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Bowling Green, Missouri is the county seat of Pike County. The city was founded around 1820, and named for the Kentucky city by that name. Situated about twelve miles from the Mississippi River, a large spring in the area attracted early settlers, many of whom were traveling the Salt River Trail, which went through Bowling Green. The Chicago and Alton Railroad completed its track to Bowling Green in 1871, and the St. Louis and Hannibal Railway came in 1876, transporting limestone from quarries that were located in the Bowling Green area. Pike County was organized in 1818, and Bowling Green was named the county seat in 1824. James Earl Ray, convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., lived in Bowling Green from the age of two to seven. The city is located along US Highway 61, US Branch 61, US Highway 54, and US 54, Missouri Route AA, and County Road 377. Tarrants is immediately north of Bowling Green, Vera is northeast, Cyrene southwest, St. Clement south, and Curryville to the west.

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