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The city of Nevada is the seat of government for Vernon County, Missouri, and home to Cottey College. Prior to its incorporation in 1855, the community was known as Fairview and Hog-Eye, but Nevada City was chosen because the first name was already in use by another post office in Missouri and the second name was viewed as being degrading. At the time of incorporation, the town was named for Nevada City, California by the county clerk, who had been a miner there. In the presidential election of 1860, Vernon County residents did not cast a single vote for Abraham Lincoln, and Nevada City became known by pro-Union people as the “Bushwackers” capital. The entire town was burned by pro-Union militia from nearby Cedar County on May 23, 1863. A few days prior to that, a small group of militia from Cedar County were killed when they attacked the courthouse in Nevada. The town rebuilt after the war, and was incorporated as a city in 1869, at which time the word “City” was dropped from its name. John Huston, actor, director, screenwriter, and producer, was born in Nevada, Missouri. Nevada is located at the intersection of Interstate Highway 49 and US Highways 54 and 71. The small community of Nassau Junction is immediately adjacent Nevada to the east, while Horton is to the north, Walker is to the northeast, Bristow to the southeast, Dean Ford to the northwest, Deerfield to the west, and Moundville to the southwest.

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