Is Missouri a Southern State?

19 Mar


We think not. Read the short story below — it comes from Liz Williams of the Southern Foods Museum in New Orleans, LA. Our negative vote has just been recorded.

Recently the question of what is a southern state has come up again. Originally we decided to define the south by the generally agreed upon definition of the New South. This decision is not set in stone. As we approach our one year anniversary here at the Riverwalk, I have been having second thoughts about what it means to go forward and just keep doing what we have been doing because that is what we have been doing! So as not to get into a rut – and thereby let opportunity and creativity pass us by – I think that it is time to re-examine the question of what is the south?

I would like your advice and thoughts on the matter. Does Missouri qualify as a southern state? Whatever your answer is -why? What about including Puerto Rico in our embrace? It is not a state, but neither is Washington, DC, and we include it. I am throwing rules to the wind and really want to hear from you about this. Please email me at I look forward to hearing from you.

162 Responses to “Is Missouri a Southern State?”

  1. Shannon Glass March 24, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    Thanks for offering the opportunity to comment on a topic that is especially interesting to me. I was born in southeast Missouri, have lived in both North Carolina and Tennessee, and most definitely consider myself a Southerner. However, I have observed that Missouri has regional distinctions that make it unlikely to be fully accepted as a Southern state.

    Southeast Missouri is definitely the South. There was an established plantation culture there in the early 1800’s. My great-grandparents relocated to this region from Tennessee, like many other farmers who relocated from Southern states after the Civil War. My grandparents were sharecroppers, earning their livelihoods from cotton farming. The climate is hot and humid, and the native landscape is the northernmost extension of the bald cypress swamps that occur along the lower Mississippi River valley. Culturally, it’s the Bible Belt, cotton is king, people talk Southern, and they eat Southern foods – fried catfish and hush puppies, grits, greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread, fried okra, pork barbecue, sweet potato pie, and sweet tea to name a few.

    There were numerous Civil War battles and skirmishes fought in Missouri. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek on August 10, 1861, is considered one of the earliest major battles of the War. Also, there is a small area in central Missouri known as “Little Dixie” because it was settled by tobacco-growing Southerners in the 1800’s. The Missouri Ozarks are also known for having a distinct Southern flavor. However, north of the Missouri River, Southern culture fades into the Midwest, leaving the state with a perpetual crisis of identity.

    The main point I hope to convey here is that culture does not magically disappear when a state line has been crossed. Southeast Missouri borders Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas, so Southern cultural migration is inevitable.

    • David j July 13, 2011 at 7:41 am #

      I’m from cape Girardeau was born in NC. Cape is mixed between south and Midwest cuz cape is a growing city the largest in southeast mo but once you hit sikeston it’s south my mom is from charleston mo we eat cornbread black eye pies everything southern. hot sauce is a must and BBQ. Lamberts is famous for throwed rolls

    • Zach Norman January 12, 2012 at 6:15 am #

      My name is Zach Norman I’m from Bloomfield, MO and Ms. glass I can’t agree with ya more, if southeast Missouri ain’t southern well then I don’t know what is, despite what this website concludes everybody down in southeast Missouri knows different!

  2. coreys June 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    i vote that the mo state has enoughf of a southern taste to be on your menue. i grew up here and represent a large part of the mo population that would be very sad to here you exlude us from our rightful place of southern hretige and good southern eats please reconsider your verdict thanks corey .s ps I dare you to find better johnny cakes then MO

  3. Gary Gene Fuenfhausen July 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    I am descendant of a long line of Southerners who settled the region of Missouri known as “Little Dixie” in the early 1820s. Little Dixie is an area of the State that borders the Missouri River basically from Kansas City and east towards St. Louis. I grew up on my mother’s cooking, which was a mix of her mother’s southwest Missouri/Arkansas style and other “Little Dixie” local flavors. We did not have very many restaurants in the area when I was growing up, but my memory recalls those that were and they all served basically the same thing. They were all well known for their family style dishes which always, always included traditional Southern fried chicken or River catfish with corn fritters. What I consider as original dishes, were those served by little old ladies or a local family that opened up a restaurant in some Antebellum house, old downtown store front. Other dishes that were always served were biscuits, slaw, and green beans cooked in pork. Breakfast was always a full course of biscuits and gravy, fried bacon or patties, and eggs. Other dishes that were always on the Sunday table or during holidays were candied yams or fried okra. Pickling was always a tradition within my family and every other rural family, the favorites are pickled Okra, green tomatoes, and naturally green beans and corn. I was not aware that you cooked all of these dished in any other manner until I was in my 20s and began traveling. My other love from here is the traditional Missouri BBQ, your choice of pork or beef. Yes, rural Missouri prefers pork or beef and Kansas City is pretty much known for its beef. I like many people in our area prefer pork. Sweet tea was ALWAYS served at all family functions, community events, and is still served at most restaurants and public programs in the region today. I also grew up drinking only Grape Nehi with a Chocolate or Banana Moon Pie, or a Coke, in a real glass bottle. That was when you could be it all for about 50 cents or under a dollar. We always got them at the grocer or from the old screen door type country store that my father always stopped at for a break. The joy for any child is dipping for the glass bottle in the old ice filled metal box. Pies were always apple, peach, cherry, or rhubarb, always topped with real whipped cream, or a cream pie that was banana, coconut or chocolate. Pies always had real meringue made with real egg white. My other love was a local pie called Jeff Davis Pie (as in President Jefferson Davis) , said to have originated from Dover, Missouri from and old slave cook. Dover was at the heart of Missouri’s slave crop HEMP and also predominately a slave entrenched region. If the pie originated there is true or not, it was recorded in local history decades back. You can still find local family owned restaurants in the area that can make pies in the old fashioned way. And, back to biscuits! Biscuits in the area were always beaten biscuit. My mother and all of the women in my family made them no other way. They also all to this day still know how to make home made noodles that you always cook in some type of chicken stock. Where I live now (Arrow Rock) was up until recently famous for the tradition beaten biscuit made on the old type machines. My brother and I were just discussing how sad it is that the tradition was so prevalent here in the area and now but all disappeared. We discussed how every old family home in Lexington, Missouri, had one of the old time beaten biscuit machine. I know they had them where I grew up (Clay County) and I am sure all of the old families around me now had them. Unfortunately, as the old homesteads have been sold off and bulldozed down these once prized pieces of family heritage have disappeared. So regardless of what you all think, I am a Southerner and proud of my family roots. You can MIDWESTERNIZE us all you want but I know what I know and what I grew up with. I am now in my late 40s.

    • Billy December 8, 2010 at 12:40 am #

      I accidentally found this site and I have to say you make a lot of sense in what you wrote.

    • Me July 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      I was born & raised in St. Louis, MO, and this is how we ate every day of my life. All of my family, neighbors, & friends did/do too. I don’t know anyone that I grew up with that still doesn’t eat okra, greens, candied yams, beans, cornbread, biscuits & gravy, cobblers, fritters, fried chicken, green beans w/salt pork, and everything else. It’s just our life. Still make everything from scratch, and now grow most of it, too. I’m also in my late 40’s.

  4. LCPL ERIC M FRIEL September 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    I have lived as far as St Charles MO, and as fas south as the Arkansas Boarder. (6 or 8 miles from)

    If you want a hasty line on where southern culture seems to fade, I would have to say draw it at Kansas City, connecting to Jeff City, and right into St Louis. I currenty live in North Carolina with 2nd Marine division, and the southeast MO is more southern than this place, and virginia combined. Once you hit as far north as St Louis, and St Charles, the culture blurs in city limits, and picks up again when you reach Portage de Siox. Above this line you may see it on and off, but I would say as a rule it disipates into the midwest.


  5. ronnie simms October 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    i live just on the outher side of the ark. state line in mo.
    iam in my 40s lived here all my life
    you ask if sothern part of mo. have southen style.
    well sir
    you havent ever spent much time around here then
    becase it as southren as it gets.
    we still say yes mam and no sir here.
    we open door for the weman folk.
    the men still have the southen pride here .
    if you dont belevie me afend one and find out
    we all eat old south foods here
    we dont put butter on grits here just salt and pepper

    we drink sweet tea beer and water
    we hunt and fish we grab sucker. not snag them
    sothern is way of life . not sate drawn
    tou need to spend some time in and around the sothren part of mo.
    and you would not ask that question if mo. is sothen or not.

    • A. Larew December 31, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

      I was born and raised in “Little Dixie” Missouri, though I’ve been away for many years. I guess I never gave much thought to whether I was southern or not. That was until I began to travel. Most thought my speech to be southern, and was once laughed to scorn by some pretty girls from Nebraska when I asked, “Well how ya’ll”. As far as food, pretty much everything was fried in lard- chicken mostly, pork, beef, catfish and squirrel. Apple and Pecan pie were the favorites. My people came from Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina and during the War Between the States, we were Confederates and Partisan rangers. We didn’t eat rice much, mostly potatoes and lots of milk gravy. I guess you think what you want about Missouri, but my people are Southron!

  6. Melanie January 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    My 60 years experience votes no:) Generally speaking….no heavy breading (fried foods), no white cornmeal, no sugar cane, no cane syrup, no southern peas (field, purple hull, black-eye. crowder), no fried okra, no pecans (more walnuts), no heavy seasonings, no file’, no sage cornbread dressing, no turducken, no red velvet cake, no pralines, no container of saved bacon grease, I’ll stop now:) ‘Country’ cooking becomes confused with ‘Southern’ cooking.

    • David j July 13, 2011 at 7:48 am #

      guess you haven’t been to charelston my big mamma made the best praline and caramel cakes from scratch fried okra is good wit ketchup and hot sauce we ate black eye pies wit cornbread mashed in and sugar or greens ever heard of pot liqour definitely south

    • Diana October 6, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      Melanie, I don’t know where you are from but you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. I am from Southeast MO. Born and bred here. Been here all my life. Majority of meat is breaded and deep fried, love purple hull or black eyed peas seasoned with bacon and onion. Fried okra is a must have!!! Have pecans and pecan pie is a local favorite. Cornbread dressing cannot be made to taste good without sage. Red velvet cake is also a favorite and everyone I know has a container of bacon grease!!! Cornbread by the way is mostly made from white cornmeal, there are some cooks that use yellow though. Sweet tea is the preferred drink along with beer! Yes we cook country! But seeing how most of the folk around here originate from Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas we have deep southern roots and our cooking reflects that! in the area I am from we are confederate and stay true to Dixie. We have a star on the confederate flag I have a map that shows the original mason dixon line and Missouri was south of it. Yes Missouri is divided. The southern part of the state is definitley Southern!!! If you don’t believe me just come visit me anytime!

      • Billy October 7, 2011 at 4:00 am #

        Diana, Missouri is about to get into the SEC, that is Southeastern Conference, the number one conference in the land. Im sure many do not like this in Missouri but there are mnay in Missouri that do. I do think Missouriwas orginally Southern, but I think has lost much of its identity from all of the people moving in from the big northern cities, thus, they never assimilated into the culture, and changed it, now the Southerners are the minority there.

    • Forrest Whittle December 11, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      Where exactly in Missouri do you live? Everything you just described food-wise I can find at just about every restaurant here.

    • Sherry January 7, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Excuse me?????????? What part of MISSOURI are you talking about?? You haven’t a clue. We have sage dressin, not dressing, we fry any kind of meat you want, and it is breaded to boot, ALWAYS have a container of bacon grease, would never be without it, fried okra is a staple, and darlin, I been makin red velvet cake since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I believe you may need some learnin, bless ya heart.

