According to a book titled "How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named", written by David Wolfe Eaton and published in 1916, Mount Vernon, county seat of Lawrence County, was named for President George Washington's home by the county court.

The reason the name was chosen is unknown although many locations were named in Washington's honor.

Located a long way from Washington's Mount Vernon estate, the city is in the center of Lawrence County. The county is named for Captain James Lawrence, a naval hero of the War of 1812.

As commander of the USS Hornet, he became the first American naval officer to capture a British vessel, the privateer Dolphin, when the war started. In March of 1813, the Navy promoted Lawrence to full captain in acknowledgment of his service and gave him command of the frigate USS Chesapeake. In the midst of battle, Lawrence fell mortally wounded by a British sharpshooter. Before he died, James Lawrence gave one final command to his crew: “Don’t give up the ship,” and true to form, no one on the Chesapeake officially surrendered to the British, even as they were overwhelmed by the enemy sailors and marines.

The nation will observe Presidents' Day on Monday, February 17. Since 1971, Presidents' Day has been held on the 3rd Monday of February and replaced Washington's Birthday as a holiday. Before Presidents' Day, the nation marked Washington's Birthday on February 22 and Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12. Under the Uniform Federal Holidays Act of 1971, the two birthdays were combined into Presidents' Day. Some say the day honors only the nation's first president, George Washington, others that it's for both Lincoln and Washington, and others that the day honors all United States Presidents.

As the day is observed across the United States, it's a fitting time to remember that Mount Vernon, the county seat of Lawrence County, Missouri, was named after the first president's estate.