820, the people passed on the Act of Congress, which was approved in March of the same year, and a constitution was drawn up and a new state established. Under this constitution, in August, 1820, the people held a general election, at which state and county officers were chosen and the state government organized. The constitution now in force was adopted by vote of the people on 30 October, 1875, and came into operation on 30 November of the same year.
The admission of Missouri as a state provoked much bitter discussion in Congress, and terminated in what has since been known as "The Missouri Compromise". This bill provided that Missouri should be admitted as a slave state, but forever prohibited slavery in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory lying north of 36°30' N. lat., which line is the southern boundary of Missouri. The matter of slavery was the cause of many controversies during the early history of the state, and during the Civil War over 100,000 soldiers were contributed to the Union army and 50,000 to the Confederacy.
Freedom of worship
Section 5, Article 2, of the Constitution of 1875 provides "that all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to their own conscience; that no person can, on account of his religious opinions, be rendered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under this State, nor be disqualified from testifying, or from serving as a juror; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person ought, by any law, to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion or profession; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, nor to justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of this State, or with the rights of others. "The recognition of a God herein manifested does not in any way prejudice the interests of atheists. That a man is an atheist or has peculiar religious opinions does not prejudice him as a witness (11 Mo. App. 385). Sunday regulations are not void on account of peculiar religious opinions of certain citizens (20 Mo. 214); nor can a contract be voided by one voluntarily entering into it on the ground that it requires him to live up to certain religious beliefs (Franta v. Bohemian Roman Catholic C. U., 164 Missouri, 304). The Constitution also provides that no person can be compelled to erect, support, or attend any place or system of worship, or to maintain or support any priest, minister, preacher, or teacher of any sect, church, creed, or denomination of religion; but if any person shall voluntarily make a contract for any such object, he shall be held to the performance of the same; that no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion, or in aid of any priest, preacher, minister, or teacher thereof as such; and that no preference shall be given to nor any discrimination made against any church, sect, or creed of religion, or any form of religious faith or worship; that no religious corporation can be established in this state, except such as may be created under a general law for the purpose only of holding the title to such real estate as may be prescribed by law for church edifices, parsonages, and cemeteries.
The law provides that the Sabbath shall not be broken by the performance of any labour, other than works of necessity, on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, and the master is held to account for compelling or permitting his servants or apprentices to labour on that day. But any member of a religious society which observes any other day than Sunday as the Sabbath, is not bound to observe Sunday as such. Horse-racing, cock-fighting, and playing games, as well as hunting game, are forbidden on Sunday. The selling of any wares or merchandise, the opening of any liquor saloon, and the sale of fermented or distilled liquors are forbidden on Sunday.
Administering of oaths
Every public official is required to take an oath to perform the duties of his office and to support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Missouri, and all witnesses in every court are required to give their testimony "under oath"; however, any person who declares that he has conscientious scruples against taking any oath or swearing in any form, is permitted to make his solemn declaration or affirmation concluding with the words "under the pain and penalty of perjury". Where it appears that the person to be sworn has any particular mode of swearing in addition to or in connexion with the usual form of administering oaths, which to him is a more solemn and binding obligation, the court or officer administering the oath is required to adopt the form most binding on the conscience of the person to be sworn. Any person believing in any other than the Christian religion, is sworn according to the prescribed ceremonies of his own religion, if there be any such (sec. 8840 to 8845 R. S. 1899).
Use of prayer in legislature
There is no statutory provision for a chaplain for either branch of the legislature, but the rules of these bodies provide for a chaplain for each, who is paid out of a contingency fund. The chaplain is elected by the legislative body for each session. No Catholic priest has ever been elected to this position.
Seal of confession
Section 4659 R. S. 1899 provides that a minister of the Gospel or a priest of any denomination shall be incompetent to testify concerning the confession made to him in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the rules or practice of such denomination.
