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Hillsboro, Missouri is the county seat of Jefferson County. First settled in the late 1770s, the area provided game, timber, and good soil for farming, as well as water provided from the Big Spring which, along with two other springs, form the headwaters of Belews Creek. The Huskey Farm, one of the oldest in Missouri, was started in 1803. When Jefferson County was organized in 1818, Herculaneum was the first county seat but, in 1832, it was decided to move the seat of government to a more central location, and Hillsboro was decided upon in 1839. Initially, the town was going to be named Monticello, in honor of Thomas Jefferson’s home, but that name had been taken by a town in northeastern Missouri, so Hillsboro was chosen, it being a liberal English translation of Monticello. Hillsboro was incorporated in 1873. Hillsboro is situated east of Interstate 21, with Missouri Highway 21 passing through the center of town. Lake Wauwanoka is east of Hillsboro, Cedar Hill is to the northwest, Vineland is to the south, and Plattin is to the southeast.

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