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Named for the Ozark Mountains where it is located, the city of Ozark, Missouri was incorporated in 1890, and is the seat of government for Christian County. The area was settled prior to that time, however. The Osage tribe originally inhabited the area but, with the Louisiana Purchase and other acts of the United States government, the area was opened for exploration and settlement by others. The explorer, Henry Schoolcraft, came through the area in 1819, and the Pettijohn family settled in the area of Ozark soon afterwards. In the 1830s, a stream of settlers began coming into the area from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. An early settler named George Yoachum printed his own currency, known as the “Yocum Dollar.” Long before its official incorporation, the growing settlement was known as Ozark and when Christian County was formed out of Greene County in 1859, Ozark became the county seat. When the Civil War began, most Christian County residents were opposed to secession, while a minority were pro-Confederacy. During the war, both sides forced many residents out of their homes, some of whom fled and did not return until the war was over. By the end of the war, the entire county was largely depopulated. Today, Ozark is accessed through US Highway 65 and Missouri Route 14. Neighboring communities include McCracken, Fremont Hills, Cassidy, Nixa, and Linden.

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