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The city of Herculaneum was the county seat of Jefferson County from 1819 to 1839, when it was moved to Hillsboro. The city was laid out by Moses Austin and Samuel Hammond in 1808, when it served as a shipping point on the Mississippi River, and named for the Roman city by that name. Shot towers, designed for the production of shot balls through the freefall of molten lead, were built next to the bluffs, and lead cannonballs from Herculaneum were used durng the War of 1812. Growth of the city decline when the county seat was moved in 1839, and the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway bypassed the city in the early 1850s, but revived somewhat when the St. Joseph Lead Company chose Herculaneum as a lead smelting site, and the Mississippi River & Bonne Terre Railroad extended its track to the city. Herculaneum was incorporated as a city in 1970. The Doe Run Company purchased the smelting operations in 1981, but ceased operations in Herculaneum in 2013, citing prohibitive regulatory costs. Daniel Dunklin, the 5th governor of Missouri, died in Herculaneum, and was buried in the family plot there. Thomas Clement Fletcher, the 18th governor of Missouri, was born in Herculaneum. The city if situated along the west banks of the Mississippi River, and just east of Interstate 55. US Highway 61 passes through the town. Horine is west of Herculaneum.



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