About This Place
La Plata is a city in Macon County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,366 at the 2010 census.
On March 17, 1827, Drury Davis established a trading post about a half-mile west of what would become La Plata. The town would develop as the intersection of north and south stagecoach roads. The town was surveyed by Henry O. Clark in 1855. Clark presented a plat to settlers Louis Gex, Theodore Saunders and Dr. W. W. Moore. The men accepted the plan, and named the streets surrounding the city park for themselves (Clark chose a street one block south of the square, along his father's land). The streets Moore (on the North side), Gex (pronounced jay, on the West), and Sanders (to the South) make up three sides of the square. The town prospered as a small farming center, like Kirksville 13 miles to the North.
According to local tradition, the name resulted from a lottery: the townsfolk were invited to put a proposed name into a hat, and "La Plata" was the one drawn; it had been Dr. Moore's choice, under the mistaken impression that it was French for "the silver river."