Moberly is a city in Randolph County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,974 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Columbia, Missouri metropolitan area. Moberly was founded in 1866, and named after Colonel William E. Moberly, the first president of the Chariton and Randolph County railroads. Moberly, the “Magic City”, grew from the town platted by the North Missouri R. R. (Wabash) in 1866 to a transportation center with a 6,070 population by 1880. The North Mo. acquired the site when it took over the Chariton and Randolph R.R. after the Civil War. In 1860, the C.& R. had planned a road west to Brunswick from this point on the North Mo. then reaching toward Iowa.
The Chariton and Randolph R. R. named its proposed junction for William Moberly, head of the railroad, and offered free land to residents of once nearby Allen to settle here. Patrick Lynch, who alone accepted, was given two lots by the North Missouri after the Civil War for holding the site without “the loss of a life or a house.”Moberly has been a division point since 1867 when the North Mo. (Wabash) reached Brunswick. Huge railroad repair shops, one of the earliest railroad plants west of the Mississippi, were opened, 1872. The M. K. & T. formed a junction here, 1873. Transportation facilities brought industrial growth and the development of the soil, fire clay, and coal resources of the area.
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