  7. AJF January 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    My personal belief is no. I wouldn’t say the Southern half of Missouri is even decidedly Southern. My father grew up in Joplin, and considers himself to be a Midwesterner. I also have family from the Little Dixie area of Missouri that did not self-identify as Southern. While I am aware Missouri retains Southern elements in much of the Southern half, Little Dixie is by and large Midwestern by modern though clearly there are still some families residing there with Southern roots that will self-identify as Southern through their family roots, as evidenced on here. Most people I know from there consider themselves to be Southern only through their family roots from other Southern states…they consider themselves to be Midwestern given where they live. Sweet tea is hard to come by in most restaurants in this state unless you are at a Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, or barbecue pit, pretty typical of any state not in the South. Southern speech patterns are in the minority throughout most of the state as well. I would only include areas of Missouri south of Cape Girardeau, like from Sikeston to West Plains, as truly Southern.

    Most of the Southern half of Missouri is by and large a transition zone between Southern and Midwestern culture. Northern and Central Missouri and St. Louis and Kansas City are all distinctively Midwestern. The best way to classify Missouri is a Midwestern state with Southern influences. The Bible Belt also extends well into Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. It is spreading further north as time goes on. Missouri also has a higher percentage of Catholics than Baptists when you exclude the African American portions that are Baptists, and Central Missouri has a notable amount of Lutherans. Being from St. Louis, I identify as a Midwesterner, not a Southerner.

    • Logan July 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      Well thats cause your from St. Louis..god bless it, I love the birds till the day i die but im about 45 min from Arkansas border and I dont know anyone here or in southern Mizzou who considers themselves mid westerners. just saying.

  8. Professor James R. Evans February 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    For this question to even come up for me is an insult as a Missourian man who definitely considers himself to be a Southern Man!!! And I am from Northern Missouri!! By profession I am a Professor of History at a college in eastern Iowa. All the people up here rib me about my upper South accent!! You must realize that thousands of Missouri men died wearing gray defending the South. And yes some wore blue as well. But Missouri men fell at Vicksburg, Battle of Atlanta and many other battles following the Confederate battle flag and the twelfth star in that flag stands for Missouri!!!! Missouri representatives were seated in the Confederate congress in Richmond. I do not know if you have heard of the Missouri son named Jesse James but he was a Confederate guerilla before he turned outlaw in the Yankee opinion. Even author Mark Twain from north Missouri (Hannibal) was a solider in the Confederate army. I suggest you read his book “The Adventures of Tom Swayer” published in 1876 all of his descriptions in of Missouri life are SOUTHERN!!! And I have to say this to you Mr. Saunders when my grandma was alive or my Dad’s mother there was nobody that made better Southern fried chicken than she did sir!! Missouri is part of the Upper South just as your Louisiana is part of the Lower South!!

    • Dave August 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

      As a history professor it saddens me that you credit Mark Twain with being a soldier in the Confederate army.

      • Billy December 8, 2010 at 1:05 am #

        All you have to do is read Tom Sawyer, it is obvious Mark Twain was a Southernor. He was also enlisted as a Confederate soldier. He was obviuosly against slavery though. Robert E Lee was a Southernor as well and he didn’t belive in slavery either.

      • Forrest Whittle November 1, 2012 at 1:24 am #

        Everybody knows that Mark Twin was a Confederate soldier. Its common knowledge.

  9. samantha February 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    heck no! missouri is defintity midwetsern. Im from kentucky here we talk with a southern draw but not in missouri! here are the southern states, kentucky,bama,mississippi,jaw ja,the carolinas,arkanasas,losiana,tennesse. maybe the boot heel but not the rest of mo.

    • Diana October 6, 2011 at 11:17 am #

      lol Samantha, do you know your history? On 28 November 1861 the Confederate Congress passed an Act admitting Missouri as the 12th state of the Confederacy. By an Act of Congress approved on 10 December 1861, Kentucky became the 13th state admitted to the Confederacy.
      Missouri was admitted into the CSA BEFORE Kentucky.

  10. Melanie March 1, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    No, not even on the MO/AR border is it Southern. No ‘real’ Southern food or Produce.

    No ‘Mam’ or ‘Sir’.

    It’s almost to Jonesboro (AR) before you find Southern Produce and Manners.

    • Zach Norman January 15, 2012 at 1:30 am #

      There’s no way you’ve been to the bootheel because it is most definitely dominated by southern culture, I can safely say that at least 90 percent of the bootheel would rather become part of Arkansas, I’m deeply offended by your comment I feel that it is very disrespectful to my southeast Missouri culture, know on Missouri all you want I don’t care but southeast Missouri is not Missouri, most southeast Missourians including myself have family in Arkansas, southeast Missouri doesn’t have a restaurant that can’t find sweet tea at, I drink at least a half a gallon myself a day, im in the coast guard stationed in california and I get weird looks on a daily basis, I wear Levi’s pull on boots and an old ball cap I’ve dressed this way all my life, people ask me if I’m from the south on a weekly basis, and I grew up working on a farm and haulin hay since I was 12 I have ancestors that died fighting for the confederacy and your spitting on there graves when you say crap like this I’d love to answer all the questions you have about southeast Missouri I guarantee I could change your mind, I’m deeply bothered by your post, I’ve had southern pride since I was little, and I always will, I could go anywhere in the south and they’d consider me a local guaranteed!

    • Sherry January 7, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      Melanie, you are soooooooooooooooooo, so wrong. very wrong.

  11. rebleintherock March 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    I love these posts with no substance like Melanie… what “produce” and “food” are you talking about? … Missouri is 7th in the Nation for cotton production, Missouri is also a major rice producer and in the same rice belt as Ark, MS, LA, TX, it also is a tobacco producer and has the most western tobacco warehouse/market in the USA with Boone, Buchanan, Chariton, Clinton, Howard and Platte Counties as the major producers, Missouri also has catfish farm porduction, pecan farm production (much of it centered in the Mid part of the State), peach farm production (again a lot of it in the center of the state) .. every town from Mid Mo and on south in MO has some form of BBQ, local fried chicken and catfish …

  12. Dewi March 30, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    I think one of the characteristics that might classify it as in the South was the cotton. Being from the Bootheel, I know that cotton was grown on the flat, fertile land that starts after Benton, Missouri and goes down into northeastern Arkansas. “King Cotton” anyone? I also have experienced local restaurants with all the types of Southern food stated above. Many people here are pro-Southern, and, however racist it may seem, hang Confederate flags. We might not talk like a good ole boy from Tennessee, but our characteristics make us just as Southern as the Deep South.

  13. Andrew F. April 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    There were far more Union supporters in Missouri than pro-Confederate supporters. Regardless of what kind of cuisine was preferred, I don’t use this as a basis because family traditions (such as Southern cooking) can be continued, regardless of the location. Barbecue has become a practically universal phenomenon in culture these days, to use it as a basis for defining the South anymore is ridiculous…if you look at Chicago, as well as places in Iowa, they like pork as well (pork tenderloins) and manufacture their own barbecue sauces now (Sweet Baby Ray’s, etc.). To those who said you can get sweet tea anywhere in Missouri, you’d better double-check that because I don’t notice its availability becoming predominant unless you get really far south in the state. All of the cotton and rice grown in the state are in the SE part, and in such quantities because the soil is among the most fertile in the world down there. As far as tobacco goes, I wasn’t aware of tobacco being a major crop around here. Missouri is among the highest in production of corn, wheat, and soybeans, which are grown in roughly every area of the state except the Ozarks. It’s more available now because fast food restaurants are marketing it everywhere…7 years ago the only places you could count on getting sweet tea at in most of Missouri were barbecue places, areas far to the south in the state, or at a Cracker Barrel or Waffle House. To whoever said they were from Northern Missouri, if you consider yourself to be a Southerner, all I have to say is that dialect maps don’t mark the Southern accent as being standard in your area at all. I know several people from Kirksville, Hannibal, and Palmyra…none of them have what sounds to me like a Southern accent. Not to say you don’t have one, but I’ve heard southern accents as far north as Columbus, Ohio…not numerous of course. Prior to the Civil War, I agree that Missouri was probably more of a Southern state only in that the majority of settlers were Southerners then. After the Civil War was a far different story. For every border state, there is a before the Civil War and after the Civil War definition. All of the elements I’ve heard pointed out are just those…elements. Missouri to me is a Midwestern state with Southern influences. St. Louis and Kansas City are solidly Midwestern cities, as is Columbia. Little Dixie’s Southern elements vanished after the Civil War. My grandmother was born and raised there and she definitely was not a Southerner.

  14. ellis May 11, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I live in the west-central part of the state. I wouldn’t really say that Missouri is a Southern or Northern state. Most of the people don’t have Southern accents and those that do have very mild ones. As for sweet tea, a few around here like it, but not many. I would definitely agree that Missouri is more of a Midwestern state, though. Besides, who’s to say what is and is not definitively Southern or Northern. In my opinion, we’re on the Western border of where the labels “Southern” and “Northern” mean anything. You rarely ever hear Kansas tout it’s Southerness. Nor do you hear it from Oklahoma. Maybe Missouri is sort of a neutralized zone.

  15. melanie May 11, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    I don’t remember where I read this but I saved the note.

    Indiana is 99% northern
    Ohio is 99% northern
    Illinois is 96% northern
    Missouri is 75% northern

  16. lacy jo May 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    I am from the back ccountry of southern mo. and every one i know consides themseleves southern and are damn proud of it and i am a waitress and 80% of people order sweet tea we dont even make unsweet tea unless someone specifically asks for it and we hand the confederate flag actually the back window in my pick up is a confederate flag and we eat greens, fried okra, grits and string beans cooked with bacon fat, there is never a night that we dont eat homeade buttermilk biscuits with dinner. I dont really care what every one else says mo. is we consider ourselves proud southerners.

    • ajf June 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

      Parts of southern Missouri can be considered truly Southern. If you are from the bootheel or pretty far south in the Ozark region of Southern Missouri, those areas lean more to the South. But only a minority of the state leans that way. As to somebody else who replied, the Midwest today is considered “North.” The majority of Missouri leans more in this direction…not all parts lean definitively, a few lean definitively Southern, but basically St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, and Jefferson City on up to a lesser degree all lean Midwestern. Springfield has both strong Southern and Midwestern influences. Cape Girardeau is similar. Regardless, Missouri fits in better as a Midwestern state than a Southern one. The majority of residents consider both themselves and where they reside to be the Midwest. Pre-Civil War Missouri was definitely hard to pin down…after the Civil War though, Missouri definitely has leaned Midwestern. Whatever part you’re in must be really far south in the state….sweet tea has also spread to the north of the Mason-Dixon line in restaurants now…so has Southern cuisine. Neither one of these are strong arguments anymore.

  17. Fitz June 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Not to make matters any more confusing but I grew up in rural Southern Illinois and we consider ourselves to be practically more southern then Mississippians. Much like Missouri, Southern Illinois was made up of settlers from the rest of the upper south. And the people definitly talk with a twang! Actually Southern Illinois was the only “blue state” to hae it’s own Confederate regiment in the Ciil War. Look up a terrific book called “Illinois Rebels.” Eentually they were subsued into a TN regiment. I guess my point is sometimes in “border states” people’s allegiances run even more deep because they have to work that uch harder to proove they’re southern. Fight on Missouri Rebels 🙂

    • james June 14, 2010 at 4:47 am #

      I don’t know about Southern Illinois. I know that yes, it was settled by Southerners, but not all Southern Illinoisans talk with a twang. And most of the ones I’ve heard that do have a pretty flat accent with only a few southern pronunciations in there. Many of my friends from there talk perfectly flat. Southern Illinois was divided in the Civil War. It sent more troops to the Union than to the Confederacy. Having some Confederate regiments doesn’t necessarily make a borderline case. I agree that the further south you go in Southern Illinois, like in Southern Missouri and Southern Indiana, the more southern it gets. However, I know some from Southern Illinois that consider themselves Southern, but the majority that I know either consider themselves to be on the southernmost edge of the Midwest or somewhere in between the Midwest and South. The latter is closest to the truth.

