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The city of Willard is situated along US Highway 160 in Greene County, about six miles northwest of Springfield, Missouri. Other nearby communities include Ash Grove, Cave Spring, Elwood, Fruitland, Hickory Barren, Pearl, and Phenix. Its early settlers were largely Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English, the first to come to the region being Oscar Farmer, who came in 1836. Dennis Kime came with his wife in 1854, and George and Elizabeth Sloan came in 1860, building a home that is still in use today. The town got its first post office in 1858, which operated until 1871, to be reactivated in 1884. The St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad extended its track to the community in 1884. Originally planned to be named Robberson for Dr. E.T. Robberson who platted the town, it was discovered that there was another community with a post office that held that name, so it was named for Mr. William Willard who surveyed the area for the railroad. Founded in 1884, Willard was incorporated as a city in 1949.

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