Its First Hundred Years
The name Ozark comes from the French aux arcs. William N. Collier, in his "History of Ozark and Vicinity in the 19th Century," translates arcs as bends and concludes that Ozark is so named because it is at the bend of the creek. However the Missouri Historical Society vouches for the translation of the phrase as "in the country of the Arkansas." Other writers have stated that French Canadian trappers who visited this area in the early 19th century called the Arkansas mountains Aux Arcs, which to American pioneers in the Missouri and Arkansas hills soon became Ozarks.
Since the earliest explorers in the county, beginning with Schoolcraft in 1818, and the earliest settlers, beginning with the Pettijohns in 1820, came first to the general vicinity of Ozark, they have been discussed in the chapter on county history and the period of the local vicinity's history from 1818 to 1830 will not be covered here.
The beginning of the community center or village of Ozark is reckoned from 1833 when James Kimberling, Sr. built a mill, later known as Hoover's Mill, on Finley. A man named Eutsler had a store in that vicinity about the same date. The mill was designated as the polling place while this section was still a part of Greene County. Even though the mill and store, and a little later a blacksmith shop run by a man named Eldridge, created some commercial activity there was no town