city, seat of Adair county, northeastern Missouri, U.S., about 90 miles (145 km) north of Columbia, near the Chariton River. Founded about 1841 as the county seat, it was known as Long Point and Hopkinsville before being renamed for Jesse Kirk, an early resident. A minor American Civil War battle was fought (1862) nearby. Kirksville is a processing, trading, and shipping centre for a grain and livestock area. The city's light manufactures include medical equipment, footwear, business forms, and automobile parts. Truman State University (1867) and the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (the birthplace of osteopathy in the United States, in 1892) are in the city. Thousand Hills State Park is nearby. Inc. town, 1857; city, 1873. Pop. (2000) 16,988; (2005 est.) 16,986.
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