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Location of Edina, Missouri

Edina is a city located in Knox County, Missouri. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 1,233. It is the county seat of Knox County.

Early History: Edina, the county seat of Knox County, is located in the northeast quadrant of Missouri. It was 1839 when William Jackson Smallwood first drew up the plans for the town of Edina. He chose an area located on high ground, with a good source of water, and a clear view of the gently rolling, hardwood-covered hills. Canton, MO attorney Stephen W. B. Carnegy made the survey and named the town Edina. Carnegy had previously surveyed a town site in Scotland County, which he named Edinburgh in honor of his home in Scotland, so the poetic version of Edinburgh, "Edina", was used for the new town site. Scottish poet Robert Burns used the name Edina in his poem, "Address to Edinburgh."

Edina was officially incorporated under Missouri law in 1851; numerous additions were made to the original town site, and the Village grew to eight hundred inhabitants by 1860. The first census of Edina and the county was done in 1850, as this was the first enumeration taken after organization of the county in 1845. The 1850 and 1860 censuses indicate some slaves were held by townspeople, but the total number was small. For example, the 1860 census gives the population of Knox County as 8,436 whites, 284 slaves and 7 free blacks (figures for the number of blacks in Edina only are not available.) Free blacks were required to obtain a license from the county court to live in Knox County, and a five hundred dollar bond had to be posted to assure the "good behavior" of the applicant. Two cases were brought before the circuit court in which slaves sued their masters for manumission, or freedom. Both cases were dismissed by the court and the slaves remained the property of their owners. Frequent attempts were made by abolitionists to free slaves, but few were successful. No slaves appear on the census rolls after 1860, as the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution outlawed slavery after 1865.

Civil War The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 found not only Edina and Knox County in turmoil, but the entire state of Missouri as well. Missouri, as a slaveholding state, had many southern sympathizers in her borders, but the unionist faction prevailed in keeping this border state in the Federal Union throughout the war. No battles were fought in Edina, but military activity that centered around recruiting troops for both the Federal and Confederate armies split the town along unionist and rebel lines. Several militia units were formed to serve both sides during the war. In July 1861 a Confederate militia unit from Lewis County entered Edina, forcing the retreat of the Federal Union Home Guard to Macon City (now Macon). The rebel forces occupied Edina for several days, camping out in the Milltown section of town. The rebel occupation was peaceful, with only a few minor disturbances involving unionists and secessionists, and the county government continued to run smoothly with no interference from the Confederates. A few incidents were reported of confiscation of food and other provisions, but no reports of serious looting or pillaging were made.

Home Guard units, which were the Federal militia in northeast Missouri, served throughout 1861 as two regiments.

Zip Code 63537


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Edina OnlineInformation about local history, services, and attractions. Also has links to smaller communities of Knox County.

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