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Named for US Senator Charles Sumner, the small city of Sumner is in Chariton County, Missouri. Situated along the Grand River, the area was explored by two sons of Daniel Boone and Thomas Stanly prior to Missouri becoming a state in 1821. Later, Stanley built a trading post near the future townsite, but not much else was built there for several years, largely due to frequent flooding of the river and the marshlands that were in the area. The first settlement there was known as Crossland, and a larger village named Cunningham was about one mile away. However, when the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad came through the area and the Wabash Railroad decided to move its depot from Cunningham to Sumner, the other village was gradually absorbed. Sumner was laid out in 1882 and before long, the town had a hotel and a newspaper. The wetlands around Sumner were drained in 1911, after which much of its wildlife was reduced drastically. Then, in 1937, the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge was established just south of town, creating man-made wetlands that have attracted large number of geese, given the area is located on a migratory flyway. In 1976, city residents commissioned a sculptor to create a large statue of a goose, which is billed as the “World’s Largest Goose.” and given the name of Maxie. The city is sometimes known as Cunningham, as the Township of Cunningham is located in Sumner. Surrounding communities include Bedford, Forker, Hake, Hale, Mendon, and Rothville.



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