  18. Owen July 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Melanie, I tend to disagree with saying that you won’t find Southern manners in Southern MO. You will find it indeed. But that’s because many here are descended from Southern Families. As for the accent,some will sound Southern others won’t. Problem is I’m biased since my family comes from the states of Arkansas,Tennessee,Kentucky,Virginia and Georgia so I was raised with Southern manners and cooking. I think it’s all a matter of how ya see things really. I tend to lean Pro-Southern due to my family,upbringing,my Civil War reenacting and being married to a North Carolina girl. So again I say, it’s all in how ya see things.

  19. Becky July 23, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    I live in Southern Missouri (pronounced Missourah) and have most of my life. My parents and Grandparents were born and raised here. I don’t think I could be any more Southern if I lived in Mississippi. Our culture and way of thinking in this part of Missouri is truly Southern, not to mention our cuisine. I have been on vacation in non-Southern states and been asked what part of the South I am from. I realize that the farther north in Missouri you go the less Southern you hear (Those Northerners like to pronounce it Missouree). Missouri has a long standing representation of being Southern. Some consider the Civil War actually starting here in Missouri. We were the third most fought over state in the war and we are proudly represented by one of the stars on the Confederate flag. I have two Atlas books that depict us as a Southern state. Now as in the past, Missouri is still being fought over between the North and the South.

    • Owen July 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

      Correct Becky. Missouri is represented as the 12th star on the Confederate flag. Not to mention that the state held a legal session to Secede on October 31,1861 in Neosho (Missouri’s Confederate Capital) and was admitted to the Confederacy in November 1861. As a fellow Southern Missourian, I’d also like to point out that most people in this part of the state are descended from people who came from Tennessee,Kentucky,etc. My family came here after the war because when it was over, there wasn’t anything to really go home to. I get the same thing on the accent. Asking where in the South I come from. You may not know this but Missouri also has a Confederate Memorial Day on April 20th. To Honor her sons who wore Gray.

  20. Tom Usher August 18, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    All the comments above pretty much paint an accurate picture. We don’t know who the hell we are here in my beloved state of Missouri. Out here in the country things are pretty much Southern in mindset while in the cities the North is king.

    We’re a slave state that stayed in the Union even though the government voted to secede after it had been replaced by a union puppet government. Of course, the people had already decided to stay in the union during a convention called by the government to decide the issue in early 1861.

    We’ve been under the control of the Spanish, French and American governments. We are the place the hardwood forests end and the great western prairies begin. We are a land of rivers and springs, mountains and cornfields. It’s as hot as Mississippi in the summer and cold as Michigan in the winter. We’ve had a fair influence on jazz, blues, bluegrass, rock and country. Chuck Berry still plays in the bars in St. Louis.

    Are we a Southern state? Maybe. Mostly we’re just Missouri.

    And that’s more than good enough for me.

  21. Joanna August 20, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    I think it depends on who you are and where you live in Missourah. I was born and raised in Callaway County and may family are decendants of slaves so I KNOW that my family has always eaten SOUL (southern) foods with a few tweaks here and there. We, here in Missourah, have never called it ‘sweet’ tea (that asinine term came from McDonald’s a few years back) jus’ tea, ’cause any HOUSE you go to, tea won’t EVER be without sugar in it. I can’t speak for the whole state but all my family members keep a can of bacon grease on the back of the stove. We primarily cook and bake from scratch. If you can’t make biscuits, cook neckbones, or make pralines or divinity, you ain’t Southern. I can…and have known how to since I were a ‘chile’, so ah reckon ahma Southener. (smile)

    P.S. Back when I went to school, even the four schools in the Callaway County school disricts had different ‘Southern’ accents. With the exception of Fulton Schools…They lived ‘in town’ and considered us at North Callway R-I, South Callaway R-II and New Bloomfield R-III schools to be ‘hicks’.

    Plus, it is said that Callaway County (The Kingdom of Callaway)seceded from the Union and is supposedly still officially ‘seceded’.

  22. Carrie Jo/ Southern Ozarks August 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Why yes Missourah is part of the South , but only if you live in the Southern Parts. You see the Missourians that live in the Nothern Parts and I say this by dividing North and South basically by the I 44 hwy from Springfield down. The people are different, the food is different, and mostly the weather. You see the North gets more Rain ,Snow etc. I have never lived in the Northen parts but would never cosider the Northern parts to be even close to the South..All of us down here in the Ozarks no this is part of the South by the way people live there lives..YA All ..ITS CERTAINLY ALL SOUTHERN…SWEET TEA, Fried Chicken, Grits..YUMMY..

    • Proud Southerner October 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

      I totally agree that as far as if we HAD to define us in Missourah it would be uncertain for the state as a whole. However that being said, I consider myself a proud southerner. I am from the “big” city of Springfield but now I am living in a little one horse town of about 3000 people. It has been ran by the same families for years, it has one grocery store, 2 gas stations and we didn’t even get a McDonald’s until about 3 years ago. The only reason we have a liquor store is because it’s grandfathered in and the people here have genuine southern beliefs and manners. There is no church here that has more than maybe 200 people in it and the old men still wear their best overalls on Sunday morning. Church picnics include fried okra, baked beans complete with hunks of ham/fat, fried chicken, potato salad, bbq chicken and pork and the list goes on and on. Summer time is HOT to the point of walking out the door and your morning shower was wasted in about 30 seconds from the humidity…and that’s at 7 am. We still believe in helping your neighbor and do unto others as you would have done unto you. Country music is king and I’m not talking about the new stuff. Young kids around here still listen to Johnny Cash and his counterparts. The fourth of July parade is small businesses locally owned with their owners either in their 4×4 trucks pulling a trailer or on their horses. This last one for example we had people on horses reenacting a civil war fight with our boy in gray being the winner. Kids are brought up believing in and fearing God and cherishing family. You won’t hardly catch a child in the summer that doesn’t play in the sprinkler everyday. I don’t think Missourah can be placed in a north/south stereotype. It is what it is depending on where you are in the state. If we could divide the state in half then maybe…but that didn’t work out so well awhile back. Something about a civil war in this country. I don’t believe “southern” should be an origin but a frame of mind. If you want to add facts about cotton or tobacco or peaches and then counter with the opposites of that in trying to decide what we exactly are you will be here til doomsday. Myself however think I will take myself and a glass out sweet tea outside and wait for my kids fixin to get off the bus. Have a nice day ya’ll.

  23. ajf September 4, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Whoever said Missouri legally seceded is absolutely dead wrong. The state convention remained staunchly pro-Union the whole time, and it’s unknown just how much of the elected government actually participated in the Neosho convening. Also, Missouri sent over twice as many soldiers to the Union as to the Confederacy. And it was plagued by guerilla warfare. Whoever thinks this constitutes it having a star on the Confederate flag is truly ignorant and needs a history lesson. Also, sweet tea has always been considered to be just that in most of Missouri. It would not surprise me if some people living in Little Dixie still adherred to their southern roots, but dialect maps place the southern accent in the southern two-thirds of the state. I have also been to Callaway County many times…(I live in St. Louis so I go there frequently)….if there is so much sweet tea and cuisine there, i have yet to see it, and moreover, i’m surprised it hasn’t spread. My grandmother grew up in Little Dixie, and according to my dad she never was surrounded by the kind of “southerness” you are describing. Little Dixie is Southern only in its past. In the present, it is far more Midwestern. The state is Midwestern with Southern influences. St. Louis and KC are Midwestern to their cores. Columbia and Jefferson City are too.

    • Zach Norman January 15, 2012 at 1:46 am #

      They sent more to the union because the cities are more populated! Southeast Missouri has a very low population, so there just wasn’t as many to send to the confederates, come on man just look how many people from southeast mo have got on this website to argue their point! Being southern is everything to us!

    • Forrest Whittle November 1, 2012 at 1:48 am #

      The truth of the Missouri secession has been hidden in history books because of the reason for it. Missouri (having a pro south governor) voted to remain Swiss in the Civil War two times. The governor even voted this way. Then the state started supplying ammo and soldiers to the CSA so the American army started to invade Missouri under Lincoln’s order. The first thing they did was run out the government and set up their own (un-elected) pro-union government. Because of this, the real government which was in Neosho, met and wrote their letter of secession. Passed in the senate on the 29th of October and the house on the 30th of October (that might be the other way around), it was then signed by the governor on October 31st. Therefore disolving any ties that Missouri had with the United States of America. A month later the state of Missouri was accepted into the CSA as its 12th state. This happening is the reason Maryland didn’t secede. The US government took control of Maryland and did not allow them to vote because they knew that Maryland would also vote for secession and therefore the Confederacy would have control of Washington.

  24. historian September 18, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    @ajf, you seem hellbent, to the point of being upset, that some think of MO as a Southron state. Why so? It’s not that big a deal, my friend.

    • ajf September 20, 2010 at 7:47 am #

      If you can’t handle the arsenal of cold hard facts I just threw at you, just admit it and quit pretending like you know what my motives are, because you don’t. I’m hear to educate people on the truth, not give a biased opinion with no factual basis. As someone who has been to the entire Midwest, South, and 40 of the lower 48 states, accumulated over ten years worth of research on the state of Missouri, from its soil contents, demographics, tree species, politics, literally every set of statistics you can get your hands on, I am more than happy to unleash a torrent of knowledge on people who don’t know this stuff. I take pleasure in doing this, no anger behind it whatsoever. And I get no dignity out of telling anything other than the truth.

  25. RAY October 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    WHEW! It seems to me that only Missouians can get so upset about this topic. Nobody else in the country really cares. I was raised in NW MO and yes there is quite a bit of southern history and culture even up there. Tobacco was and is a major crop. Go to Weston and you will see that. The McCormick Distillary has been making sour mash whisky since before the Civil War.
    Liberty was and is more southern in its attitudes than Springfield. Look at the names of the towns. You will find Richmond and Lexington. My great great grandfather was in the Confederate Army. I still have his pass to travel home from when the war ended. So you don’t have to be from the bootheel or the Ozarks to be southern. All major cities in this country are homoginized these days. I was recently in Atlanta and was hard pressed to find anyone with a “southern” accent. I now live in New Orleans and even it is homoginized. You can study dialects, soil samples, geography and history all you want but you can’t tell me what I am. Only my Mama can. Southern is a state of mind and not a state of the union!

  26. moman October 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    All of Missouri’s southern influences come from the brief 40 years before the Civil War, during which even then it was difficult to define as definitively Southern, because foreigners, Northerners, and Southerners all occupied the state by 1860, even if the Southerners got there first. If Kansas City is more Southern in attitude than Springfield, I guess all the Kansas City natives I happen to know and my experiences there were deceiving to me, as I couldn’t picture Kansas City as anything but Midwestern. I don’t deny that Missouri’s Little Dixie could very well have been considered part of the Upper South before the Civil War, afterwards is a very different story. You also find many Lexingtons and Richmonds, and other southern type town names in Illinois (Nashville), Indiana(lexington, Richmond), and Ohio (Lexington, Louisville). Missouri also has towns like Philadelphia. Missouri may have been definable as a Southern state for 40 has been Midwestern for at least 3 times that long. Besides, the Census Bureau considers it Midwestern, the majority of its residents identify with the Midwest…leave it at that.

  27. Luke October 5, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    In the Southern part of the state I’d say yes… but it’s a huge state and the majority is most definitely not. I grew up going between Kansas City and dairy farms of the middle of the state and it was all as Midwest as can be. When I would visit my relatives in Little Rock, Arkansas, I couldn’t believe the accents, did spit takes every time I drank some iced tea and discovered there was sugar in it, and was constantly reminded that I had a middle name.

