Drainage District Turns 100
The Little River Drainage District began in 1907, when a group of men decided to begin draining what was at the time the largest wetland in America. The two million-acre region was considered almost useless for humans. The early members of the drainage district devised a system of levees and ditches to drain the water and turn the land into farm country. The district, which encompasses seven Bootheel counties, now drains 1.2 million acres total. Frank Nickell, a historian at Southeast Missouri State University, says the district is one of the major transformations of landscape in American history.
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