Directly across Highway 76 from my home in Stonebridge Estates in Branson West is the entrance to a place that will take you back in time to the late 1800’s and life in the Ozarks. In those days there was no Table Rock Lake or a gazillion shows on a “strip” of highway that always has more cars on it than any other in the state. There was no downtown or landing to draw folks into this unique area of Missouri. The thing that did draw settlers to Stone County Missouri in the 1800’s was the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains, the White River and the naturally fertile soil suitable for growing corn and wheat.
STONE COUNTY IN THE 1800s
The Delaware Indians immigrated to this region about 1800 to 1808 and remained until their evacuation under government orders in 1830 to the Kansas Territory. The settlers of the county generally came from Kentucky and Tennessee in search of a better life for their families and more land to develop.
The county was officially formed in February of 1851, out of parts of Taney County, Missouri. It was named after William Stone, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a prominent citizen of Taney County. Jamestown was named the county seat. It was later renamed Galena due to natural lead deposits in the area. Other towns, including Reeds Spring and Kimberling City, soon formed as well. Kimberling City was named after John Wesley Kimberling, who operated the Kimberling ferry. The ferry was the only way to cross the White River until the Kimberling Bridge was built. Continue Reading →