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Located in Benton Township, the city of Kirksville is the county seat of Adair County, Missouri. The city was laid out in 1841, and incorporated in 1857, named for Jesse Kirk, its first postmaster and the proprietor of the town’s first hotel and tavern. Prior to its incorporation, the settlement was known as Hopkinsville. The American Civil War Battle of Kirksville was fought August 6-9, 1862. In that battle, Union troops led by Colonel John McNeil forced Confederate troops under Colonel Joseph Porter to vacate the city. The casualties from the battle were nearly all Confederates, including some who were executed, under orders from Colonel McNeil, after having surrendered. Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine, established the American School of Osteopathy, now A.T. Still University, the world’s first osteopathic medical school, in Kirksville. The city is situated along US Highway 63 and Missouri Highway 6, southwest of Clay, northwest of Bullion, northeast of Youngstown, east of Danforth, southeast of Ninevah, and south of Sublette.


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