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Savannah is the county seat of Andrew County, Missouri. Savannah was founded in 1841, the same year that Andrew County was created, although the city was originally named Union. The Platte County Railroad extended its track to the town in 1860, and the Chicago Great Western came in the late 1880s. During the American Civil War, Andrew County was divided. In 1861, Union troops seized the Northwest Democrat, a pro-Confederate newspaper in Savannah, while Confederate troops seized the Plain Dealer, a pro-Union paper. Although no major battles were fought in Savannah, raiding guerrilla bands were active in the area through 1863. After the war, the city grew as a shipping point and trading center. John Peter Altgeld, who became governor of Illinois, lived in Savannah during the early 1870s, and Joseph Toole and Elmer Holt, both of whom became governors of Montana, were born in Savannah, and Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known as the rap artist, Eminem, spent part of his childhood in Savannah. The community of Kodiak is just east of Savannah.

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