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Ozark A thriving community in Southwest Missouri

Ozark was named after the Ozark Mountains, in which it is situated. The Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The name Ozarks is believed to have begun sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s from those living in the Arkansas area who were heading north and said they were going to the Ozarks.

The first settler to visit the area is believed to be Henry Schoolcraft, who arrived in 1818. During that time he studied extensively the geological makeup of the area and noted the high concentration of lead and zinc. Notably, in the Elk Valley area. Schoolcraft noted on the abundance of elk, bear and other wildlife in the area. This later became the area’s hunting grounds, until the elk were hunted to extinction in the 1880s.

Most of the lead and zinc mines functioned until the early 1900’s. There is an interactive map and history of mines and locations found here. The majority of the mining done in Ozark, Missouri was done in the Elk Valley area.