  28. Aaron October 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    I’m from Northwestern Missouri and I fly the Stars and Bars in my front yard from the time i get up to go to work til sundown. You’re born southern, no matter what state you come from, nor where you live. The south is in the heart and soul of everyone who takes pride in what it stands for. Missouri may not be a southern state by fact, but I, and many Missourians like myself take great pride in the Confederacy and consider ourselves so.

    • Billy December 8, 2010 at 12:37 am #

      That was admirable what you wrote. I think a person could move to Alaska and still be a Southernor at heart. My siser moved to Missouri from Florida, and she said it was very similar to where we live in north Florida,in terms of how the people spoke and there manners. The South is where most of our American heritage started, in my opinion. Gosh, it amazes me how people forget American history. If you are a midwesterner and go back far enough, most likely your American history began in the Carolinas or Virginia. For instance, I think the firt governor of Michigan was born in Virginia. Im sure the oldest stock in all of the midwestern states came from the Old South.

  29. Erik October 30, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    The northern half of the state is unquestionably midwestern. I live in St Louis and it doesn’t feel south at all.

    People who say Missouri is a southern state are eitther trolls or don’t even live here at all.

    And we were pro union during the civil war.

    • Josh November 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      No definitely confederate… haha

  30. midwesterner November 7, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    I agree with Erik, being from St. Louis myself. That said, I think the Southern half of the state, while it may have strong Southern influences, is overall a transition zone between the Midwest and the South. I also strongly disagree with somebody that spoke of Springfield as being staunchly southern. I have family from Southwest Missouri…that region is pretty much reflective of most of the Ozarks….its own region…equally southern as it is midwestern. The transition zone between the Midwest and South in Missouri I would say is bounded roughly on the north by U.S. Highway 50 and the south by U.S. Highway 60. Overall, Missouri definitely is a classic border state, but today it fits in far better with the Midwest and the South. It’s economy, it’s geographic location, and it’s two major cities, where the majority of the population resides, are all Midwestern.

    • midwesterner November 7, 2010 at 1:40 am #

      Excuse me, I meant today it fits in far better with the Midwest than the South.

  31. Billy December 5, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    I consider Missouri to be Southern. I am from Florida, and Im sure many people these days do not consider it the South either but it is. I remember years ago dtating a girl from Southern Illinois, and she was as Southern as I was, atleast in how she spoke. She said ya’ll as well, and seemed to identify with my in our political and religous persepctive.

  32. Lee December 10, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    I think its split in half. You can take Jeff City and South being more southern and North being Mid-Western.
    I was south near Joplin and we use Yes sir and Yes ma’am or we get beat with a belt round here.
    Border States always have identity problems.

  33. Yankee December 14, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    One person from Southern Illinois and you’re convinced? Southern Illinois is a melting pot. Jefferson City is Midwestern in feel and culture. As far as Joplin goes, it’s far south enough in Missouri and close enough to Missouri and Arkansas that I might be willing to allow that to be had. But Missouri is a majority Midwestern state, with the Southern half being a transition zone in between the Midwest and South. It doesn’t just go from Midwest to South in the blink of an eye.

    • Billy December 14, 2010 at 2:51 am #

      I met met many folks from there and do feel from the sample I have met they are very Southern. If you really look into it folks that go back far enough from many parts of the midwest have roots from the South, unless your history if from Ellis Island of course. Gosh, I went to Grand Cayman just awhile back and it has a history that is connected to the South. That is just history.

      • Yankee December 14, 2010 at 3:25 am #

        Whatever part of Missouri you were in, your sample doesn’t coincide with linguistic dialect lines, not with my experience as a resident living here. This is part of the Midwest, not part of the South….it doesn’t matter how much Southern influence there is, there’s not enough that it can be considered the South. Central and Northern Missouri are as Midwestern as it gets. I have family from Southwest Missouri, and they do not, I repeat, do not consider themselves to be southern. They don’t have an accent, and they go back over three generations. Southeast Missouri is the only part of the state that is culturally, geographically, and linguistically Southern. There’s also an accent called South Midland, which may have a few Southern pronunciations, but overall is fairly flat. This covers most of Missouri, and over half of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and parts of Kansas. Roots from the South are irrelevant if 200 years later they don’t exist.

  34. southerner n branson January 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    You are completely off base, yankee. You can really say you do not believe southwest missouri is southern? Have you EVER been to Branson?

    • January 29, 2011 at 1:40 am #

      There are several states that have pockets of Southerness. I just don’t believe Missouri, as a whole, is more Southern than it is Midwestern. I’m not saying my opinion is the final word — it’s just my opinion. If you wanna do a site or blog about the Southern aspects of Missouri, I would encourage you to follow your dream.

    • Yankee March 19, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      Perhaps I should have been more specific. My family comes from Joplin and Springfield. Branson is a different world compared to those, and yes, I agree, Branson is completely Southern.

    • Missourian March 19, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      I doubt he was including Branson, and if he was, he’s mistaken for doing so. Branson I will agree is one of the parts of Southwest Missouri that is unmistakably Southern and cannot be dismissed as having Southern influence. As far as Joplin and Springfield are concerned, those two cities were battlegrounds during the Civil War, and laying so close to Kansas and Oklahoma, cannot be considered entirely Southern. Those cities remind me more of Wichita and Tulsa than of Little Rock.

    • terrible teens May 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      I remember a very “Southern” moment in my life from 1965. I was fifteen and my family was traveling through Missouri. I was in a train station sitting near an older man and a younger man. At the time, it was a particularly tense time during the Civil Rights Era. The older man took a break from his newspaper and drawled in a deep sonorous voice, “What they need is a good killing”. I didn’t have to ask what he was talking about — I just knew!

      The city: Joplin — just sayin’ FYI.

    • Derek plott March 21, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      As us branson folk say if its tourist season why can’t we shoot em?

  35. Matt March 18, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    When I travel people say I have a southern accent. I drink Sweet tea, eat fried okra, barbeque, blackened catfish, and crawfish. I ate biscuits and gravy or grits for breakfast, and fresh picked watermelon for desert in the summers. My granddad picked cotton by hand when he was little and we used to play “cannon ball soccer” with a civil war cannon ball we found in the field when I was little. We drive around on dirt roads and drink beer, stop at fishing holes and take a dip and keep going. My Grandfathers dad was killed by Union soldiers for supplying the Confederates. Missouri politicians were in the Confederate government. It may not be the deep south buts its definitely southern. Mississippi river towns also share a strong southern culture that spread from south. Politically every county with the exception of those around St. Louis and Kansas city votes republican also a southern theme. Above the Missouri river and further west towards Springfield it may not resemble the It may not be the deep south but have someone from New York come down and take a look at any place besides St. Louis or Kansas City and tell you what they think. It’s called Little Dixie and its precisely that. Its about half southern and I’m not a f*$%^ Yankee ya’ll!

    • Missourian March 19, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      First off, Little Dixie is a historic definition, not a present one. The Southern lifestyle has been gone from Little Dixie for a long time, as is the lifestyle. It sounds like you’re from the most extreme southeastern part of the state, or if you’re not you are an outlier for sure, because no cotton is grown anywhere in Missouri today except the far southeastern part. As far as Republican being a Southern theme, Missouri is a swing state. It has supported the winning candidate in every election since 1904. All of the Great Plains states are Republican, does that make them Southern? You also have no idea what you’re talking about when you say Missouri politicians were in the Confederate government, which by the way, was exiled from the state. You seem to forget that a lot of Missouri politicans were in the Union government. And your great-grandfather was among 50,000 Missourians fighting 100,000 Missouri Union soldiers. So in conclusion, you may be Southern, but Missouri isn’t. Linguistic studies place most of Missouri in the Midland dialect, not the Southern dialect.

  36. Missourian March 19, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Save the Obama election, excuse me, Missouri has voted for the winning candidate everytime. And its stance resembled indiana’s and Ohio’s more than Kentucky’s. All three of these states were extremely close divisions between Obama and McCain. Kentucky was solidly pro-McCain. Missouri’s differences came down to a total of 3,000 votes. Both St. Louis and Kansas City put together are not enough to make Missouri perfectly divided. And finally, in just about every state, the major cities tend to vote blue, while the rural parts vote red. No case of Southern to be made here.

  37. Rhyan April 5, 2011 at 3:16 am #

    All I know is we are SOUTHERN down here in Kimberling City, Missouri!!!!!!!!! Southwest of Branson, Right on Table Rock Lake. The only northern accents I’ve heard are the Northerners who have moved here! They sound funny I must say! hahaha. Altho I think our accents start to grow on them and before you know it, they can say,”Ya’ll” with the best of us!! hahahahaha. Heck, We are watching ” Gone With The Wind” as I type! hahaha. Just made me have to comment on all these arguments. I will end with this.. We are proud to live in Missouri. She is a Wonderful state with beautiful Ozark Mountain Sun Rises and Sun Sets! Such a peaceful little place, and I’m proud to say Im from Southwest Missouri!

  38. Rhyan April 5, 2011 at 3:22 am #

    Oh, one more thing. When you have a CAFE out in the hills on the Mo/Ark line called ” Hawg Haven”, I cant think of anything Northern or Midwestern about that! bahahahahahaha! Whewh. They have some dang good biscuits and gravy. mmmmmmmmmm good! LOTS AND LOTS OF SWEEEEEEEEET TEEEEEEA TOOOO!!!!! YOU ASK FOR UNSWEET TEA, WE ALL LOOK AT YA FUNNY!!! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  39. We sing Dixie April 5, 2011 at 3:26 am #


  40. JUST SOME GOOD OL FOLKS April 5, 2011 at 3:28 am #


  41. Blane June 9, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    grew up in southwest missouri for the first 22 years of my life…lived in tulsa, kansas city and st. louis since then…….been all over the deep and upper south growin up from playing aau baseball and have obviously been all over missouri….folks, SOUTHWESt MISSOURI IS EVERY BIT AS SOUTHERN AS IT IS IN ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSSEE, GEORGIA, KENTUCKY, ARKANSAS, EAST TEXAS, ect….i will say that spfld has somewhat of a mix or midwest feel here and there but everywhere else in the sw mo region is pretty dang hardcore southern.

  42. Billy June 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    After hearing a lot of the Joplin folks speak on TV lately and with how the Joplin folks portray themselves they seem to be very similar to folks in North Florida and Alabama, where I live. I have said this earlier, but everyone I have ever met from Missouri has always considered themselves a Southerner. The reason Missouri probably has so many folks that consider themselves Non-Southerners is probably because there must have been time when Northerners flooded into the state, probably after the Civil War, and never really assimilated into the real Missouri culture. I know this may sound off subject, but in a way, America as a whole is losing its identify. I still find it hard to believe that the land of Mark Twain has so many people in it that do not consider themselves from the South.

    • David June 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      I’m from Joplin and proud of my city. But I have to say that joplin people do not consider themselves southerners. Not that being from the south is good or bad…but even though you find some people with country bumpkin accents, don’t confuse southern with country.

      Branson is only southern because tourism requires it. Branson has a population of 3,000 but on any given summer day there will be a couple hundred thousand people there, all wanting to watch organized shows that depict southern influence. The shows people go see have paid actors to act like rednecks/southerners/hillbillies/etc

      And the people on the news after the tornado?? Come on man, you can have a tornado hit upstate New York or Boston and the only people who end up with a microphone are the high school dropouts who can’t enunciate to save their life.

      In fact, more news broadcasters per capita come from Missouri, because of our strong journalism schools, but also because Missouri has the flattest accent of all states. Yes some rural pockets of the state talk country (I live in southern California now and it’s the same here) but overall Missourians have a very flat accent.

