by HSR Evelyn Morrison Kinkade
Chapter Organizing Regent
Site last updated Feb 3, 2012
" Aux Arcs" was the early French form of the name given to the area that we now spell Ozarks. There are a number of different thoughts on why the area of ancient rolling mountains and deep valleys south of the Missouri River was called "Aux Arcs" by the early French traders, but old French documents preserved in St. Louis contain records of hunting expeditions made by French fur-traders into the territory known as "Aux Arcs."
Aux is the French plural of Au, a contraction of A' Le meaning " to the." Auc is French for bow or long bow. Were the French traders referring to the Osage Indians who lived in the area and carried large hunting bows or to the long winding rivers on which they trapped? Whatever the reason, the name endured and S.H. Long's government map of 1815 included the label Ozark Mountains.
Today Missouri's newest chapter makes its home in Laclede County and proudly carries the name Aux Arcs in honor of Missouri's colonial French heritage.
Organized May 22, 1999
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