Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Poplar Bluff is located in Butler County in the Southeast section of the state of Missouri sits in the small city of Poplar Bluff.  With an estimated population of only a little over 17,000 residents, the tiny city is also referred to as “The Gateway to the Ozarks” and “Little Chicago.”  Poplar Bluff sits at the crossroads of U.S. Route 60 and U.S. Route 67.

History of Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Before America made the Louisiana Purchase, the Poplar Bluff area was under control by the French.  It remained unsettled, however, until 1819, when the first white settlers move onto the area.  More permanent settlements were constructed in the county, particularly along the old Native American Trail, where some 300 Native Americans resided.  Butler County was officially constructed in 1849. From there, the county began to grow in development.

In 1855, the first courthouse was built in Butler County. Then, in February of 1870, over 20 years after the county was created, Poplar Bluff’s city was recognized.

Historic Places of Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Though a tiny city, Poplar Bluff has many places within its borders recognized as historic places by the National Register of Historic Places.  They include the Butler County Courthouse, Cynthia-Kinzer Historic District, Alfred W. Greer House, Hargrove Pivot Bridge, Mark Twain School, J. Herbert Moore House, Thomas Moore House, Moore-Dalton House, North Main Street Historic District, John Archibald Phillips House, Poplar Bluff Commercial Historic District, Poplar Bluff Public Library, Rodgers Theatre Building, South Sixth Street Historic District, St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railroad Depot, St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad Depot, Wheatley Public School, Williams-Gierth House, the Williamson-Kennedy School, Wright-Dalton-Bell-Anchor Department Store Building, and the Zehe Building.


As of the 2010 census, the city of Poplar Bluff had a population of 17,023 people.  These 17,023 residents comprised 7,181 households and 4,154 families living in Poplar Bluff.  This population number is up from the one in 2000 where the census found there to be only 16,651 people residing in the city.  In 2010, it was found that there was a population density in Poplar Bluff of 1,318.6 inhabitants per square mile.

The racial makeup of Poplar Bluff was found to be predominately white, comprising 84.79% of the population.  It was also found that African Americans made up 9.97%, Native Americans made up 0.53%, Asians made up 0.89%, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders made up 0.06%, and Hispanic or Latinos made up 2.21%. In addition, 0.90% of the population was found to be from other race that was not specified, and 2.84% of the population of Poplar Bluff was found to be from two or more races.

The medium age of Poplar Bluff was found to be 38.4 years old as of 2010.  Those under the age of 18 made up 24.2% of the population, those between the ages of 18 and 24 made up 9.6% of the population, those between the ages of 25 and 44 made up 23.6% of the population, those between the ages of 45 and 64 made up 24.6% of the population, and those above the age of 65 made up 18.2% of the population of Poplar Bluff.  The 2010 census also found that the population was split almost perfectly by gender, with males making up 45.9% and females making up 54.1%.

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  1. May 28, 2021 – grammar, spelling, and clean dead links – MWS