Birthplace of Mark Twain ~ Florida, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 29.556 W 091° 47.202
15S E 604330 N 4372145
Quick Description: The cabin in which Samuel Clemens was born can be seen at the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site, about 2 miles west of this location.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 3/28/2009 3:31:30 PM
Waymark Code: WM63R6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 12

Long Description:

Marker Erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks.
County of Marker: Monroe County.
Location of Marker: Main St., Florida.
Marker Text:


Florida, Mo., a settlement of about 60 families and several businesses, "...had two streets, each a couple of hundred yards long; the rest of the avenues mere lanes, with rail fences and cornfields on either side. Both the streets and lanes were paved with the same material - tough black mud in wet times, deep dust in dry."

Florida reached its zenith before the Civil War. During this period, one of the general stores was briefly owned by John Marshall Clemens, Mark Twain's father. Florida was destined to remain small. The Salt River was never navigable for steamboats. Railroad companies were not interested in building a line to the tiny village. The Community was relatively isolated from large towns.

The Clemens family, consisting of John Marshall and his wife Jane, their children Orion, Pamela, Margaret, Benjamin, and a slave girl named Jenny, arrived in the small village of Florida, MO., late in June 1835. They had made the long trip by riverboat and wagon all the way from Pall Mall, Tenn., at the urging of Jane's brother-in-law, John Charles Quarles. After arriving in Florida, John Clemens rented the two-room frame house where Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born (two months premature) in November.

Mark Twain noted in his Autobiography, "Recently someone in Missouri has sent me a picture of the house I was born in. Heretofore I have always stated that it was a palace, but I shall be more guarded now."

The memorial with bust of Mark Twain was erected in 1914 with Legislative authority to commemorate Florida, Mo. as the birth town of one of America's most famous authors. Originally located at the intersection of Main and Mill Streets, Florida's main thoroughfares, the marker consisted of a concrete platform (visible ½ block north), the granite monument and a bronze bust of Mark Twain.

The memorial adorned Florida's main streets for 50 years. In 1964, concern for its preservation resulted in the removal of the bust to the safety of the nearby museum, which also displays the Clemens' house. Two years later, the granite monument, without the bust, was relocated to the actual site of Mark Twain's birthplace.

Relevant Web Site: Not listed

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