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Rich Hill, Missouri is in Bates County. Its first post office was established in 1868, about two miles northwest of the city’s current location. When the town was platted in 1880, most of its businesses, as well as the post office, moved to the new town. Rich Hill was named for the productiveness of its agricultural land. The construction of the Pleasant Hill and Joplin branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the Rich Hill branch of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, and opening of coal mining industries by the Rich Hill Mining Company all contributed to the growth of the city. Nine months after Rich Hill was incorporated as a village, it was organized as a fourth-class city. Today, Rich Hill is accessed through Interstate Highway 49 and Missouri Route A, which intersects the Interstate at Rich Hill. Sprague is west of Rich Hill, Prairie City is east, Horton is south, and Athol is north of the city. Kansas City is seventy-six miles north of Rich Hill. Its mines are closed, the railroad activity is gone, and several of its businesses have closed, but people still live in Rich Hill. The town was subject of a Sundance Film Festival documentary, entitled Rich Hill, that featured some of its young residents in 1014.



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