Starting With the Early Settlers
The character of the early settlers of this county is evidenced in the choice they made for the county seat. They could well have chosen the Cane Creek area, site of the first settlement. It would no doubt have been a convenience to them and a financial benefit, but they chose to have their county seat in the center of the county on a navigable river to make it more easily accessible to all who would come here to live. The river in the early days of the 19th century.was used like a major highway is today.

How We got our Name
They chose an uninhabited bluff on Black River on which to place the town that would contain their governing offices, and they named it for the beautiful poplar trees that grew profusely on that bluff. They called it Poplar Bluff and they set out to build a town, their county seat. By the end of 1850 a town had been started and some ten families lived in Poplar Bluff. In 1855 the first court house was built and the town grew, and finally, on Feb. 9, 1870, Poplar Bluff was incorporated.

For More Information

The City's Historical Preservation Commission has more information on the history of Poplar Bluff and the area.  The website features numerous history articles and photos, an online coloring book, puzzles, a trivia quiz and a place for Poplar Bluff area residents and former residents to share their recollections.