      Even southeast Missouri, with a heavier accent and more farms could be considered heavily southern influenced, but everywhere else including Joplin considers themselves Midwestern. Again, there is nothing wrong with being/talking/acting southern, but in Missouri we’re as midwestern as it gets….. Y’all 😉

      • Billy June 25, 2011 at 3:52 am #

        It is funny about accents and how people speak different, even people in different areas of the South have varying accents as well. For instance, I have been to Savannah Ga. and Charleston South Carolina many times, and in my opinion, the accents there are way different than the accents in other places in the South, and different from the accent here in North Florida. My wife has been so into accents lately and has gotten me interested in how people speak in different states and even different countries. Anyway, I was reading the other day about Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, both are married and are originally from Australia, but live in Nashville Tennessee now. Nicole Kidman stated that she hopes her little girl grows up to have a Southern accent. I thought that was interesting and very complimentary, especially since they are from another country. Anyway, my Midwestern friend, if you think Missouri overall is a Midwestern state that is your opinion and may be absolutely true, especially due to the fact Northerners and other non Southerners have moved to your state and likely outnumber the older population of Southerners. My point is, historically, Missouri was a Southern State geographically, and by its first non Native American settlers/pioneers that use to live there. Obviously, from your observation, there just are not many Southerners in Missouri.
        (Not to digress from our original topic too much, but go to YouTube and search for South Alabama/ North Florida accent. My wife showed me some interesting videos the other day about a YouTube group that is going around “collecting” all of the accents from every region of the world. It is interesting how so many people that are of British ancestry have moved to so many different countries like parts of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or even the Southern Unites States, and yet, they have such different accents. You might find someone in this group that is “collecting” Missouri accents).

  43. Andrew August 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Missouri is not geographically Southern. Not even close. How can you call a state that extends almost as far north as the latitude of New York City geographically southern? Not to mention, it is on the same latitude as 2/3 of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio as well as a decent chunk of Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Where the Ohio River touches Missouri is in the far southeastern part of the state. Most of Missouri lies squarely in between Illinois and Kansas. It shares a far larger chunk of its borders with Midwestern states than with Southern ones. As far as Missouri having the flattest accent of any state, I can’t honestly agree with that. If there is any state that has the flattest accent, I would have to say it’s Iowa. Missouri has the Southern dialect dominating in about 1/3 of the state, and the South Midland dialect dominating the rest of the state outside of STL and KC. South MIdland dialect also covers roughly 2/3 of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, so this is not a Southern dialect…it has Southern influences, but is noticeably flatter. Kind of like how the extreme Upper Midwest and Great Lakes dialects have Canadian influences.

    • Josh November 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      How can you call kentucky, virginia, or west virginia southern then because they are on the same damn line!! not one of them is further south, just east. hahah missouri actually extends farther south!

      • STL December 25, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

        That was only one characteristic I mentioned. You obviously have no knowledge of something called the OHIO RIVER….culture does not respect latitudes, and the Ohio River has long been considered a divider of northern and southern culture…and if you look at culture and dialect, you will see that to indeed be the case. And KY and VA are not on the same line…their northernmost points are far to the south of Missouri’s. And yes, Missouri has the bootheel…that part of the state has about as much relation to the rest of the state as the WV panhandle does to WV. Btw, WV has virtually all the southern characteristics of the south as North Carolina. Geographically, it may not be southern, but culturally and in every other way it is. Anyone who would say that two states on the same latitude by law have the same culture is severely mentally retarded.

  44. Justin November 21, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Anyone who says missouri isn’t southern is completely retarded and needs severe history lessons. It did secede, had over 115,000 slaves, its a star on the confederate flag, it sent more troops to the confederacy then most other southern states, jesse james, mark twain, sterling price, general marmaduke, all very talented confederates, oh and listen to the state song the missouri waltz, its as southern as it gets. And I’m just barely scratching the surface.

  45. Ferguson November 25, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    First off Justin, you’re the retarded one. Missouri did NOT secede. And those slaves made up less than 10% of the state population. Missouri did NOT send more troops to the Confederacy than other southern states. It supplied between 30-50,000 men…that doesn’t even come close to Texas. And it supplied far more men to the Union…over 100,000. Sterling Price was not even a native Missourian…he was from Virginia. Most of Jesse’s hatred for the Union was routed in brutal treatment of his family by Union soldiers. This was the case of many pro-Confederate guerillas in Missouri. Also, Mark Twain being a southern element is debatable…it’s not known for certain whether or not in fact he did enlist as a pro-Confederate soldier for two weeks…regardless, he obviously wasn’t committed to it. And he had Northern views. Also, any Jim Crow arguments for Missouri pretty much end with segregated schooling…that was the only segregation in Missouri mandated by law after the Civil War..and even Indiana and Kansas had these rules. That’s about as much surface as there is to scratch. As far as the Missouri waltz goes, it’s just a damn song….”wander in dreams back to Dixieland” tells me that Dixie is but the past of Missouri. In any case, the simple fact you believe Missouri actually seceded (when there is no house journal, nor any evidence of a quorum, nor approval of the state convention), and that Missouri contributed more troops to the Confederacy than any other Confederate state…is enough to discredit you.

    • Ferguson November 25, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      General Marmaduke also came from a divided family. Even being pro-Confederate doesn’t necessarily make you Southern. Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio had many “Copperhead” politicians. Missouri also supplied plenty of Union generals…among them Frank Blair. Justin fails to acknowledge all the Union men of Missouri, who vastly outnumbered the Confederates. Missouri even voted for a pro-Union politician in 1861..Stephen Douglas. St. Louis voted for Lincoln! Missouri also on its own freed its slaves before the end of the war in 1865. And of course it was represented as a star on the Confederate battle flag…a pro-Southern governor who had secessionist views, unlike the rest of the state, declaring a secession, whether or not it was legal, was enough for Jefferson Davis, who would recognize any Confederate sympathizers just to gain more supports for his troops. Justin has basically scratched far below the surface…that’s as deep as it gets.

      • Justin December 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

        Ferguson kiss my rebel ass. It did secede, look up the missouri secession declaration. And on top of that, it’s the 12th star on the confederate flag. lincoln put 1/4 of the union army in missouri just to keep it in control, even though jesse james and sterling price were giving abe a hard time with that with their rades. Youre just dumb bro, quit trying to fool yourself. And no, thats still barely scratching the surface ya douche

    • Billy December 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

      Justin, what Ferguson fails to understand is historical perspective and the power of force in terms of Lincoln sending troops to control Missouri. I am not bashing Lincoln at all but I remember reading an old article that was published from around 1862, I believe the article came form the New York Times. The article had some memorable quotes, one in particular: ‘Lincoln is sucking the big city slums dry for men to fight his war.’ That is how the war and most wars are won, through numbers. The South did not have the numbers the North had at the time also the South played defense while the North played offense.

      Anyway, on a happier note, I think it is sort of great that the University of Missouri will now be playing the in the SEC, Southeastern Conference with other Southern universities. Personally, I love living in the South due to the weather, food, and most of all the nice folks and from what I have read Missouri is historically a Southern state that has lots of transplants from the big Northern cities living there. Anyway this is all interesting to discuss but gentlemen, be nice to each other.

      • Justin December 15, 2011 at 9:04 am #

        Very true billy, and yes missouri was always strongly southern with pockets of union sympathisers. Mostly german immigrants. But this whole topic on missouri’s classification has always interested me, and I will try and be nice I just have a strong dislike of ignorant people haha

      • STL December 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

        Missouri is only playing in the SEC because the Big Ten kept shutting us out. There is nothing historical about the decision to do this. Missouri has nothing in common with SEC schools. AT ALL. Missouri has not had any REVERSE MIGRATION benefits at all…Northern transplants? LMAO. Most of the people living in this state tend to have lived here for over a century. And you and Justin think all the union troops for Missouri came out of other states. There is documented proof of over 100,000 Missourians enlisting for the Union cause. Do me a favor and tell Justin that his rebel ass is his only weapon…he has no education, no knowledge of the Civil War. He’s pro-Confederate and he’ll say what he wants. What a loser.

  46. Zach Norman January 15, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    Well I think there’s a general consensus that at least southeast Missouri is southern and that’s where I’m from, I grew up in Bernie, Dexter, and Bloomfield! Proud of it, my nan would have a heart attack I you called her midwestern!

  47. austin February 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Missouri is a southern state geographicaly. missouri is the 18th warmest state in the us, meaning it is warmer then 65% of all states. missouri is considered the be a major cotton producer by the national cotton council. missouri is one of the 12 states whose record snow fall is measured under 100 inches, in fact tennesse has seen one inch more. missouri is listed in the top 5 states with the warmest summers. missouri is represented by a 12th star on the rebel flag. also, missouri is “shw show me state” a saying often associated with southern values. austin- steele mo bootheel

    • Zach Norman February 5, 2012 at 5:03 am #


    • Ferguson February 26, 2012 at 1:31 am #

      Austin, where you and Zach Norman live in Missouri is the south. The rest of the southern half of the state is a transition between the Midwest and south.By the time you reach KC, Jeff City, St. Louis, you are in the Midwest. the northern half of the state, including these cities, is midwestern. the southern half has a split identity, with the southernmost portions, particular south central and s/e missouri below cape girardeau, are southern. Missouri’s place on the Confederate flag is also very disputable, since the legitimacy of the secession is very doubtful, and also since many more Missourians sided with the Union than the Confederacy. As far as it being a southern state geographically, how do you justify that? It’s as central as it gets. Its northernmost reach is less than 100 miles south of the Great Lakes in latitude, and its southernmost extent is 300 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. As far as record snowfalls are considered, since when did record snowfalls define regions? Usually, those types of snowfall happen only once or never again. Also, we have no record of snowfalls before the late 1800s. Finally, 18th warmest…so what? Kansas is warmer than we are and that’s not the south. Among those states under 100 inches of annual snowfall is also Iowa…that puts a severe dent in your classification of the south. As far as being the 18th warmest state, it’s because of how far south the bootheel is. It’s ,average high is 54 degrees, and only 3 degrees warmer than Illinois, the state which it shares the most latitude with.

    • Ferguson February 26, 2012 at 1:35 am #

      By the 54 degrees, I meant the actual average temperature per state, not the maximum temperature…I misread my data. In terms of average temperature, Missouri is only 3 degrees warmer than Illinois and Indiana. I don’t understand how this constitutes a southern definition.

    • Ferguson February 26, 2012 at 1:40 am #

      Tennessee also lies in the Appalachians, which naturlally will raise its average snowfall. Topography is often a bigger determinant of average snowfall than latitude. All of Missouri’s cotton production takes place in four counties in the southeastern part of the state, which is in the Mississippi Delta…one of the most fertile regions of soil in the world. How is Show Me State associated with southern values? The term originated out of Missouri’s border state status in the Civil War, and also out of the Missouri’s vast diversity.

  48. Ferguson February 26, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    Justin, Missouri did not legally secede. What was left of the exiled state government had a rump secession. The state convention voted to stay in the Union. Missouri sent twice as many troops to the Confederacy. You’re borderline retarded to think you know everything.

    • Jet April 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Ferguson, I think you meant to the Union…I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, since you seem to know what you are talking about.

  49. Ferguson February 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    I’m just dumb, Justin? Coming from you, you’re the one that’s dumb. You know nothing about what happened in that so-called secession…there is no house journal supporting it, and regardless, the state convention was the only body having the authority to vote the state out of the Union, which it did not. Apparantly you didn’t realize that the state was a border state in the civil War, and was at risk of going in either direction. That’s why the Union Army was there. That, and there was fear that pro-Confederate Missourians would seize the St. Louis Arsenal. This was a very divided state, and key to either Union or Confederate victories. 1/4 of the Union Army? That’s a good one. Missouri provided over 100,000 of its own men for the Union cause, much less than for the Confederacy. The other reason the Union Army was sent here was because we had a secessionist governor determined to take Missouri out of the state at any costs, despite the state holding moderate Unionist beliefs. it voted for douglas in the 1861 election…the only other state to do so was New Jersey. By your logic, Missouri is southern just because it provided Confederate troops, never mind that over twice as many men in this state fought for the Union. Take your rebel ass and get it a history lesson. You and Austin both. You look at facts and then tweak them to say things they don’t say. Central=southern by both of your definitions. Dumb-asses.

