Economic Development

Lexington is the county seat of Lafayette County Missouri. The population was 4,726 at the 2010 census. Located in western Missouri, Lexington lies approximately 40 miles east of Kansas City and is part of the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Lexington is the home of the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site and formerly the Wentworth Military Academy and College, the oldest military school west of the Mississippi River opened in 1880.

Lexington, Missouri, located on the bluffs of the Missouri River, was platted in 1822, near William Jack's Ferry, which had been established three years earlier on the south bank of the river. It was named in commemoration of the Battle of Lexington. The first ferry was established in 1819 by Lexington's founder, Gilead Rupe. In 1823, Lexington became the county seat of Lafayette County and grew quickly.

Lexington was also noted for its architecture, especially in its public buildings. The Greek Revival Lafayette County Courthouse, built in 1847 on Main Street, is the oldest courthouse in continuous use west of the Mississippi. The Masonic College, also built in the Greek revival style, operated from 1847 to 1857 and after the Civil War, it housed the Central College for Women. The Gothic Revival Christ Episcopal Church, built in 1848, has an interior finished in walnut and a ceiling ornamented with a Gothic truss arch. Lexington is still home to over 150 homes and public buildings built before the Civil War, and holds tours of its historic homes and buildings.

Lexington was the site of the largest battle in the western campaign of the American Civil War. The battlefield on the bluffs of the Missouri River is now a state park where the trenches in the battlefield are still visible today. Experience the historic Anderson House that was utilized as a hospital and seized by both sides in the battle known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales. Historian-led tours and a thriving museum of pristine artifacts and stories make this a must-see national heritage destination.

Today, Lexington is a vibrant, eclectic community that both treasures its history and welcomes newcomers and the future with open arms.