(Front):(See other side)
Here in the Southeast Lowland Region of Missouri on a Delaware and Shawnee Indian village site, Kennett was laid out as the seat of Dunklin County, 1846. The town was first called Chilletecaux for a Delaware Indian living here at the time. Later known as Butler, it was named for Mayor of St. Louis L.M. Kennett, 1851. The county name honors Gov. Daniel Dunklin.
Kennett grew as a trade and legal center as Dunklin developed into a noted cotton, soybean, and livestock farming area. When organized in 1845, Dunklin County was an isolated region of forest, overflowed land, and swamp bearing the marks of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12. First settlers, hunters and trappers, were followed by others who came to harvest the forests.
Effective land reclamation began in 1893 when the state provided for organization of county drainage districts and levees on the St. Francis River. Dunklin County is in the Little River Drainage District, one of the largest drainage systems in the U.S., organized 1905. Drainage districts include some 300,000 of Dunklin's 347,524 acres.
(Back):(Continued from other side)Kennett is the seat of the first "Bootheel" county formed after Missouri was made a state. The extreme southeast counties of Dunklin (1845) and Pemiscot (1851), with a section of New Madrid (1812), are said to be part of Mo. through efforts of J. Hardeman Walker, pioneer planter in Pemiscot County.
In the Civil War, the county was known as the "Independent State of Dunklin" after adoption of a resolution at Clarkton, 1862, that Dunklin would secede from the Union. Union troops were in Kennett and Clarkton briefly, 1863, and gerrilla raiders roamed the area constantly. Recovery began with the coming of the Little River Valley and Ark. R.R. (Cotton Belt) to Malden, 1878. A branch reached Kennett, 1890. Reclamation begun in 1890's brought population increase from 21,706 in 1900 to 45,329 in 1950.
Here in Dunklin County, near Cardwell on the St. Francis River, the 230 altitude is the lowest spot in Mo. The eight copper, eagle-embossed, Indian ceremonial plates now a part of the Wulfing Collection at Washington University in St. Louis were found to the north, near Malden, 1906.