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Named for L.L. Steele, the city of Steele, Missouri is in Pemiscot County. The community was developed as a stop along the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad. Incorporated in 1901, by 1912 the town had seven general stores, three cotton gins, and a gristmill. In the early days of the town, the town would flood from rainwater to the extent that residents could row from one end of Main Street to the other, anchoring their boats at any store in town. Steele’s sidewalks were constructed of boards that were elevated about four feet from the ground to allow people to walk through the downtown area during the flood period, known as the “gum boot” season. In 1910, a dredge ditch was dug through town, allowing the water to drain. Eventually, the water disappeared, and what was once the bed of Bailey Lake is now the Echols and Cobb housing addition, one of Steele’s most exclusive neighborhoods. The small rural city is situated in southeastern Missouri, in the area commonly referred to as the Bootheel. Steele is accessed primarily through Interstate Highway 55, which passes along the city’s southeast portion, and US Highway 61 which passes through the center of town. Acorn Corner is east of Steele, on the other side of the interstate, while Cooter is south, and Holland is southwest.



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