Area Information

Main Street’s first store was established in 1853 with Ash Grove being incorporated in 1871.

The first settler on the present Ash Grove was Joseph Kimbrough, who established a store here in 1853. The first dwelling was built by Mr. Kimbrough. Afterward, the business at the store was conducted by Sheppard and Kimbrough. Then a Mr. Hyatt established a blacksmith shop, and the store, and the smithy comprised about all there was of Ash Grove until after the close of the Civil War.

February 2, 1870 the town was incorporated by the county court, but the incorporation was defective, and in May 1871, the court re-incorporated “The Town of Ash Grove.” The small town feel of Ash Grove has remained throughout the years, even with many homes for sale, farms expanding and schools being built. Wonderful nature trails are found throughout the city and on the outskirts as well as biking trails and competitive sports competitions.

The City of Aurora, Missouri is a third class city that operates under the City Manager-Council form of government. Aurora is just miles away from Branson, Springfield, Joplin, beautiful area lakes such as Table Rock and Stockton and the Mark Twain National Forest. The City of Aurora Missouri, through measured growth and development of new economic opportunities and the enhancement of current community events and recreational offerings, will provide the best quality of life for its citizens. New homes and businesses are under construction and with that the growth of the city is rapidly expanding.

Battlefield MO is a close knit suburb type community just outside Springfield MO. It boasts wonderful natural beauty, new homes for sale and housing communities, natural trails and best of all it is home to the Wilson Creek National Battlefield.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is home to one of the finest publically held museum collections representing the American Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi West Theater.

The museum collections include historic objects and documents from many of the battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theatre of the War. The collections also contain objects from prisoner of war camps where Trans-Mississippian soldiers were detained and perished, items documenting battlefield medicine and advances in treatment, objects and documents that lead to a greater understanding of the role of women in the Civil War, and items documenting the naval aspect of warfare in the Trans-Mississippi Theater.

The collections also contain over 1500 images of Civil War soldiers, battlefields, and civilians; a large field ordinance collection; period furniture; drawings by soldiers; an extensive medical tools and equipment collection; uniforms, hats, and other textiles; household objects; saddles, and saddle bags; and many personal items from soldiers that include grooming kits, playing cards, dice, dominoes, tobacco pipes, and housewife kits (sewing kits). The park’s extensive archival collections include personal diaries and journals, civilian and military correspondence, and military orders.

Bolivar, Missouri was selected as the “Safest Small Town in America” in 1995. Bolivar was also chosen as a member of the 100 Best Small Towns in America in 1996/1997. Towns all across the United States were compared in the areas of quality of life, home sales, education, economy, recreation, and sense of identity, and we are very proud to have been elected as one of the most pleasant small towns to live in.

Bolivar has existed as a city since November 10, 1835, when proclaimed as such by the Polk County Court and designated as the county seat. Bolivar was organized as a fourth-class city on February 15, 1881. Early settlers in the area came primarily from Tennessee, and chose the future site of Bolivar in part because of Keeling Spring, great land to build a dream home and in part because it lay along the trail used by the Overland Stage.

The naming of both the town and county resulted from suggestions put forth by the Campbell brothers, three grandsons of Ezekial Polk, who had settled here with their families. The county was named Polk in honor of their grandfather, who was a distinguished colonel in George Washington’s Revolutionary Army.

The city was named after the town of Bolivar in Tennessee, where the Campbell brothers had lived prior to settling here, which was in its turn named after General Simon Bolivar, ‘El Liberator’, who was also known as ‘the George Washington of South America’.

Missouri is known today as the “live music capital of the world” but it has a rich history dating back to its first days in the 1800’s. Starting with a small store at a riverboat stop, the city now boasts over 40 theaters with 60,000 theater seats, over 70 live theater shows, over 200 lodging facilities with over 23,000 lodging rooms, 5,000 camping spaces, over 350 restaurants, three lakes, 9 golf courses, over 200 retail outlets, numerous attractions, caves to explore and year round activities and entertainment.

