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Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri and the county seat of Cole County. Principally located in Cole County, a portion of the city extends into Callaway County. Jefferson City is in the northern part of the Ozark Plateau, and on the southern side of the Missouri River. Locally, the city is often referred to as “Jeff City” or “Jeff,” or by the abbreviations, “JC” or JCMO.” Before European Americans inhabited the area, it was home to the Mound Builders, and then to the Osage. Before the newly enacted Missouri legislature decided to relocate there in 1821, the community was known as Lohman’s Landing. The legislature proposed to rename the city Missouriopolis, but later settled on Jefferson City, named for Thomas Jefferson while he was still living. Little more than a trading post before it became the state capital, Jefferson City was incorporated as a city in 1825. During the American Civil War, Jefferson City was occupied by Union troops, its elected legislature driven from the city by Union General Nathaniel Lyon, where some members of the legislature passed an ordinance of secession from Neosho, Missouri. Missouri was claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy, and Missourians were divided in their loyalties. Jefferson City is located along both banks of the Missouri River, near the center of the state, and accessed by US Highways 50, 54, and 63, surrounded by several smaller communities or suburbs, including Claysville, Cole Junction, Honey Creek, Schubert, and Wainwright.


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