Monroe County Historical Society - The Truth About Little Dixie

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Monroe County, Missouri

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The Truth About Little Dixie

This article was published in the Monroe County Quarterly, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Spring 2007.

By Jack Blanton, 1869-1955, Editor of the Monroe County Appeal, reprint from the Mexico Ledger, clipping with unknown date of publication
An almost exact reprint of this article is found in the 26 May 1948 issue of the Moberly Monitor-Index.


Secure in Old Monroe County, He Scorns Little Dixie Claims

In his own imitable style H. J. (Jack) Blanton, puts the finishing touches to the Little Dixie hullabaloo:

To the Ledger: I have been viewing with amusement rather than alarm the efforts of Audrain and Callaway counties to move the capital of Missouri’s immortal Little Dixie to their county seats.

Neither Audrain nor Callaway ever were included within that charmed circle until Mitch White and George Johnston ran out of copy on different days and wrote a lot of this Little Dixie stuff for fillers.

Audrain, of course, was never closer to Little Dixie than the south line of Monroe, except in Mitch White’s imagination. To begin with, Audrain never has polled more than a bushleague majority for the party of Jefferson Davis. To end with, through a political abortion of the very worst sort, an Audrain Republican who fiddled for a living defeated the late Champ Clark for re-election to Congress, thus impairing his prestige to such a degree that at Baltimore ever time a fiddle was heard more delegates deserted to Woodrow Wilson. From that day to this, Audrain has never been considered so much as good company for Monroe and Randolph. As for Callaway, her only claim to Little Dixie fame dates back to the early seventies, when Jefferson Davis was inducted to honor the Fulton Fair with his presence, as a sort of offset to the box office rushes other saddle horse events were enjoying from the presence of Confederate notables like Frank James and Cole Younger. Always, as in Audrain, there were more Republicans than the law of averages allowed. They continued to grow in grace and numbers until even the sacred city of Fulton was gathered into the Republican fold and G. A. R. meetings were held in the city hall. Visitors to the Confederate shrine, the grave of old Jeff Jones, who forced a Federal army to sign a treaty, under the terms of which its commander agreed for certain considerations to keep Union soldiers out of Callaway county, thereafter known as the Kingdom of Callaway, until the war ended, report unmistakable evidence that Jeff had turned over in his grave as protest against Republican goings on in Fulton.

And, as for Boone county even the late Ed Watson, who could prove that Boone county fox hounds chased in the sun in from the east every morning and out at the west every evening, never thought of such a thing as membership in Little Dixie. This, too, when Ed had more to think with than any other man in Columbia, no even excepting the Ph.Ds over on the campus. If there had been so much as a pinpoint of foundation on which to stand, he would have crowed Monroe and Randolph out and put Boone county in. The fact that Boone has been contributing mightily towards keeping one of her Republicans in Congress will automatically eliminate her, doubly so when it is remembered that Schwabe cannot so much as tolerate a south wind, fearing that it may have passed through a Confederate cemetery on its way into the North.

Now, once and for all, the truth should be known about Little Dixie. It always was and always will be, composed of Monroe and Randolph, the only two counties north of the river which have maintained their integrity ever since Old Johnnie Reb cam marching home after Lee and Price and other Southern notables gave him an honorable discharge and advised him to go on back home from four years of hard service. Never, from that day to this, has either county elected a Republican to office or lowered the Confederate flag. As a rule, Republicans do not so much as run for their offices, probably on the theory that it is against the law.

The real truth about the name “Little Dixie” is that it originated with John B. Hale (see biography at, who was running for Congress against Charles Mansur back in the Gay Nineties. Eliminating from consideration the counties of Carroll, Linn, Livingston, Grundy, and Chariton, in all of which there were more Republicans than Bill Stone used to consider comfortable, this man Hale pointed with pride to Monroe and Randolph and referred to them as “the Little Dixie” on which he was counting for enough Democratic votes to put him over. There never were any other counties in the original Little Dixie.

There never will be, though, of course, there is no law against the unfounded claims of counties like Audrain, Callaway and Boone.

Just as well for Pennsylvania to claim a place in Big Dixie just because Lee invaded her, or for Massachusetts to claim credit for freedom of speech in this country because she exiled Roger Williams for talking too much, as Boone, Audrain and Callaway to claim Little Dixie honors as a result of editorial brainstorms in Mexico and Fulton.

Jack Blanton.

This page last edited on 11 Sep 2018.

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