One of the world’s most beloved authors hailed from Missouri’s northeast corner. More than a century later, the state’s largest lake and national forest lands still bear his name: Mark Twain.
Not surprisingly, Mark Twain grew up along the Mississippi River, which runs along Missouri’s eastern border, creating a low-cost shipping option for the region’s manufacturers. Four Class I rail carriers and two interstate highways (I-70 and I-72) contribute to the area’s logistical assets. Four-lane US-36 provides one of the fastest, least congested truck routes between Kansas City and Chicago.
Twain’s hometown of Hannibal is but one of a handful of cities dotting the 16-county area. Moberly, located on the region’s western edge, boasts one of Missouri’s biggest municipal parks, the largely forested 447-acre Rothwell Park. Kirksville, just north of Moberly, is home to nationally-ranked Truman State University, as well as A.T. Still University, the birthplace of osteopathic medicine.
A prolific producer of soybeans, the northeast is also strong in manufacturing, food processing, alternative energy and transportation/logistics. Companies look to the region for low land and labor costs, as well as these other state-wide benefits:
- Low business costs and taxes
- An above-average, below-market workforce
- A low cost of living
- A strong transportation network:
- Interstates 70 and 72, Highways 24, 36, 54, 61 and 63
- Class I rail via BNSF, NS, KCS and UP
- Regional airports
- Mississippi River access