Incorporation of churches
No religious corporation can be established in this state except such as may be created under the general law for the purpose only of holding the title of such real estate as may be necessary for churches, schools, parsonages, and cemeteries. There is no constitutional or statutory recognition, as in some states, of any churchman in his official capacity. The property of a diocese, for example, is vested in the individual and not in the bishop as such.
Exemption from taxes and public duties
The constitution of the state exempts from taxation church property to the extent of one acre in incorporated cities or towns, or within one mile from such cities or towns. Church property to the extent of five acres more than one mile from incorporated cities or towns is exempt from taxation. These exemptions are subject to the provision that such property is used exclusively for religious worship, for schools, or for purposes purely charitable.
The law also provides that no clergyman shall be compelled to serve on any jury. Ministers of the Gospel may select such books as are necessary for the practice of their profession, and the same are exempt from attachment under execution. It is not lawful for any city or municipality to exact a tax or licence fee from any minister of the Gospel for authorizing him to follow his calling.
Marriage and divorce
Marriages are forbidden and void between first cousins, or persons more nearly related than first cousins, such as uncles and nieces, etc. Any judge of a court of record or justice of the peace, or any ordained or licensed preacher of the Gospel, who is a citizen of the United States, may perform a marriage ceremony. A licence of marriage is required, and no licence will be issued to a male under the age of twenty-one or to a female under eighteen without the consent of the father of the minor or if the father cannot act, of the mother or guardian. The law requires that the person performing the marriage ceremony shall return a certificate of the service to the state authorities. The causes for divorce are enumerated in the statute, and, besides the usual clause, it is provided that a divorce may be granted when it is proved that the offending person "has been guilty of conduct that makes the condition of the complaining party intolerable". This clause makes it possible to secure a divorce on any grounds that the judge considers sufficient, and is thought to be the source of some abuse. Residence of one year in the state is required before a petition for divorce may be filed. There is no statutory prohibition against divorced persons marrying at any time after a decree of divorce has been granted.
Every parish of any considerable size in the state maintains a parochial school. There are 228 parochial schools in the state with 38,098 children in attendance. Each diocese has its own school-board, and a uniform system of text-books is used throughout the diocese. There are eight colleges and academies for boys with 1872 students in attendance, and 38 academies and institutions of higher education for girls with 4480 pupils in attendance. The St. Louis University, conducted by the Jesuit Fathers, is one of the leading educational institutions of the country. It conducts a school of divinity, a school of philosophy and science, a school of medicine, a school of dentistry, an institute of law, and an undergraduate and academic department. There is a total of 950 lay students in attendance. No parochial or private schools receive any assistance or support from the state, and all citizens are required to contribute to the support of the public schools regardless of whether their children attend a private or a public institution.
There are in the state 10 orphan asylums with 1248 inmates; 25 hospitals; 2 deaf-mute institutions with 60 inmates; 3 homes for aged persons; 1 industrial and reform school; 1 foundling asylum, and 1 newsboys' home - all under Catholic auspices. The state does not contribute anything to the Catholic orphanages, but the foundling asylum in St. Louis receives some remuneration for keeping waifs who are found by the police and intrusted to that institution.
There is a State Board of Charities and Corrections, of which the governor is a member ex officio. This board has general supervision over the charitable institutions conducted by the state. There is a state hospital at Fulton, at St. Joseph, at Nevada, and at Farmington. There is a state Confederate Soldiers' Home at Higginsville, and a State Federal Soldiers' Home at St. James. A school for the deaf is maintained at Fulton, a school for the blind at St. Louis, and a colony for the feeble-minded and epileptic at Marshall. The Missouri State Sanitarium for the treatment of tuberculosis is located at Mt. Vernon on the crest of the Ozark.
