History & Heritage

Adair County Historical Society Museum

211 South Elson Street
Kirksville, MO 63501


The Historical Museum is filled with many artifacts including several pioneer items, Native American relics and arrowheads, and collections of military objects, such as the cannonball that struck the courthouse in 1862 amidst the Battle of Kirksville during the American Civil War.

Adair County Veterans Memorial

801 E. Mill Street & Baltimore Street (Highway 63)
Kirksville, MO 63501


Monuments in Kirksville, Missouri

The Veterans Memorial and Memorial Plaza commemorate the sacrifices of area men and women who have served in the military.  Alongside the Veterans Memorial is a WW I German Howitzer as well as a Civil War Cannon.  (See also Veteran Names for more information.)

Battle of Kirksville & Forest Llewellyn Cemetery

North Osteopathy & West Washington Streets
Kirksville, MO 63501


Battle of Kirksville & Forest Llewellyn Cemetery

During the American Civil War, Kirksville was the site of an important 1862 battle which cemented northern Missouri for the Union. The mass grave of executed Confederate soldiers is marked in the Forest Llewellyn Cemetery, a few blocks west of Kirksville’s Square.  (See also the Llewellyn map for more details.)

Coal Miners Museum

8 miles west of Kirksville on Hwy 6
804 W. Corrigan Ave
Novinger, MO 63559


Visitors to the Coal Miners Museum can trace the history of coal mining in northern Missouri from its peak into the mid-1900′s. Located at 804 Corrigan Avenue (just off Route O) the museum contains a simulated coal mine and blacksmith shop, antique farm tools, memorabilia from local businesses and a library for genealogical research. The museum is owned and maintained by the Novinger Planned Progress.

Open by appointment 660-216-7224



Novinger Log Homestead

8 miles west of Kirksville on Hwy 6
Coal Street & Snyder Avenue
Novinger MO 63559

660-342-6455 or 660-988-4031

The Novinger Log Homestead, restored by Novinger Renewal, is located at Coal Street & Snyder Avenue (one block west of Route O and north of the museum). It features a two-story log house built in 1848, a double-pen log barn, a log smokehouse and an outhouse. The log house is furnished with period items and local memorabilia. It, too, has a library of books relating to area history.

Open Sundays 2 pm – 4 pm Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend,  or anytime by appointment



Exhibition of Amtrak History at Depot Inn and Suites

1245 North Brown Street
La Plata, MO 63549


The Exhibition of Amtrak History is a former Amtrak Mail Handling Car (MHC). It houses the complete collection of the Amtrak Historical Society as well as many artifacts that have been donated over the years.

Museum of Osteopathic Medicine

800 West Jefferson Street
Kirksville, MO 63501


Museum of Osteopathic Medicine on the ATSU campus

The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine showcases the evolution of Osteopathy from its beginnings in Kirksville up until present time. A collection of original documents and other artifacts span 150 years, and a two-story atrium adjacent to the museum houses the birthplace log cabin of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917), founder of Osteopathy, along with the original two-room classroom building of the American School of Osteopathy, founded in 1892.

Native American Petroglyph Shelter

20431 State Hwy 157
Kirksville, MO 63501


Located in Thousand Hills State Park, rock formations containing historic Native American carvings can be found in a sheltered exhibit. Visitors can walk on a path along the walls to read information about the petroglyphs and then match up the symbols on the rocks below. More information on the petroglyphs can be found by visiting Thousand Hills Park Petroglyph Shelter.

Ruth Towne Museum, Truman State University

Franklin & Normal Streets
Kirksville, MO 63501


The Ruth Towne Museum and Visitors Center offers a place for visitors to become acquainted with Truman State University and its rich heritage. The Museum is open to the general public, with many exhibits showcasing the history of the University, the history of Kirksville, and the history of Missouri.

Truman State University Historic Collections

100 East Normal
Kirksville, MO 63501


At the Pickler Memorial Library on the campus of Truman State University, visitors can find a variety of rare books and historic artifacts in the Special Collections department, including ancient Cuneiform tablets.

Kirksville Historic Site Free Self-Guided Audio Tour

Get ready for a fun, free and new way to learn local history with the launch of a historic site tour app.

In total, 100 locations are highlighted as points of interest on the app. Mayor Zac Burden narrates the history for 36 of them.  The TravelStorys app uses GPS to trigger the narration once you get close to the location. You can walk or bike the tour in any order you want, at any time you want.
*This material was produced with assistance from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior and Missouri Department of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior or the Department of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation.