City of King City

Gentry County, Missouri


On behalf of the mayor, aldermen, and staff of the City of King City, we want to welcome you!

Our community provides a great school, parks with playgrounds, two reservoirs, good roads, museums, a visitor's center, safe neighborhoods and caring people.

John Pittsenbarger was the first European settler when he set up a tent in town in 1856. His application to name the town Petersburg was rejected because there was already a town of that name in Boone County, Missouri. According to local legend, the United States Postmaster General submitted his name. The Postmaster General at the time was Horatio King, (although the local history refers to Rufus King). The town became a stop on the St. Joseph and Des Moines Railway in 1878. The railway eventually became part of the Burlington Northern network and is currently abandoned.

In the first half of the 20th century, King City, Missouri was the heart of a Kentucky bluegrass seed harvesting region stretching from Kearney, Missouri through King City, Missouri to Maitland, Missouri, which claimed to harvest more bluegrass seeds than the entire state of Kentucky with King City resident John Weller claiming to be the "King of Blue Grass Raisers." Bluegrass seed production moved to the farming areas of the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s.

In the 1990s, the Big Pump, a 25-foot (7.6 m) high building resembling an electric gasoline pump, was moved from Maryville, Missouri to King City. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Rufus Limpp, an oil jobber who built the station, is from King City (the Limpp Community Lake by King City is also named for him). The Big Pump is located on the Tri-County Museum grounds.

One prominent former King Citian was celebrated children's author Clyde Robert Bulla, who died in 2007 while living in Warrensburg, Missouri.

In 2006, St. Louis, Missouri-based Wind Capital Group began operation of 27 windmills a mile north of King City. The Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm is the first commercial electric windmill operation in the state. Its windmills are 300 feet (91 m) high. The wind-farm name celebrates the region's bluegrass heritage. The Opera Hall Block was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

There are two schools, an elementary and junior high/high school, both named King City R-1. The schools consisted of neighboring buildings for many years, until a fire confined both schools into a single building while a new high school was constructed. In a subsequent remodeling, the two separate buildings were joined with a classroom/hallway addition. They have finished construction; making a new Ag building and more classrooms in both the High School and Elementary.