Fulton Missouri
Public Domain

The city of Fulton was incorporated on this date in 1859. Located in Callaway County, it was first established in 1825 (but not incorporated until later) and named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, which revolutionized river travel and commerce in America.

In the early days, Fulton was a small settlement that served as a trading post and a stop for travelers. The arrival of the North Missouri Railroad in the 1850s spurred the city’s growth, making it a significant transportation hub in the region. The railroad not only facilitated trade but also brought in settlers, leading to a population increase and the expansion of the city’s infrastructure.

Fulton gained national attention in 1946 when Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College, located in the city. This event marked Fulton as a site of historical significance, attracting visitors and scholars interested in Cold War history. The National Churchill Museum, located on the college campus, commemorates Churchill’s visit and his impact on global politics.

Throughout the 20th century, Fulton continued to develop as a center for education and agriculture. Westminster College and William Woods University, both located in Fulton, have played vital roles in the city’s cultural and educational landscape. The city’s economy has also been supported by its agricultural heritage, with farming and livestock being important industries in the surrounding areas.

Today, Fulton is a vibrant community that celebrates its history while embracing the future. It is known for its historic downtown area, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, and architectural landmarks. The city also hosts several annual events, including the Fulton Street Fair and the Callaway County Fair, which bring together residents and visitors to celebrate the region’s culture and heritage.

Fulton, Missouri, is a city with a storied past, from its early days as a railroad town to its role in 20th-century political history and its continued growth as a center for education and agriculture.