Charleston is a city in Mississippi County, Missouri, United States. The population was 5,947 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mississippi County. It is a home to a local correctional facility. Charleston is the largest town on the Missouri side near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers at Bird’s Point (11 miles east on U.S. Route 60). Its history has been tied to traffic on the rivers. Settlement initially occurred on the north side, in what in 1805 was called Matthews Prairie. After purchasing 22.5 acres (91,000 m2) for $337, Joseph Moore laid out Charleston in 1837. Some say the community derives its name from nearby Charles Prairie, while others believe the name is a transfer from Charleston, South Carolina.
In 1845, it was selected as the county seat. A post office named Charleston has been in operation since 1847.The Battle of Charleston was fought on August 19, 1861. Killed in the battle were one Union soldier and thirteen Missouri State Guard soldiers.On September 1, 1861, Confederate General M. Jeff Thompson robbed the Union Bank of Charleston. Thompson, who handed the cashier a note, gave the cashier an hour to get approval from superiors to give him keys to the vault. After receiving the money, he left a receipt for $57,000 and discovered later that only $56,000 was in the bags.The city was the epicenter of the October 31, 1895 5.9 earthquake on the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
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