Industrial Development Authority of Stoddard County

Stoddard County Cities

Bell City

Population: 1,244

Advance City Hall
P.O. Box 348
Advance, MO 63730
Water Tower in Advance, MO
        The City of Advance has a wonderful history that surrounds the construction of the railroad in the northern portion of Stoddard County. Advance and progress have walked hand-in-hand since 1883. The first progressive step was the moving of the town site to the railroad to take advantage of better transportation. Since then, better schools, churches, businesses and means of travel have transformed a village of less than 100 persons to the "Biggest Little City" of over 1200 people.
        The town was presumably founded during the construction of the Old Frisco Railroad, which was completed in 1884. The owner of a cotton plantation, Captain W. H. Whitewell of Mexican War fame, dedicated 60 acres that became the City of Advance. By 1911, Advance was a thriving railroad town of 621 people with lumber and cotton as the major industries.
        The last census reported a population of 1,244. Advance is governed by a Mayor-Council form of government. The city has a fully equipped Police Department with two full-time and two reserve officers. The volunteer Fire Department has 15 well-trained men with five vehicles.
        Advance is located in a predominately rural area which has a good supply of available labor. Approximately 105 commercial establishments provide a variety of services as well as wholesale and retail opportunities. The Water and Sewer Department is municipally-owned with rates among the lowest in the area. Electricity is supplied by Scott-New Madrid-Mississippi Electric Cooperative. Natural gas is supplied by AmerenUE.
        Advance has a fully developed Industrial Park, with several sites that are available for new businesses.
        The school district is in the heart of the Advance community and has an elementary school and high school. Vocational programs are offered on the local high school campus and at Cape Girardeau. Four colleges and community colleges are located within 100 miles of Advance.
        The community has four city parks with a total of 32 acres of open land, landscaped areas, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, volleyball fields, basketball courts, picnic shelters and playground areas. Several recreation spots are within an easy drive of Advance including Lake Wappapello, Mingo National Wildlife, Refuge, and Duck Creek Wildlife Management Area. Airport, river traffic and all interstate highways are within 30 minutes of Advance.
        Come see us. We have so many ways of treating people, you are bound to like one of them!

Bell City
Population: 461

Bell City City Hall
25147 Walnut
P.O. Box 206
Bell City, MO 63735
Bell City, MO, City Park
        Bell City is a small farming community in northern Stoddard County. It was founded about 110 years ago as a sawmill town. Bell City has 461 residents, based on the last census, and is located on Highway 91 along the foothills of Crowley's Ridge.
        The community is home to about 15 businesses, a high school and grade school, and seven churches. Our city park is located at the edge of town and offers shaded areas for picnics and play.
        If you enjoy rural living you might consider Bell City for your retirement. Tax rates are low and living expenses are lower than most places. You are extended an invitation to visit our friendly community.

Population: 1,777

Bernie City Hall
P.O. Box 605
Bernie, MO 63822

City Park in Bernie, MO
      Bernie was established in 1892 with logging its primary industry. At one time, three sawmills were located in the swamps and woods east of town. Today, Bernie is home to several businesses and industries that include Ames True Temper, MFA Oil, MFA Agri Services, Bernie Farmers Fertilizer, First Community Bank, Fancy Farm Popcorn Company, Tanner Seed, Walker and Associates Home Health Care, BCT Manufacturing, BPS Telephone Company and Kennedy Machine Shop.
      Bernie's population as of the latest census is 1,777. The town government is comprised of a mayor and six aldermen, representing the city's three wards. The school system in Bernie consists of an elementary school, junior high and high school. There are 14 churches located in the town.
      Citizens of Bernie enjoy a beautiful city park with pavillions, a walking trail, tennis courts, a ball field and playground equipment. A second walking trail can be found behind the high school building. A stocked fishing pond is also available for residents only.
      Murals painted on various businesses in town by local artist Bobby Whitehead have become quite an attraction. Also attracting a lot of attention is Treasure Seekers Antique Mall, a new business in Bernie specializing in antiques and crafts.
      Bernie's Industrial Park is home to Evans Sandblasting. The Park offers acreage for other businesses and industries wishing to locate to Stoddard County. The location offers easy access to Highway 25, the major transportation system that runs north and south through the county. Also calling Bernie "home" are various retail stores, a florist, convenience stores and a funeral home. Two doctors offices and an ambulance station are also located here.