  50. David March 1, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Been reading these comments and have to have my say… There were thousands irregulars in this state that were not on muster rolls who defending their Missouri land from invading Union troops from 3 directions ~ these aren’t noted when the debate as to how many troops Missouri gave to each side is counted. Also, while being occupied for 4 years, even regular Southern regiments that did form were not always well documented (my great great grandfather and uncle being two of them who fought under General Price). Also a great many Missouri Unionists were recent immigrants and not natives of the state. 4/5 of the St. Louis Union soldiers were natives of Germany. St. Louis natives definitely proved their Southern persuasion when after the pro Confederate militia was captured at Lindell’s grove and marched as prisoners down Olive Street, protesting St. Louis citizens managed to intimidate the Union troops to gun them down, killing some 28 and wounding another 100. When the Missouri Brigade was paraded down Olive when the war was over as prisoners, this was almost repeated again before the Union troops hustled them back onto the steamboat they were being transported on. And speaking of the Missouri Brigade, it was the best in either army ~ Please see Gottschalk’s book “In Deadly Earnest” or Tucker’s “The South’s Finest”.Sorry to go on…Reckon you can tell whichside of the fence I a m on…

  51. David March 2, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    So…. If Missouri is not a Southern state due to geography, then we know that Virginia isn’t a Southern state either..

    • aj March 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      Missouri is not a southern state due to geography because it’s northernmost point is further north than Pittsburgh. Virginia is well south of this latitude. No state in the south extends this far north. Also, Virginia, unlike Missouri, actually legitimately seceded from the Confederacy and was decisively pro-Confederate in its support. The Union Army also did not invade Missouri…Claiborne Jackson and the state government dispersed on their own…the original state convention stayed intact as well. I’d also like to see where I can find information on the parade on Olive after the Brigade was over as prisoners.

  52. oldstlouis March 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Been reading these comments and have to have my say. There were many hundreds, if not thousands, of irregulars in this state that were not on muster rolls defending their Missouri land from invading Union troops from 3 directions ~ these aren’t noted when the debate as to how many troops Missouri gave to each side is counted. Also, while being occupied for 4 years, even regular Southern regiments that did form were not always well documented (my great great grandfather and uncle serving in one of these). Missouri Union ranks were often recruited from men from nearby northern states. Also a great many Missouri Unionists were recent immigrants. 4/5 of the St. Louis Union soldiers were natives of Germany. St. Louis natives definitely proved their Southern persuasion when after the pro South militia was captured at Lindell’s grove and marched as prisoners down Olive Street, protesting St. Louis citizens managed to intimidate the Union troops to gun them down, killing some 28 and wounding another 100. When the Missouri Brigade was paraded down Olive when the war was over as prisoners, this was almost repeated again before the Union troops hustled them back onto the steamboat they were being transported on. And speaking of the Missouri Brigade, it was the best in either army ~ Please see Gottschalk’s book “In Deadly Earnest” or Tucker’s “The South’s Finest”.

    • aj March 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

      If all this is true, I’d like you to show proof of this. Where is your evidence to support that Missouri recruited troops for the Union from other states? It is beyond debate that over 100,000 Missourians volunteered for the Union…at most 50,000 volunteered for the confederacy. The state as a whole was heavily divided. As far as Camp Jackson goes, St. Louis had southern sympathizers for sure, but the city as a whole voted for Lincoln in the 1861 election. The whole city did not rise up in rebellion during the Camp Jackon affair, just the people who were pro-southern. As far as the Missouri brigade goes, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say…you are making Missouri out to be an entirely pro-Confederate state, which just isn’t true. I agree that thousands fought as guerillas, but many locals had loyalties to the Union as well. Missouri was a true battle-ground state..anyone who claims it was a united front for the confederacy either is making things up.

      Missouri was a “neighbor against neighbor” state….it was far from uncommon to see Missouri relatives fighting against each other.

    • Jet March 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

      It’s true that a lot of the Union troops fighting in Missouri were not all from Missouri, but it’s pretty much set in stone that over 100,000 Missourians volunteered for the Union. Only about 31,000 of those were Germans. Even John Marmaduke’s family sent relatives to both sides. The Civil War pitted next-door neighbors and families against each other. In addition, Missouri likely would not have supported the Confederacy to the degree it did had Lyon been softer on the matter…many guerillas and Confederate soldiers assumed that role because of Union atrocities committed at Camp Jackson, and on their own families. About 5,000 St. Louisans as I recall enlisted in the Confederacy. There’s no way to measure how many guerillas there were, but the provisional Union government would never have been able to hold its position in Jefferson City if the entire surrounding area was 100% pro-Confederate. Even many of the slave-holders in Missouri supported the Union, though obviously it was conditional. That said, not many Missourians were abolitionists…but nevertheless the Union government abolished slavery in the state. As far as the hostile crowd at Camp Jackson, St. Louis at that time was a border city in a border state…obviously there were Southern sympathizers, but in no way did they speak for the city or even the state.

      Prior to the Civil War, I would probably agree that Missouri leaned more to the south. During the Civil War, the state convention and much of the state government were at odds with each other. As far as for the Virginia comment, only the far southeast portion of missouri and the bootheel are still culturally southern. Latitude has nothing to do with it. Virginia has always leaned decisively southern, borders more southern states, and had an economy very dependent on slavery…the Ohio River, the 37 degree line west of where it flows into the Mississippi all the way out to the Oklahoma panhandle, and south of Morgantown, WV and DC is where the upper boundaries of the cultural and linguistic south roughly lie today.

  53. Nick April 8, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    It might be beneficial to the discussion to consider the research of the American social scientist Dr. Raymond Gastil. His work “Cultural Regions of the United States” (University of Washington Press, 1976) defines the cultural areas of the nation. Recommend you Google GASTIL CULTURAL REGIONS OF THE UNITED STATES and select Images. You will see where Dr. Gastil places the majority of Missouri.

  54. stlouisguy June 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    I just got back from Branson, I live in st louis, Missouri. I was VERY amazed at the amount of southern accents down there. Not just from people vacationing there, but people who live and work there! My perception is once you reach the Branson area, there is no doubt you are in the south!!!!

  55. Christa June 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I think it depends on the individual on whether or not Missouri can be considered Southern. I live in Southern Missouri with my husband. Neither of us are from Missouri but we call it home and do consider just Southern MO to be part of the South. My husband is a Tennessean and myself, a Choctaw girl from Oklahoma. There are some aspects of southern culture in the part of the state I’m in, mostly from Appalachia as the early settlers of the Ozark Mountains came from Appalachia. That being why my husband feels at home here. But as I said before, I’d let the individual decide on whether or not they “feel Southern.”

  56. futurista July 12, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    I would not consider it the south. Maybe the southern edges of it around Cape and Springfield, but STL, KC, Columbia, the northern half of the state that I have experienced, with a few podunk exceptions, are decidedly Midwestern. Lots of German blood where I am from. I grew up in St. Charles, and feel much more at ease and in my element in Des Moines, Chi, MPLS, etc, than I do in the southern cities I have visited. There are definitely small towns with small town problems. It totally mystifies me that Mizzou is in the SEC. Southern? Seriously? Uh, no. MO is midwestern to the core. A border state, yes, with some unfortunate southern history, but midwestern without question. That said, I think there could be a strong case for handing Arkansas the southern third of the state and annexing northeastern Kansas. It would be much more culturally cohesive.

  57. Forrest Whittle November 1, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    I am from southern Virginia but I currently live here in Missouri. I personally think that here in the surrounding St. Louis area it is very southern. Famous for catfish, barbeque, and great blues clubs. It is rich with southern heritage. If you take the whole St. Louis area and then draw a line from it to Jefferson City, to Joplin, anything southeast of that line is very southern. I am very proud of my southern heritage and it is nice to be living in an area where I can still keep it.

    • Billy Best November 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      I felt that many location sin Missouri are Southern, However, i thought St Louis was not, however, I know a lady states she has deep roots from that area od the state, and she said it is Southern, and she is glad the University of Missouri is in the SEC now.

      • Andrew November 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

        She’s crazy if she thinks that. St. Louis is not culturally, architecturally, demographically, or linguistically southern in any way, shape, or form. As far as Mizzou being in the SEC, Mizzou was trying to get into the Big Ten for years before that, as that is a much better cultural fit. As far as many locations in Missouri being southern, the only parts of the state which are truly southern are far south central and far southeast Missouri.

    • Andrew November 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      Forrest, I hate to disappoint you, but Chicago, Detroit, Omaha, and Kansas City are all just as bluesy as St. Louis. That was music that came up during the Great Migration, as St. Louis was one of the cities many blacks came to from the south. Southern cities did not have industry or gain in black population like St. Louis. Also, St. Louis is demographically Catholic, is overwhelmingly German in heritage. As far as being rich with southern heritage, that’s all it is..heritage. I have been to southern Virginia, and it is nothing like most of Missouri or St. Louis…at all. My father grew up in Joplin and would strongly disagree with you that it is southern. I hate to break it to you, but barbeque and blues are widespread throughout all of the US, so you can keep your southern heritage in just about any city. St. Louis is 100% Midwestern, and at least 2/3 of Missouri is more Midwest than south. THe transition zone to the south begins south of St. Louis, Jeff City, and KC, and ends around Joplin, Springfield, and Cape Girardeau.

      • Jason November 21, 2012 at 9:30 am #

        Hate to break it to you Andrew, but I know a gerat deal of people from Joplin that consider it souther. I would guess well over half of the cities population would say it is southern. It is less than 10 miles from the oklahoma border and in the Ozarks region.

      • Forrest Whittle December 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

        I hate to tell you, but I lived in Michigan for a little while when I was growing up, and Detroit is not big in blues. Almost all of southern Louisiana is catholic, are they not southern? Most of Missouri is Baptist though if it helps you. I agree that St. Louis is transitional but that is because it is a big city, most big cities all have the same culture. I live outside of STL though and it is pretty southern.

  58. Andrew November 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Just because it’s in the Ozarks region doesn’t make it southern. The Ozark are not 100% southern. My father lived in Joplin for over 20 years…he is not a southerner. Joplin fwiw is also less than 10 miles from the Kansas border. And I’ve been to Joplin many times. It has southern influences for sure, but it’s not the south.

