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Lamar, Missouri is the county seat of Barton County and the birthplace of President Harry S. Truman. The community was laid out in 1856, and named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas. The new town suffered severe setbacks during the Americ an Civil War. On November 5, 1863, the town was occupied by Union troops when it was attacked by Confederate troops led by Colonel William Quantrill from the north, and those under Colonel Warner Lewis from the south, resulting in a one and one-half hour battle. Although the Confederates were forced to retreat, one third of the town’s houses were burned before they left. On May 20, 1864, Quantrill faced a small Union contingent in Lamar, some of whom were Lamar residents. Again, the Confederate troops were forced to retreat, but only after three assaults on the courthouse. Eight days later, on May 28, Confederate guerrillas burned nearly every house in Lamar. The famed lawman, Wyatt Earp, was hired as constable in Lamar in 1869, when he was twenty-one years of age, which was probably his first position in law enforcement. When the town was incorporated in 1870, Wyatt won an election for the constable position, defeating his half brother, Newton Earp. Nicholas Earp, Wyatt’s father preceded his son as constable, and served as justice of the peace in Lamar after resigning his position as constable. Lamar is just east of Interstate Highway 71, with US Highway 160 passing through the city. Layneville is east of Lamar, while Newport is northeast, Irwin is north, and Oakton is southwest.

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