DescriptionLexington was founded in 1822 by settlers from Lexington, Ky. The location they chose on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River helped the city develop into a booming river port by the mid-19th century. In the 1830s and '40s Lexington was a terminus for overland trade; from here, pack mules and ox teams departed for such southwestern destinations as Santa Fe, N.M.
Lexington held strategic importance during the Civil War. The pro-South sentiment felt by many residents was reinforced when Union troops seized nearly $1 million from the Farmers' Bank of Lexington in early September 1861. On Sept. 20, the 3-day Battle of Lexington ended in a victory for the Confederates under Maj. Gen. Sterling Price. Lodged in the east column of the courthouse is a cannonball fired during the battle.
Masonic College, which closed in 1857, was once the headquarters of Col. James Mulligan's Union troops. It had the added distinction of being the first college sponsored by the Masons. A scale model of the college occupies its original site, now in College Park.
Visitor InfoLexington Area Chamber of Commerce 1029 Franklin Ave. LEXINGTON, MO 64067. Phone:(660)259-3082
Self-guiding toursWalking and driving tours encompass many sites in Lexington, including the Madonna of the Trail statue, antebellum houses, old churches and the Pony Express site. Brochures outlining these routes can be obtained at the Lexington Historical Museum or at the tourism center of the chamber of commerce.
Things to SeeBattle of Lexington State Historic Site