Keytesville is a city in and the county seat of Chariton County, Missouri, United States. The population was 440 as of the 2020 census. Keytesville is the hometown of U.S. Army General Maxwell D. Taylor, who commanded the "Screaming Eagles" 101st Airborne division during the Normandy invasion of World War II. Confederate General Sterling Price, who attacked Keytesville during an unsuccessful cavalry raid across his home state, had previously operated a hotel there.
The town is named for James Keyte, an Englishman and Methodist preacher who purchased a large parcel of land in 1830 and, two years later, donated fifty acres of it to Chariton County to establish a seat of county government. Until then, county business had been conducted from "Old Chariton," a village near the confluence of the Chariton and Missouri Rivers that was plagued by disease-spreading mosquitoes and subject to repeated flooding.
James Keyte constructed the first home in Keytesville, and the firs