Ozark, MO

The Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District in Ozark, Missouri has its history too

CJ Coombs

Christian County Courthouse (2015).Kbh3rd, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District surrounds portions around the courthouse square in Ozark, Missouri. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 2009.

In the middle of the square is the Christian County Courthouse designed by H.H. Hohenschild in the Classical Revival style which was completed in 1920.

Construction of the buildings located in this district was performed between 1880 and 1945. Most of the buildings are made of brick. Of all the buildings within the boundaries of this district, many of them contribute to the historic significance and some do not. Most of the district maintains the historic integrity of its significant period of time.

Some of the buildings in the district include the following:

  • Bank of Ozark/Masonic Lodge (1897)
  • First Baptist Church (1919)
  • Methodist Episcopal Church (1914)
  • Robertson Brothers’ Store (1882)
  • Ozark Drug (1905)
  • Community Building (1934; constructed with Works Progress Administration funds)
  • Hospital (c. 1945)
  • Christian County Bank (c. 1886, 1910 façade)

The City of Ozark was established in 1848 and is about 15 miles south of Springfield. Early development of this area was somewhat limited due to how remote the community was. In 1883, that would change once the railroad came. Once other buildings were constructed like churches and a hospital, this increased social and economic values. Ozark has served as the county seat of Franklin County, Missouri since 1859.

It should be noted that there is also an Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District in Ozark, Arkansas that's listed with the NRHP in Franklin County, Arkansas. This is different than the Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District listed on the NRHP in Missouri which is in Ozark, Missouri.

Early development of the City of Ozark was restricted due to its remote location. This economically improved once the Springfield and Southern Railway arrived. In 1835, the city was surveyed and in 1838, the land was offered for homesteading through the U.S. Land Office in Springfield, Missouri. When Ozark began to establish itself, it was in the 1830s.

The Finley River mill

A homesteader named Joseph Kimberling constructed a water mill on Finley River in 1833 and which gave him rights to the property. He sold the property in 1838 to John Hoover. Like other regions, the effects of the Civil War impacted this area too. When the war was over, there wasn't a lot of population here and the property was destroyed. However, the milling and production of beef and dairy helped to bring the region back.

In 1992, the mill ended its operation. In 1993, Johnny Morris purchased the mill. The mill was restored and is a restaurant today. The Ozark Mill Restaurant touts itself as a farm-to-table riverfront dining experience.

The Ozark Historic Preservation Commission (OHPC)

The OHPC is authorized through City Ordinance 420.010 to promote protection of buildings, structures, and landscapers that are deemed aesthetically or architecturally significant in the interest of promoting the educational, cultural, and general welfare of the City. (Source.)

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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