Historic Clinton is Full of Small Town Charm

Nestled in the heart of Henry County, Clinton’s small-town charm gives way to big history.


Clinton’s historic downtown takes the shape of a large town square, centered around the Henry County Courthouse. Antique shops, restaurants and historic buildings line the streets with inviting vintage flare.

Since 1836, Clinton has been preserving a little piece of history in its Victorian-inspired architecture. Named as one of the All American Cities in 2000, this town has flourished as it continues to preserve and nurture its historic roots while creating new commerce in the area.

Downtown has more than 150 shops, including town favorites such as Nagel’s Fashions and Square 109 restaurant.

The town square is a hub of activity, as it hosts events such as Clinton’s annual Olde Glory Days, a four-day Fourth of July celebration with live entertainment, a carnival and plenty of fireworks.

Clinton Memorial Bandstand, located in the downtown square.
Clinton Memorial Bandstand, located in the downtown square.

Another piece of Clinton’s history is the Memorial Bandstand located next to the courthouse. It was erected in 1921 in honor of WWI veterans and has welcomed many people, including Harry S. Truman, to its stage.

The Henry County Museum in the square boasts a special part of Clinton’s history; it’s located in a former Anheuser-Busch building and annex. The museum tells the story of a simpler generation with exhibits focusing on early life in Clinton.

With a general store, apothecary, old bank, and barbershop, the inside of the museum paints a realistic picture of life from more than 100 years ago. It also houses plenty of antiques and honors famous people that came from Clinton.

The museum grounds also include an 1856 Dogtrot cabin and one-room schoolhouse, both of which are located across the street. Both structures were moved several miles to reside closer to the museum itself so that guests are able to take a look inside.

Another part of the museum is the Dorman House, built in 1852. This historic house still stands; it was home of Judge J.G. Dorman, his wife and seven children. Available for tours, this beautiful house has since been renovated and restored with period-specific furnishings.


Outdoors enthusiasts who visit Clinton love to explore Katy Trail State Park. Clinton is the Katy Trail’s trailhead in the west, leading bikers, hikers and horseback riders 225 miles east to St. Charles.

Spanning across the state of Missouri, the Katy Trail is an adventurer’s paradise. Either shaded by tall green trees, meandering with the Missouri River or enclosed by rocky bluffs, the Katy Trail provides a perfect taste of Missouri’s flora and fauna with some outdoor adventure.

The town of Clinton is overflowing with a rich history, which spans more than 175 years. It is a place where both locals and visitors can gather to enjoy a glimpse of life in Missouri long ago.

For more information on Clinton, check out VisitMO.com.

Written by Abbey Theban, intern for the Missouri Division of Tourism.

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