A Reminiscent History of The Ozark Region 

Christian County Histories

This Goodspeed Brothers collection of sketches was originally published in Chicago in 1864. Southern Historical Press, Inc. reprinted the book from an 1894 edition in 1978, 1984 and 1995.

Below is the Descriptive History of Christian County and the individual sketches of the citizens of Christian County.  Please note that as with all source material, there may be errors in the original or in the subsequent transcriptions.

"Descriptive History of Christian County"

Christian County was detached from Greene County, March 8, 1860, and organized that year. The James, Finley, Swan, Buffalo and Panther afford drainage in every section. Lead ore abounds, while lumber and fertile valley lands aid making this district naturally rich. Wells erected a small cabin on the banks of the Finley Creek in 1822, and the Pettijohn party arrived the same year. The Delawares entailed many troubles and anxieties on the pioneers, until their removal to Kansas in 1836. During the war the county was almost robbed of its inhabitants, the courthouse was burned and Federal and Confederate aimed to destroy it forever. Ozark, the county seat, Kenton, formerly Linden (surveyed in 1847, Billings, Bull’s Mills, Sparta, Chadwick and Minersville are the principal settlements.

The population of Christian County in 1890 was 14,017, divided as follows: Benton Township, 408 (or 175 decrease in ten years), Finley Township, including Ozark Village, 2670; Galloway, 1370; Lincoln, 1353; Linden, 775 (a decrease of 875 in ten years); Linn, 635; Logan, 411; North and South Marion Townships, 1237; Polk (including Billings Village), 2236; Porter, 1077, and Sparta, 1793. The population of Ozark in 17890 was 490 and of Billings, 464. In 1880 there were 235 inhabitants in the first and 129 in the second named villages. The postoffices are Aisle, Billings, Boaz, Cassidy, Chadwick, Clever, Eaudevie, Elkhead, Garrison, Griffin, Highlandville, Hope, Kenton, Nixa, Ozark, Pembina, Reno, Riverdale, Selmore, Sparta, Spokane and Velsor. Like its sister counties to the east and west, it adds cotton and tobacco to the catalogue of staple products, such as grains and fruits – West Plains being the entrepot or principal cotton and tobacco market for that section of the country.

Click on the letters in the menu to the right to view the biographies from A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region.