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Situated just north of the Missouri Bootheel, the city of Sikeston is in southern Scott County and northern New Madrid County. The city was named for its founder, John Sikes, who platted the town in 1860, although the area had European-American settlers before that time. The Hunter Memorial Cemetery, on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church in Sikeston, was established by Joseph Hunter in 1812 after the New Madrid Earthquake struck the region. The village of Winchester, now part of Sikeston, was laid out about a half mile from the site where Sikeston would later be established. Winchester was the first seat of government for New Madrid County, but when the county seat was moved to New Madrid in 1822, Winchester dwindled and was eventually absorbed by Sikeston. The city was laid out in anticipation of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad coming through, intersecting with the King’s Highway, now known as US Highway 61. At the start of the American Civil War, Sikeston was a small, newly established village, but its position at the railroad and highway intersection elevated its strategic importance to both sides. Although no named battles were fought in Sikeston, armies from both the Union and the Confederacy came through Sikeston often during the war. After the war, the city focused on growth and development. Postal service resumed in 1867, and its first tax-supported school was established in 1869. The town was incorporated in 1875. Sikeston is bordered by Miner to the east, and the communities of Brows and Morehouse are southwest of Sikeston.


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