Fayette is a great little town to visit. It became the county seat of Howard County in 1823. Fertile Missouri River soil, rapid growth and early wealth made the town a cultural and political center. Benjamin Cooper made the county's first permanent settlement in 1810.


Fayette is a great little town to visit. It became the county seat of Howard County in 1823. Fertile Missouri River soil, rapid growth and early wealth made the town a cultural and political center. Benjamin Cooper made the county's first permanent settlement in 1810. Two years later, Cooper had one of several defensive forts in the area against the Indians in the War of 1812 with the Iowa, Sac, and Fox tribes. Visitors can imagine the era when William Quantrill rode the ridges and met up with Bloody Bill Anderson and his band prior to riding up Main Street to wage battle against Union troops that were in Brannock Hall on the University Campus! The rebels escaped except for the three buried under the Confederate monument in the city cemetery.
Settled largely by Southerners, Fayette is within the Missouri's Little Dixie Region. Prior to the Civil War period, Fayette was at one time home to early governors John Miller, Thomas Reynolds, and Claiborne Fox Jackson. During the Civil War years, progress came to a halt. But the town began to prosper with the arrival of the railroad in 1873,
Fayette’s country heritage is based on strong values resulting in historic settings that exist within the town’s settings to this day. The visitor will find several churches, appealing stores, antiques, and a historic County Courthouse and town square. The Courthouse grounds contain a gazebo bandstand, and memorials to the deceased of the war of 1812 as well as to the designer of the Missouri State Seal, George Frederick Burckhart.
Enjoy a picnic in one of the two city parks, or visit any of the three lakes that include camping, fishing, and sailing. The largest of the three lakes provide archery and pistol ranges, a shelter house, playground, and a boat ramp.
Visit Central Methodist University’s two art galleries that are located on campus. There is the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art, and the Stephens Gallery, plus a Stephens Museum of Natural History. College theatrical and musical productions are also open to the public and provide cultural activity for the community.
A very early building in Fayette erected in 1830 as a Hatter's store, sits on one side of the square. This shop was in continual commercial use till 1986, and in 1990 was dedicated and placed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Today, it serves as an Information Center for tourists. Call 660-248-5223 or visit Fayette.missouri.org on the web. The quiet little town of Fayette is located less than two hours from the lake area on State Highway 5. Nearby vintage towns include: Glasgow, New Franklin, Boonville, Arrowrock, Blackwater, and Rocheport.