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The city of Bonne Terre is in St. Francois County, Missouri. Originally settled by the French in 1720, Bonne Terre has long been an active lead mining camp, and was originally known as La Bonne Terre. The LaGrave Mines were operating there about 1825 up until the end of the American Civil War. Mining operations that were active in the 1870s were the Desloge Lead Company, Saint Joe Lead Company, and Doe Run, although the Saint Joe Lead Company is the most closely associated with the founding of the town, although its settlement far preceded that date. The city was platted in 1880, after C.B. Parsons, superintendent of mining for the St. Joe operation, moved the post office to the center of town from its previous location on the western edge of the settlement. Although its mining operations are no longer in operation today, other industries have taken their place. Bonne Terre is located along US Highway 67 and Missouri Route 47, east of Terre Du Lac, north of Desloge, Flat River, and Leadwood, and south of St. Francois State Park.

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