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Memphis, Missouri is the seat of government for Scotland County. The city was created in 1843, two years after the county was formed, its location selected for its proximity to the geographical center of the county. Memphis was named for the ancient city by that name in Egypt, a name that had previously been used for a post office located along the North Fabius River, a short distance away. There were already a few homes on the site, the original settler being Burton Tompkins, who had built a log cabin there in 1835. The first county courthouse in Memphis was built in 1845, but declared unsafe only ten years later. The second building was completed in 1856, but was condemned in 1905, and town down in 1907. Constructed in 1907, the current courthouse continues to serve the Scotland County government. One significant event that occurred in Memphis during the American Civil War took place in July of 1862. Confederate troops under the command of Colonel Joseph C. Porter captured the city with little resistance, raiding the Union armory there and destroying documents in the courthouse. Memphis is located north of US Highway 136, with Missouri Route 15 becoming Clay Street as it passes through the city. Crawford is northwest of Memphis, Brock is north of the city, Prospect Grove is northeast, and Arbela and Granger are east of town.



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