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King City, in Gentry County, Missouri, was founded by John Pittsenbarger, who was the first European-American settler in the region when he pitched a tent there in 1856. He wanted to name the new town Petersburg, but that name was rejected by the post office because there was another town by that name in Boone County, Missouri. The US Postmaster General, Horatio King, named the town for himself instead. King City became a stop along the St. Joseph and Des Moines Railroad in 1878, although that stretch of the railroad is currently abandoned. In the early 1900s, King City became part of a Kentucky bluegrass seed harvesting region, although bluegrass seed production moved to the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s. The Big Pump, a 25-foot building constructed to look like a gasoline pump, was moved from Maryland, Missouri to King City in the 1990s. and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. King City is centered at the intersection of US Highway 169 and Missouri Highway 48, northwest of Winslow, west of Berlin, southwest of Gentryville, southeast of Empire Prairie, east of Whitesville, northeast of Flag Springs, and north of Orchid.



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