Intoxicating liquors may be sold only by licensed saloon-keepers. In cities of two thousand or more inhabitants the application for licence must be accompanied by a petition asking that the licence be granted. This petition must be signed by a majority of the tax-paying citizens owning property on the block or square in which the saloon is to be kept. In cities or towns of less than two thousand inhabitants the petition must be signed by a majority of the tax-paying citizens, and a majority in the block where the saloon is to be kept. The law provides that the licence may be revoked upon the application of any person showing to the county court that the licence-holder does not keep an orderly house, and it is provided that one (1) whose licence has been revoked, (2) who has violated any of the provisions of the licence law, (3) who has sold liquors to any minor, (4) who has employed in his business of saloon-keeper any person whose licence has been revoked, shall not be entitled to a licence. The law prohibits (1) the sale of intoxicating liquors to habitual drunkards, minors, or Indians, (2) the keeping of female employees in saloons, and (3) the keeping, exhibiting, or using of any piano, organ, or any other musical instrument in a saloon. These laws are generally enforced. The law provides that upon application by petition to the county court signed by one-tenth of the qualified voters of any county, who shall reside outside of the cities or towns having a population of 2500 or more, an election shall be held to determine whether or not spirituous liquors shall be sold within the limits of such county. In cities or towns with a population of 2500 or more, the petition is made by one-tenth of the qualified voters to the body having legislative functions therein. If a majority of the qualified voters at such election vote against the sale of intoxicating liquors, no licence can be issued for the sale of liquor within such jurisdiction. Section 3034 R. S. of 1899 provides among other things that nothing in the law shall be so construed as to prevent the sale of wine for sacramental purposes.
The state penitentiary is at Jefferson City; there is a reformatory for boys at Booneville and an industrial home for girls at Chillicothe. The law provides for the appointment of a chaplain for the penitentiary by the warden and the board of inspectors, consisting of the state treasurer, auditor, and attorney-general. The law makes no reference to the religious denomination of the chaplain, but provides that his selection shall be governed by his special qualifications for the performance of the duties devolving upon him. He is required to conduct at least one service each Sunday; to visit convicts in their cells at least once a month, when practicable; to visit the sick in the hospital at least once a day; to hold religious services in the hospital once a week. He shall have charge of the prison library and the purchase of books; he shall officiate at the funeral of each convict, and be present at his burial; he is paid the salary of $1200 per annum. The law further provides that clergymen of every denomination of the City of Jefferson shall at all times have free access to the prison, or may visit any convict confined therein - subject only to such rules as may be necessary for the good government and discipline of the penitentiary - and may administer rites and ceremonies of the Church to which such convict belongs, if it be so desired. There is no statutory provision for a chaplain at the reformatory or the industrial home. Such religious ceremonies as are held at these institutions are conducted by those interested in the work through arrangements made with the officials in charge. Such ceremonies are largely within the discretion of the officials, but the spirit of the law as laid down for the penitentiary prevails. This is also true of the state insane asylum and the reform schools and jails of the cities. In a majority of these institutions religious services are held by Catholic priests at regular intervals, and accommodations are provided for the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments.
The courts are accustomed to permit every charitable use to stand, which comes fairly within the Statute of Elizabeth. While this statute has not been incorporated in the state laws its general provisions have been followed by the decisions. A case involving the Mullanphy will, which left a fund to furnish relief "to all poor emigrants and travellers coming to St. Louis on their way bona fide to settle in the West", reported in 29 Mo. 543, brought out an early discussion of charitable bequests; this provision was declared valid, and, as a precedent, has been generally followed. There is no statutory limitation, as in some states, upon the amount that may be bequeathed or devised to charity. The Constitution of 1865 prohibited all bequests and devises of land for religious purposes. A bequest for Masses was held void under this section of the constitution. An outright gift to the Archbishop of St. Louis was also held void because it was shown there was an understanding that the money was to be used for religious purposes (Kenrick vs. Cole, 61 Missouri, 572). This section was omitted from the Constitution of 1875, and the courts have been liberal since in construing such bequests as charitable and therefore valid.
