Editor’s note
Since this manual was published, there have been changes to the conflict of interest law regarding Missouri townships. Please see Section XIV for the current rules. If you have purchased the manual, you may download the PDF for page 25 to update your copy.

The Web addresses for the Missouri legislature, statutes and Sunshine Law have also changed. They have been updated on this page and on page 10, IX. Meetings, records and votes.

Ballard Local Government Series

Eber Cude
First edition by John Ballard


This manual is, first and foremost, the work of the late John Ballard. This edition would not be possible without the original manual that John conceived and wrote. One mark of John’s authorship is his use of stories to teach. Several of those stories are included here.

The effort to preserve and continue John’s work depends on many people. First, John’s family led the effort by making his work available to MU Extension. The Local Government Resource Group (LGRG) within the Community Development Program worked diligently to provide the updates necessary to reflect changes since the first edition and devoted many hours to creating and reviewing this edition. The LGRG is led by Judith I. Stallmann, professor, community development extension, agricultural economics, rural sociology and public affairs, MU.

Other LGRG members

  • Julianne Stone
    Local Government Partnership
    St. Louis
  • Tony DeLong
    MU Council Relations
    Tri-Lakes Telecommunication Community Resource Center (TCRC)
    Stone County
  • Barbara Jean (B.J.) Eavy
    Community Development Specialist
    Jefferson County
    East Central Region

We also thank MU Extension Publications, particularly George Laur, Ann Robinson and Dennis Murphy.

Practitioners of local government across Missouri also contributed to the update process. Henry County Clerk Gene Pogue and Texas County Clerk Don Troutman contributed valuable advice and provided samples of forms used by their respective county townships. Ivan L. Schraeder, Missouri Association of Counties legal counsel, St. Louis, provided a review from an attorney’s perspective. Many others provided advice and comments that greatly improved the quality of the update. We express our deepest appreciation to all who contributed to the work. They provided the quality, any errors are ours alone.

We hope this effort is useful to those who make township government work. This material is current through June 2007. However, laws change and errors slip into even the best efforts. Always check for updates and changes since publication. The following is a list of useful websites for this purpose:

Eber Cude
June 18, 2007
Waynesville, Mo.


Townships in Missouri
In 2007, 22 counties use the township as an organizing tool for local government. Township organization is an option only open to third- and fourth-class counties in the state.