About This Place
Nevada is a city in Vernon County, Missouri, United States. The population was 8,327 at the 2011 census. It is the county seat of Vernon County. Nevada is the home of Cottey College, a junior college for women operated by the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
Before its incorporation in 1855, the small community was known as both Fair View and Hog-Eye. The latter name was considered crude, and the former had already been taken as a post office name. The town's name was changed to Nevada after Nevada City, California by circuit and county clerk DeWitt C. Hunter, who had tried his luck in the California Gold Rush of 1849. The first "a" rhymes with hay, making the pronunciation "Nuh-VAY-duh" /nəveɪdə/.
Vernon County suffered greatly during the American Civil War, and the entire town of Nevada was burned to the ground by a large group from nearby Cedar County on May 23, 1863. Men from Cedar County stormed the Nevada Court House, and were killed. Their bodies were left on the town square until they were taken to the undertaker. When the men didn't return home to Cedar County after a few days, a large group made its way to Nevada. They told every household that they had 15 minutes to gather any items they wanted to save before their house would be set on fire. Only the jail and a few other houses survived the fire.