The state is divided into three dioceses those of St. Louis, Kansas City, and St. Joseph. The Diocese of St. Louis comprises all of the eastern half of the state; that of Kansas City the western portion of the state, south of the Missouri River, and the Diocese of St. Joseph the western portion of the state, north of the Missouri River. The Catholic population in 1909 was 452,703. There are about 3000 Catholic negroes in the state, with one church in St. Louis and one coloured priest. There is one coloured Catholic school with 110 pupils, and one orphan-asylum for coloured children, conducted by the Oblate Sisters of Providence.
The Cross was planted among the Indians who inhabited the region now known as Missouri during the first half of the sixteenth century by De Soto, who was buried in the waters of the Mississippi in May, 1542. Marquette descended the Mississippi as far south as the thirty-fourth degree in 1673, more than a century and a quarter after De Soto had marched northward, and tells us that he preached the Gospel to all of the nations he met. It is thought by some that there was a white settlement at the mouth of the River Des Pères in Missouri, a few miles south of St. Louis, even before the historical settlement of Cahokia, Illinois (the sole centre of civilization in the Mississippi Valley for some time), but the first permanent settlement of which we have any record was made at Ste. Geneviève about 1734. Among the oldest records in the state are those of the Catholic church at Ste. Geneviève. There was also a mission in 1734 at Old Mines, which was a military station in Missouri. Ste. Geneviève and Old Mines were attended by priests from Cahokia. The first mission was established in St. Louis in 1764, and the first church was built in 1770. A mission was established at Carondelet in 1767. Fredericktown, New Madrid, St. Charles, and Florissant were missionary points during the last half of the eighteenth century. The Lazarist Fathers were established at Perryville in 1818, and the Jesuits at Florissant in 1823. The early settlements were made up of French, many of them coming from Canada. A great many German Catholics came to the state during the first part of the nineteenth century, but the first German sermon of which we have any record was preached by Rev. Joseph A. Lutz at St. Louis in 1832. During this same period a large portion of the immigration was made up of Irish Catholics. The names of many of the early settlement's bear evidence of the Catholicism of those who were first established there. The later immigration into the state has been made up of almost every nationality, and almost all of the Catholic countries are represented. A famous episode in the state's history was Archbishop Kenrick's successful resistance to the test oath required by the Drake Constitution of 1865. He finally won the case in the Supreme Court of the United States (see MISSOURI TEST OATH).
According to the Bulletin issued by the Department of Commerce and Labour Bureau of the Census concerning religious bodies in 1906, the total population of church members in the State of Missouri was 1,199,239, and the principal religious denominations were as follows: Roman Catholics, 382,642; Baptists, 218,353; Congregationalists, 11,048; Disciples or Christians, 166,137; German Evangelical, 32,715; Lutherans, 46,868; Methodists, 214,004; Presbyterians, 71,999; Episcopalians, 13,328; Reformed Bodies, 1284; United Brethren bodies, 3316; other Protestant bodies, 23,166; Latter-day Saints, 8042; all other bodies, 6439. Thus, 33.9 per cent of the total number of church-going people in the state are Catholics, the Baptists having the next highest percentage (18.2), and the Methodists being third (17.8).
HOUCK, Hist. of Missouri (Philadelphia, 1908); WILLIAMS, Hist. of the State of Missouri (Columbia, 1904); BILLON, Annals of St. Louis (St. Louis, 1880); SCHARF, St. Louis City and County (Philadelphia, 1883); Jesuit Relations; BECK, Gazetteer of Missouri (St. Louis; 1875); IRVING, Conquest of Florida (New York, 1851); Constitution of Missouri; Revised Statutes (1899); Red Book; Bureau of Labour Statistics (Jefferson City, 1909); Manual of the State of Missouri, 1909-10; Bulletin No. 103, Religious Bodies, 1906, Bureau of the Census (Washington).
These files are public domain.
Obstat, Nihil. Lafort, Remy, Censor. Entry for 'Missouri'. The Catholic Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/m/missouri.html. Robert Appleton Company. New York. 1914.
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