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History

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Early Settlers

Early Settlers: The 1800s

Travelers passing through this nation in 1815 encountered world that still had actually not heard of the War of 1812. Tbelow was a lot land for sale from the federal federal government, yet at $1.25 an acre, no one can afford it. Adjustments to land prices were made in 1854, and more than two million acres of Ozarks land sold for an average price of 12.5 cents per acre.

At initially, settlement included isolated ranches and also little hamallows along rivers and navigable streams. The uplands were settled later, after roads were constructed. With the arrival of the railroads, negotiation enhanced promptly, and also now tbelow are few areas of the Ozarks wright here the landscape stays much the same as it was in pre-settlement times.

In early 1884 numerous traveling salesmales walked across the Ozarks. They came up from Arkansas alengthy the train tracks from Mammoth Springs to West Plains. From West Plains they followed the railroad to Willow Springs, then headed west in the direction of Springarea, with Cabool, Mountain Grove, Norhardwood and Mansfield. One of them preserved a journal describing what he dubbed their "peddling." This journal tells us a small about the land, towns and life of the Ozarks in 1884.

The males bought goods, referred to as "notions," in Arkansregarding offer on their trip. They bought the goods via money they earned offering fish they captured in the White River in Arkansas. Notions are things favor needles and thread, knives and also buttons. Such little, advantageous items were scarce on the frontier. They were likewise basic for a peddler to bring. The guys made good money selling notions. In just a half a day in Willow Springs, the guys offered $4.65 worth of items, which was the majority of money in those days. They had difficulties offering their wares in some communities, however. Local vendors periodically didn"t favor strange travelers taking service ameans from their stores. In Thayer, the sheriff even took the full load of items one of the saleguys was moving bereason he didn"t have actually a merchant"s license. Furthur west, in Joplin, some cows trampled their tent, and then the cattle herders robbed them. Amongst the items the cattle herders stole was a nickel-plated British "Bulldog" revolver that was worth a totality dollar! When the travelers left Willow Springs, they were persuaded that robbers were complying with and also planned to ambush them. The salesguys left the road and also walked cross-nation to Mountain Grove. They passed over hills covered via thick blackjack oak, and also made their method across beautiful valleys with streams running clear, clean water. At that time a lot of that countryside was open or semi-open up grassland, through extensively spaced trees. Prairie grasses and flowers thrived beneath the trees. The salesguy that created the journal noted that the land also in between Cabool and Mountain Grove was some of the ideal pasture land also they had actually checked out on their travels. There were also woodlands of dense tree cover that made travel tough. Near Willow Springs they experienced extremely huge pine wood yards and mills. Cabool had actually a sawmill and also great wood yards, and also was described as "finely situated and also boosting." Mansarea likewise had a sawmill and heavier lumber. For those civilization who wanted to homestead in the area, the federal government still had land also obtainable. Tbelow was 75,000 acres of homestead land accessible in Douglas County, 125,000 in Ozark County and also 25,000 in Wappropriate County. This land also can be had actually for a $2 filing fee plus $6 for a 40 acre plot.


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It price only $14 dollars to homestead 160 acres of land!

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More on Early Settlers

Vist via a Pioneer Family

Pioneer Hog Butchering

Pioneer Log Building

Early Settlers in Douglas County

Tom Brown, at an early stage settler

History of Agriculture

History of Forestry

Making Tar

The Old Water Mills

Source: "Turible Times in the Swamps and the Narrowhead Escapes from the Swamp Devils" by Charley Hershey, edited by Lynn Morrow, in The White River Valley Historical Quarterly, Summer 1995.
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