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Situated primarily in Audrain County, a portion of Vandalia, Missouri extends into Ralls County. More than half of the population of the city consists of prisoners incarcerated in the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, part of the Missouri Department of Corrections, that is located within the city limits. Founded by Colonel Aaron McPike in 1874, Vandalia was named for the Illinois city by that name. Besides the prison, brick plants make up a large part of the area’s economy. Vandalia is situated along US Highway 54, which passes through the center of town. Surrounding communities include Curryville, Farber, Hutchison, New Harmony, and Spencerburg. The City of St. Louis is just over a hundred miles to the southeast.



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