  59. ddcbp7 December 9, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    I have family in Boonville Mo, Lebanon, Mo, KC Mo, and Baton Rouge Louisiana and the lifestyle of the Missouri family is more southern than any in Baton Rouge. Not that this classifies the states as a whole, but it certainly is an example of the southern culture spread out through Missouri as far north of at least I70. Missouri is known for BBQ, Beer (Amheusier Bush STL), the setting for Tom Sawyer, the birthplace of Bass Pro Shops (Springfield MO: also is the largest Bass Pro in the US), meth (an unfortunate but true fact Missouri is the meth capital of the US), accents (debate it all you want but I hear people with stronger accents here then in the deep south sometimes and y’all is used more often then not), Branson as a huge country music spot, the ozarks, and much higher percent of southern baptists then anywhere else in the “midwest”. Famous people from Missouri? A few off of the top of my head: country artists Sara Evans (actually from Boonville area) and David Nail, Mark Twain, and Johnny Morris (founder of bass pro.) If these characteristics are not categorized by southern attributes then I don’t know what are.
    Geographically, if you consider Kentucky, Virginia, or West Virginia southern states then Missouri fits in the category (If I need to explain this just look at a U.S. map.) As a matter of fact, the southernmost point of Missouri is farther south then the southern most points of any of these states. The argument that Missouri spans farther north then these is not valid because West Virginia spans as far north as the Missouri-Iowa border line.
    Historically, Missouri did not secede from the Union but was a slave state and has a star on the confederate flag. This is also the case for kentucky so if your thinking of using the fact that Missouri did not secede as an argument that it is not Southern then realize you are classifying Kentucky as a northern state as well.
    I do agree that Missouri has a Southern culture that blends with Midwestern culture, which is what makes it so unique. However, the people that claim Missouri is 100% midwestern clearly do not have any perspective on Missouri’s routes and need to compare the amount of confederate flags flying in Missouri to anywhere else in the “midwest”.
    Despite my arguments, I think the best compromise for everyone is a simple “who cares”. If you enjoy where you live and embrace the culture then who needs the validation of a website or anything else to justify it. An argument on the categorization will only further separate people based only on where they are from. I do, however, think it is interesting to see peoples perspectives which is why I posted and justified my opinion.

    • STL December 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      How is Johnny Morris or Sara Evans an example of what makes it southern. THe star on the Confederate flag is bogus. As far as Confederate flags in the state, that’s fairly obvious why…Missouri has more southern influence than any Midwestern state. As far as southern baptists go, that is again only a southern trait. Illinois and Indiana are 14% Baptist if I recal correctly. As far as the bootheel is concerned, yes I agree that’s the south. But you have completely forgotten about the Ohio River….regions don’t pay respect to latitudes, and the Ohio River has long been considered a hard boundary between the north and south. Virginia, WEst Virginia, and Kentucky are all so southern to the point that it’s impossible to classify them as anything else. Kentucky, unlike Missouri, actually aligned itself with the south AFTER the Civil War was over…go to that state and you will see nothing but southern culture, architecture, demographics, etc. I never said Missouri was 100% Midwestern. But it definitely is over 50%. As far as being more southern than BAton Rouge, you clearly must be on something, because I’ve been to Baton Rouge and it is nothing like any part of Missouri and every bit like the Deep South. Beer is not a southern thing..the south is known for whiskey and bourbon. Milwaukee is also a beer city. As far as being the setting for Tom Sawyer, that is pre-Civil War Missouri, a much different place than post-Civil War Missouri.Branson is in the part of the state that practically touches Arkansas. And Missouri’s Catholic adherents outnumber southern baptists. I understand you mean well with maps but you clearly have not been around and don’t the significance of the Ohio River. ST. Louis and CHarleston may be on similar latitudes, but they are night-and-day different. KC, Columbia, Jeff City, and STL are all 100% Midwestern. Except for West Virginia, whose northernmost point resembles Ohio and pennsylvania better than the rest of the state, Missouri’s northernmost point extends over 100 miles north of KEntucky and Virginia’s.As far as BBQ, I won’t dispute that. KC got its bbq from the Great Migration, as did STL. The only two things you are really left with during a modern era that you actually were correct about were bbq and southern baptists. That’s pretty much it. And I also might add that in virtually all of its major cities, Missouri is Catholic in most of its cities. KC, Jeff City, St. Joseph, and St. Louis to name a few all lean more Catholic.

      So I’ll give it 60% Midwest, 40% southern. In no way from a modern standpoint is it an even split. Something further to note is that southern dialect occupies only about a quarter of the state.

    • STL December 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

      BY bogus, I meant the star on the Confederate flag was not earned. Missouri did not actually secede and sent far more troops to fight for the Union. And unlike Kentucky, which for all intents and purposes joined the south and never looked back after the Civil War, Missouri cut most of its ties to the south.

  60. Andrew December 10, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    Forrest, Detroit is known for its “Motown” sound. And Chicago is known for its blues. You ever hear of the “Chicago blues?” THere is absolutely nothing southern about St. Louis. I don’t even know why you would describe it as transitional. Being from Michigan, you’re probably under the assumption that the Upper MIdwest is the same as the lower Midwest. Louisiana is an anomaly in the South as far as Catholic concentration goes…its Cajun and heavy French influence is the cause of Catholicism there. IF you had even the slightest education you would know that. As far as most of Missouri being Baptist, it’s a pretty even split between Baptist and Catholic. And besides, Baptism is just one southern trait. Most Missourians do not consider themselves to be a part of the south. Most big cities all have the same culture? LOL…what planet are you from? You mean to tell me that Chicago has the same culture as Nashville? Get real. I have lived in St. Louis for almost 30 years, and know the entire surrounding area like the back of my hand. If you think it’s southern, that’s your business. You’re wrong. St. Louis is the Midwest. As is KAnsas City. As is the entire northern half of the state. It becomes transitional when you get south of St. Louis and Kansas City….the transition zone to the south ends around Cape Girardeau, Springfield, and Joplin.

    • Joanna Brown December 10, 2012 at 12:47 am #

      I am a native Missourian and I consider myself Southern. Born and raised in Callaway County. Just depends on who you are in the Show Me State. Nobody can speak for me. I’m a Belle!

      • STL December 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

        I know plenty of people from Callaway County who share the opposite view of you. Are you going to tell me I should accept one viewpoint over many?

    • ddcbp7 December 10, 2012 at 5:12 am #

      can’t tell if this is entirely a response to my comment or not because you address things that are and aren’t in my comment. Nonetheless I’m not going to argue with you but quit claiming that you are “right” and that people don’t have “education” because they disagree with you. These are all opinions and interpretations and therefore no one is right any your perspective certainly isn’t obsolete. Quite talking like you are God.

    • Forrest Whittle December 11, 2012 at 2:45 am #

      Yes I have heard of Chicago blues, but St. Louis blues has been around much longer. I only lived in Michigan, I am from southern Virginia. Missouri and Virginia are very similar in most aspects. I think you are just confusing the deep south with the upper south like most people do. Have you ever been to Charlotte, North Carolina? Or Richmond, Virginia? Yes there is some of its own culture, but there is so much similarities in EVERY American city. Missouri is definitely not split 50/50 between Catholics and Baptists. Look at this
      It will show you the religion of all America. There are midwestern things about it, but there is just as much, if not more, southern things about it. Take it from somebody who is from the south and now lives here. By the way, obviously Louisiana is French, but I brought that up because you said that being Catholic keeps St. Louis from being southern.

      • Andrew December 11, 2012 at 5:10 am #

        Please enumerate how Missouri and Virginia are two peas in a pod. St. Louis and New Orleans are linked only through being French and being on the Mississippi. St. Louis blues did come before Chicago blues, but not ages apart. Both styles of blues emerged during the first half of the twentieth century…both St. Louis and Chicago inherited the blues (St. Louis from Memphis, then later Chicago from St. Louis). The only southern things about Missouri from a modern standpoint are religion and barbeque. As far as your little map goes, it is misleading…Missouri is 22% Baptist, 19-20% Catholic. It’s not 50-50, but it’s very, very close. Regardless of how it’s split up among the counties, the numbers are the numbers. The only southern things about most of Missouri from a modern standpoint are its barbeque influences and it’s large numbers of baptists. FYI, the southern Midwest has a lot of Baptists (southern half of Illinois and southern Indiana.)

  61. Andrew December 11, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Please enumerate how Missouri and Virginia are two peas in a pod.

  62. Southernozarker December 11, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Andrew you are WAY off base by saying that the ONLY thing southern about Missouri is the BBQ and Southern Baptists. That is a complete load of crap and you know it it. I live in Southern Missouri just outside of Branson. I can promise you this part of the state is more southern than many parts of Arkansas! We have ONE Catholic church in Branson btw, and about 35 Baptist churches!

    • Andrew December 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      I never said that Branson, Missouri wasn’t part of the south. That I fully agree is the south. Where you are is the south. The southern quarter of the state is undeniably southern in every way, shape, and form. Most of the state is not like Branson. Branson is right on the border of Arkansas and as Dixie as anything can be. Yet more southern than parts of Arkansas? That’s not true. Any part of Arkansas is more southern than any part of Missouri. In addition, you just went and elaborated on the amount of Baptists present over Catholics….you have not bothered to elaborate any further. So either you can’t elaborate, or you’re just calling me a liar because you know it’s a futile gesture.

      • southernozarker January 5, 2013 at 4:55 am #

        Yes perhaps you aren’t as familiar with the region as I am :). Branson is actually far more southern feeling than FayettevilleBentonville/Springdale. You wouldn’t understand unless you had actually visited there, though. Branson is actually more thoroughly intrenched in the southern accent zone then any one of those cities. What do you mean elaborate on the number of catholic/baptists?

  63. Joanna Brown December 19, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Callaway County seceded from the Union.

    • STL December 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

      There’s only speculation to base that on. You can think what you want, but the majority of people I know from Callaway County would disagree.

  64. Joanna Brown December 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    You may accept anything you wish. I was born and raised here and I know who I am.

    • STL December 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      The people I know were born and raised in Callaway County as well, and they disagree with you strongly. Prior Civil War history doesn’t dictate what a place is or isn’t. And they sure as hell wouldn’t call themselves Southerners today. You can take your opinion and hold it high above your head. It doesn’t make you right, nor does it enable you to speak for Callaway County.

  65. Naomi January 5, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    As a St. Louisan I can proudly boast that we are more northern and pro-union.

  66. Central Missourian February 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    It is my belief having spent time in the central part of the state and in St. Louis and Kansas City that Missouri can be categorized as both a Midwestern and a Southern state. Anybody who says St. Louis and Kansas City aren’t thoroughly Midwestern needs to look at linguistics, culture, and demographics. STL and KC have more in common with Iowa than Arkansas. As for the rest of the state, it’s a complicated picture. I can tell you that Little Dixie certainly has Southern speech patterns that are still alive and well, especially in Callaway County and Moniteau County. However there is certainly a lot of Midwestern thrown into this area too. I can’t speak for the rest of the northern half of the state, but I’d suspect it to be less Southern than Central Missouri. The Ozarks are a mixture of cultures as well depending on where you are at. Southeast Missouri is thoroughly southern. Southwest Missouri is probably more southern than anything else.

    In conclusion, Missouri is the ultimate border state in modern times, along with Maryland and Delaware. It equally as Midwestern as it is Southern. Roughly the same number of Baptists and Catholics. WV and KY I can’t group in with these because Kentucky is decidedly Southern both in its cities and rural areas, and West Virginia is demographically, linguistically, and culturally like the south.

    • native missourian February 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      ive lived in missouri almost all my life. grew up in camdenton and went to school there. have relatives on my dads side from springfield. i was born in st charles and have lived up here the last 20 almost 25 years.

      i dont consider myself southern by any stretch of the imagination. . i think you could make a good case for the southernmost ozarks near the arkansas border and the bootheel and a few surrounding southeast counties..

      ive been delivering to southeast missouri since 1995 jackson, cape , marble hill, and my gf is from saint francois county. i dont even think that qualifies as the south but i will say the transition begins about an hour southeast of st.louis its almost remarkable the difference.

      i hate sweet tea cant stand it like my tea unsweetened with lemon. hate grits , love biscuits and gravy.

      i dont think we can base whats southern or whats not on a war fought over 150 years ago. missouri may very well of been more heavily influenced by the south but as time as evolved i think it has taken on more and more midwestern traits.

      my relatives in springfield defintely have a twang but i think thats more tied to oklahoma than the true south. i dont think anybody says oklahoma and texas are true southern states.

      to me the south is arkansas tennessee kentucky i guess to a certain extent more of it is further south in latitude than missouri . i never hear kentucky referred to as a midwestern state, alabama mississippi, georgia, northern florida , any region when skynyrd and molly hatchet are from better be catagorized as the south! and south carolina , the virginias and north carolina are border states, they probably would be thrown in the south before missouri is.

