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Located in southern Missouri, Galena is the county seat of Stone County. Platted in 1852, Galena was named for the ore from which lead is extracted. Originally known as Jamestown, the town was settled in the 1830s. Its first post office was established in 1853. Growth of the city faltered during the American Civil War due to guerilla raids, but its population grew following the war, largely due to resorts and farming. The last public execution in the United States took place in Galena when Roscoe “Red” Jackson was hanged on May 21, 1937, for murdering a traveling salesman for his car and $18. Several hundred witnesses had to present tickets to view the execution, which took place behind a temporary stockade that was built around the gallows. Galena is centered along the west banks of the James River, and is accessed by Missouri Routes 248, 265, and 413. Elsey is northwest of Galena, while Abesville is to the northeast. The Mark Twain National Forest lies to the south and to the east of Galena.



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