Population: 1,952

Bloomfield City Hall
P.O. Box 23
Bloomfield, MO 63825


Mural in Bloomfield, MO
        Located on the beautiful Crowley's Ridge in the heart of Southeast Missouri, the City of Bloomfield lives up to its name. The more than 1900 residents are proud of their neat homes and businesses.
      Bloomfield is located on Highway 25, this section of the highway has been designated a MODOT Scenic By-way. Located within 5 miles of US 60, a 4 lane limited access highway and to the east, Interstate 55 connects the major cities of St. Louis and Memphis.  
       The town serves as the county seat of Stoddard County, one of the largest counties in the state. The area is well balanced with agriculture and industry, including the Bloomfield Business Park with city water and sewer. The climate in Southeast Missouri provides four full seasons. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 34; July the warmest with 77 the average. Snowfall averages 9.1 inches and the lush growing season is blessed with an average of 47 inches of rainfall.
        Residents of Bloomfield enjoy the facilities of our town's park where there are two large pavilions, a modern lighted ball diamond with concession stand, a newly completed lighted basketball court, two lighted tennis courts, picnic area and playground. Adjacent to the city park is the Crowley Ridge Recreation Center with a nine-hole golf course, swimming pool and club house.
        Nearby Lake Wappapello and State Park provides fishing, hunting, swimming, boating, camping and water skiing.

Population: 7,841

Dexter City Hall
301 E. Stoddard
Dexter, MO 63841


Welcome to Dexter, MO
        Dexter is geographically centered from four major cities, namely, St. Louis, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Based on the 1990 census, Dexter's population is 7,841. The population within a ten mile radius of Dexter is estimated to be 19,407.
        Residents have numerous recreational opportunities with lakes, fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming pools, parks, tennis courts, racquetball courts, golf courses and country clubs. Including school playgrounds, Dexter has eight playgrounds and six parks. A number of organized activities take place on park property including swimming lessons, swim team, adult and youth softball and baseball leagues; along with youth football and soccer leagues.
        The city government is operated very efficiently by a mayor and a board of six aldermen. Emergency services are a priority of the city which has an advanced and well-trained fire department. The police department operates with the latest in dispatch, police and emergency equipment. The Stoddard County Ambulance Service is located in Dexter with a staff of both paramedics and EMT's. A county-wide E911 service with a full-time emergency management director answers any call for assistance quickly and efficiently.
        Dexter has many assets of which its residents are proud: an outstanding school system, special services for its citizens such as the Dexter Senior Center and the Stoddard County Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC), various civic and business organizations, health care facilities and services, and transportation systems that include major highways, railways and the Dexter Municipal Airport.
        Dexter's Chamber of Commerce has listings of available commercial properties . Businesses in need of a new facility or who are looking to re-locate to the Dexter area should contact the Chamber at (573) 624-7458.

Population: 289

Dudley City Hall
12177 Center Street
P.O. Box 235
Dudley, MO 63936

Park in Dudley, MO
        The City of Dudley is a small, rural town located just off US Highway 60 west of Dexter. The town has a mayor and city council form of government plus a chamber of commerce to help visitors who come to our community.
        Dudley's Community Building is the site of various gatherings and events, as is the city park which has picnic areas and playground equipment. The town has a well-equipped volunteer fire department, a post office and five churches.
        Local businesses include Amoco Gas Station (gas, diesel and food available), a beauty shop, Brehmer Fertilizer Service, Dudley Pool and Tarps, Dudley Flying Service, First Midwest Bank, Riceland Foods (elevator), Stoddard County Seed, WW Wood Products and the Dudley Village Carver.

Population: 524

Essex City Hall
211 N. Cypress Street
P.O. Box 357
Essex, MO 63846

City Park in Essex, MO
      The City of Essex is located five miles east of Dexter and 15 miles east of Sikeston. The community is predominantly agricultural and has two major agri-businesses that employ a number of residents. Essex is proud of its reputation of being a quiet, peaceful town, with neat businesses and residences. There is a new subdivision with all amenities, available for new construction. Essex is the heart of the Stoddard County cotton producing region with Rose Cotton Gin. One of the remaining locally owned and operated cotton gins.

Population: 1145

Puxico City Hall
P.O. Box 441
Puxico, MO 63960

Old Depot in Puxico, MO
        Puxico is located in the eastern edge of the Ozarks in northwestern Stoddard County on State Highway 51, just 12 miles north of four-lane US Highway 60. Nine miles from beautiful Lake Wappapello, next to nationally-known Mingo National Wildlife and only about eight miles from Duck Creek Wildlife Refuge, Puxico is located in one of the finest hunting and fishing areas in the country.
        The city has four parks. Houck Park is a wooded area with a pavilion, tennis courts and activities for children. Veteran's Park is in the downtown area and has a lighted covered stage. Puxico Memorial Park, located at the south city limits, has a ball diamond, picnic pavilion, playground and a walking track. Minnie Harbin Beard Park is a mini park located next to the Public Library.
        Puxico has excellent water and sewer systems, a development-minded city government, superior school system, fine police department, Senior Citizen Nutrition Center, a three-truck fire department and excellent streets. Numerous civic organizations provide residents with opportunities to assist the community as well as each other.


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