      3/4 of missouri decidedly midwest the rest is transition i guess open to interpediation of what your defintion of the south is. i do think the southernmost missouri ozarks and the bootheel counties are. .

      • Billy Best February 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

        You should try to eat grits, Native Americas use to eat them first, then they taught the rest of us Southerners how to make grits.

      • Billy Best February 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

        Missouri is the South, immigration from states like New York since the Civil War has changed its character, but there are a lot of Southerners still there. BTW, Texas is the most Southern state in America.

      • STL February 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

        I completely agree with your assessments of Missouri. I don’t agree about Oklahoma and Texas. There really is no way to say these states don’t belong in the South. As far as WEst Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, those states are also unquestionably southern culturally, demographically, historically (before and after the Civil War), and linguistically.

      • Derek plott March 21, 2013 at 6:01 am #

        Missouris a hillbillie state in general

  67. jake February 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    i grew up in rural cedar county not to far from springfield….i’ll tell ya how i was raised and let y’all decide…..i grew up being taught to say “yes mam/no sir, please, thank you, y’all” , attended a southern baptist church my whole life, our family ate cornbred, black eyed peas, grits, greens, and fried foods on a consistent basis, bbq’d all the time, never remember there not being sweet tea in our fridge, and we had super every night at 5:30….listened to the music of guys like lynyrd skynyrd, marshall tucker, zz top, george strait, garth brooks, kenny chesney, tim mcgraw, ect….and no joke, the few times our family went to kansas city, st. louis, or columbia i thought we were in a different state. arkansas and oklahoma felt more like home than even 2 hours north. it was amazing to me how much the culture changed just 120 miles away….never really gave much thought as to whether i was a southerner or midwestern. but anyways, that’s my story and that’s a good look at what life is like in cedar county, mo.

  68. STL February 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Missouri is not the South. But BillyBest is wrong.Kansas City and St. Louis are solidly Midwestern cities. You have to be retarded to think either one is the South. Same with Columbia and Jeff City. Starting from the Civil War it has not been. BillyBest is giving the argument that Missouri has essentially suffered the same fate as Florida. Incredibly false. Missouri only existed as a state for 40 years before the Civil War and for the last 150 years has slowly shed that image into a Midwest one…through natural immigration patterns. It has southern influences, but it is not in the same boat as Virginia or Kentucky. Culturally, linguistically, and in most cases demographically, Missouri is not Southern. Linguistics maps prove most of Missouri to be dominated by the South Midland dialect, a dialect found in at least 2/3 of the state. It is a dialect found only throughout the lower Midwest, Kansas, and Eastern Colorado besides in Missouri. BillyBest wants to believe that Missouri’s original character prior to the Civil War has stayed intact. And there may be southerners living there, but they constitute a small part of the state’s population now. In a recent study by the University of North Carolina, out of a group of several hundred residents, only about 23% of Missourians identified as southern. This is in contrast to states like Kentucky, Virginia, and OKlahoma, all of which identified in the same pool of residents as over 70% southern. As if it makes any difference. Some people will claim Missouri is the South regardless of what irrefutable evidence is thrown in their face.

    • Billy Best February 22, 2013 at 12:33 am #

      All I am saying is that when ancient Southerners came into areas like Virginia and the Carolinas from countries like England/Scottland and France, they migrated westward to Alabama and even Missouri. Missouri is a Southern state if you look back at its history, but if the stats you posted are correct, then it looks like the real Missourians are outnumbered by people from the bigger Northern cities migrating there.

      • STL February 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

        Missouri is a Southern state only if you look at its history prior to the Civil War. And please…REAL MISSOURIANS? These were all natives of the state that were surveyed. You have an answer to everything, don’t you? Real Missourians have included Northerners since dating back even prior to the Civil War. THey greatly increased in number after the Civil War. And Missouri had only existed roughly 45 years as a state up to that point. So to say only real Missourians are Southerners is to say that people born and raised in this state descended from Northerners going back before the Civil War aren’t native Missourians. I’m one of those, and I’ll be damned if you tell me I’m not a native of this state and that my opinion doesn’t matter. Born and raised here. I’m sorry to tell you this, but it appears your opinion is in the minority.

      • futurista May 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

        ^+1. Screw anyone that says my German American heritage disqualifies me from being a “real” Missourian. Last time I checked, German was the largest ethnic background in the state, so I’d say that makes the southerners the “fakers” if anyone is. What is Southern is the teaparty takeover in Jeff City. We gotta get those asshats out of office and get back on the progressive train.

  69. Joanna Brown February 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Can this be DROPPED already? I was born and raised in Callaway County, MISSOURI. Most folks I know say we’re HICKS. I sound more southern than some people in the deep south. It is time to let this GO! This thread has become ridiculous…

    • Billy Best February 22, 2013 at 12:37 am #

      You sound like a real nice person.

    • STL February 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Callaway County, MIssouri is not the South by today’s standards. I work in the Jefferson City area and am there practically every week. My grandmother was born and raised in nearby Mexico. As far as sounding more southern than someone in the Deep South, you mean to tell me that you speak with a non-rhotic dialect? Because that’s not how people talk anywhere in Missouri. South Midland is the dialect most people in Callaway County speak. According to professional linguists, It can be found across most of Kansas, 2/3 of Illinois, 2/3 of Indiana, and 1/2 of Ohio. It sounds Southern to the naked eye, but has pronounced differences from an actual Southern accent. To call what you speak as being a southern accent is to brand all the places I just named the South. And hicks does not=Southern. What’s become ridiculous is the amount of solely opinionated comments on here with no supporting substance to them.

      • Derek plott March 21, 2013 at 5:55 am #

        My folks came here to noryh carolina from germany in 1750 the north carolina state do plotthound was bred by us my gandad came to arkansas prior to the civil war faght for the confederates in springfield where he signed up missouris southern yall get over it

      • Billy Best March 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

        Your ancestral history seems to show that you are a real Missourian, and a real Southerner.

  70. Bj February 24, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    In regards to whether MO is classified as a southern state or not it is mostly associated with the Midwest by region. But there are certain areas within this region that are in the south and that cannot be disputed. For example I live about 5 minutes away from the Arkansas State line. To put it even further in perspective I am almost 3 hours southwest of Paducah, KY and almost 2 hours southwest of Proctor City, TN. In fact all of these little towns tucked away in Missouri’s Bootheel (which I live in) would be considered in the south geographically at least. That being said I would like to say that those whom have become emotionally involved in this conversation should just relax. Be proud of where your from north, south, east, or west. Don’t be so insulted by wannabe historians/scholars who dont really know what there talking about. We are all apart of the greatest Country on God’s green earth and that’s more then good enough for me.

    ~Blessings from Arbyrd, MO

  71. Derek plott March 21, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    I was borned in ,Branson, Missouri and lived in north west arkansas jeff city and bowling green missouri every where I turn theres rebel flags farmsand country music jeff city has some of the best cat fishin around my uncle caught a 60 pound flathead on limb line off tne memorial creek. And missouri is lot better place cause In arkansas you go to the bathroom of school to pack a lip its “any of y’all a snitch?” Missouri its “hey someonelend me a chew I forgot mine at home” in the middle of class. Enough said and the outlaw josie whales clears up this identity crisis missout is having

    • Missourian March 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Your part of the state may indeed be the south. As far as Jeff City having some of the best cat fishing, how does the prevalence of catfish dictate any of that. The only place in Missouri you find a huge concentration of catfish restaurants are in the far southern part of the state. And the Outlaw Josey Wales settles nothing…it just shows a Missouri guerilla. This is ridiculous.

    • Missourian March 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Confederate flags all over the state? I have hardly seen any around jeff city or bowling green. As far as country music goes, country music is far more than just a “southern” phenomena…it is more of a rural phenomena as well. Farms? LMAO….that’s a southern thing too? What’s next? Blue sky? I’m sorry, but Jeff City and Bowling Green are just not even close to being on the same par as Branson or Sikeston. Missouri is far from a decidedly southern state. And it was a border state during the Civil War. How that proves its southern is beyond me. Derek just bases his own experiences and his family roots to speak for the whole state, and Billy refuses to acknowledge anything that speaks contrary to his ardent need to prove Missouri is southern. What a lame bunch…glad I’m not sticking around to have this ridiculous debate.

      • Billy Best March 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

        Being Rual is great, but all I am saying is that Missouri is a Southern state in terms of its original history, and obviously there are still many peopl there that swear that they are Southern. Don’t fight the truth Missourian. However, I am sure there are many like you that live there that think Missouri is Midwestern or Northern. That is your right.

  72. Missourian March 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Don’t fight the truth? I’m telling the truth Billy. Its original history as you like to call it spans a period of only 40 years. That was 150 years ago. Many things have changed since then..Missouri is a far cry from what it was in 1820. In fact, whether or not it was southern could’ve been called into question as early as the 1840s when Germans, New Englanders, Irish, and Italians arrived in the state. You’re the one who wants to make Missouri an unquestionable 100% Confederate state. Don’t tell me about not telling the truth. And those many who still believe it’s Southern are wrong. In a study done by the University of North Carolina, a sample of 200 Missourians was taken…only about 23% considered the state Southern. The majority consider Missouri to be Midwestern. This is reflected by many traits most of it exhibits today that aren’t Southern. Note I said most of it, acknowledging that there are parts that still are Southern and/or exhibit Southern tendencies.

    • Tree Man March 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Would you say that the majority of the farmers in the state consider themselves Southerners and maybe those living in rural areas?

      • Missourian April 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

        It depends on which area of the state you are talking about. If you are in roughly the southern third of the state, then yes, I’d say that the majority of farmers and those living in rural areas would consider themselves southern. As for the rest of the state, I’d say the opposite would be true. In a study done by the University of North Carolina, out of a sample of several hundred Missouri residents, only 23% considered themselves Southerners. That says a lot.

      • Billy Best April 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

        I understand your point about the study but I will go ahead and tell you what I am referring to. If you go to Germany or England (or any country for that matter), you will see that the big cities (London, Berlin, etc) have many different ethnic groups, but if you go to the so called rural areas in these countries you will see that the majority of the people are of real German or English heritage.

        Gosh, if you go to states like Georgia or even North Carolina you will see that the big cities there have a way different ethnic makeup than the countryside. I would assume Missouri would be the same. Farmers, in general, represent older stock, So, even though 23 percent of people in Missouri feel they are Southern, 50% of the farmers in Missouri may feel that they are Southern, due to the fact they have a different ancestral heritage than those in urban areas.

  73. Missourian April 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Billy, your theory about the farmers is just that…a theory. Your guesses are just that, no scientific or factual proof whatsoever that 50% of Missouri farmers consider themselves southern. And your comparing Georgia to Missouri? That to me shows your the desperation you are reaching. Missouri and Georgia are not in anyway similar. When you can give factual proof that 50% of Missouri farmers consider themselves southern, and you have no proof that some of those 23%ers weren’t Missourians, I’ll listen to you. Until then, all you’ve got are your unsupported theories.

    • Missourian April 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Correct that, I meant, when you have proof that all of that 23% wasn’t Missouri farmers, I’ll listen slightly to you…that 23% came off a factual study, unlike the 50% of Missouri farmers which comes out of your mind alone. You are ridiculous, and so are your theories.

      • Missouri Southerner July 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

        It’s definitely the South. You can get sweet tea anywhere. Grits can be easily found. The accents are Southern. All the makings of a Southern State


  1. Are We In Dixie? - December 6, 2012

    […] about whether Missouri is really a “southern” state…in Dixie.  I’m not the only one to ask this question recently.  Let’s consider the following […]

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