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Steelville, Missouri is the county seat of Crawford County. The first European-American settlers in the area were William Britton, who built a small grist mill along the Yadkin Creek, and James Steel, who ran a trading post and was appointed by the government to lay out the city in 1835, the year in which the city was founded, and named for him. Britton remained in the area, while Steel moved north. James Steel purchased forty acres of land, which he later sold to the county court, and Steelville was named the county seat at the time that it was founded, becoming a fourth-class city in 1885. By that time, the city had a population of five hundred, and it included a Masonic Lodge, a tailor shop, hotel, blacksmith shop, a doctor, a saddle and harness shop, a newspaper, bank, and a post office. Today, the city is accessed by Missouri Highway 8 and 19. Idlewild is north of Steelville, while Meramec Springs is west, Keysville and Cherryville are south, and a portion of the Mark Twain National Forest is to the east. St. Louis is just over ninety miles to the northeast.

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