1959: The first show in Branson, The Baldknobbers Hilllbilly Jamboree Show, opened, taking the name of their show from a vigilante group of the Civil War Era which roamed the area making their own justice.

1963: Table Rock Dam was completed and the area’s largest man-made lake, Table Rock Lake, was formed.

1969: The Herschend Family opens Silver Dollar City. This Wild West theme park is now one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the world and has catapulted Branson entertainment to the era it is today.

1991: National news organizations “discover” Branson. In August of 1991 “Time” magazine published a story about their “discovery” of Branson and the interest by that media giant was followed closely by coverage in “People,” “The Los Angeles Times” and the “Wall Street Journal.” “60 Minutes” put the television spotlight on this small town in the Ozarks that had more theater seats than Broadway and a host of impressive names headlining its then 22 theaters.

Every year holds new surprises for the residents and guests of Branson, as familiar faces thrill and entertain our audiences while talented new ones continue to join the ranks of Branson veterans. The changing seasons bring a panorama of the mountains, valleys, lakes and beautiful Branson homes for sale in our beautiful Ozarks. The scenic beauty of the lakes, fabulous fishing and water sports keep the outdoor enthusiasts busy. The list of challenging world-class golf courses continues to grow along with the number of outlet stores (somewhere over 200) including the nationally recognized “Landing” on the banks of the Taneycomo and other one-of-a-kind shops. Daily life in Branson is history in the making, come see for yourself what Branson real estate has to offer you.

Clever was incorporated in 1896 and operates on a Council-Mayor form of government. It is located between Billings and Nixa on Hwy 14 and just south of Republic on P Hwy.

People come to Clever to start and raise a family because we have an outstanding school system, low crime rate, and local businesses.

The small rural community has been one of the fastest growing cities in Christian county over the last decade. Our population has risen from 1010 to more than 2139 in the last census. Along with a growing residential community, we have continued to have good business growth as well. Some of our businesses include Dollar General, Subway, Casey’s, Kum N Go, Family Pharmacy, Murfins’ Market, two tire shops, and an independent auto parts store. We have numerous restaurants including some new food carts.

The City is in cooperation with the school and MoDot to advance the “Safe Routes to School Program” with building more sidewalks after completing two phases so far. The school district itself is one of the best in the region, with a newer performing arts center and FEMA storm shelter.

We strive to provide effective and efficient services to our citizens in Clever. Working everyday to enhance the quality of life for you, your family, and your business.

Fair Grove is located about 14 miles north of Springfield on Highway 65. The 2012 census counted 1,422 citizens. Consistent growth and Homes For sale is the plan for the inhabitants that are proud of their community and especially their historic 1883 Wommack Mill. The old mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Boegel & Hine Mill, named after the builders. There is a picnic area to the right (south) open to the public. Fair Grove is well known for its schools, housing developments, parks and small town style of living with a sense of community.

There are 50+ businesses including the historic district. These businesses consists of 3 banks, a supermarket, pharmacy, 2 farm stores, Dollar General, convenience store, O’Reilly Auto Parts, amazing restaurants such as Odd Fellows and Old Mill Café, as well as many others. Nine churches reside within the city limits. Home sales and development have been on the rise as well. With new schools being built and the relocation home population increasing Fair Grove is quickly becoming an amazing small town to reside in.

Forland, Missouri is a wonderful farming and cattle community just 25 miles east of Springfield, MO. The population of this quiet community has grown throughout the last 10 years with the increase in the dairy industry, mechanical industry and with new housing developments being developed. The rise in homes sales and people moving to this great town is fluourishing. Not only is it a great place to live but a great place to work.

Forsyth, the Gateway to the Ozarks Outdoors, is in the middle of the Ozark’s recreational playground. Located on Lakes Taneycomo and Bull Shoals, just ten miles northeast of Branson, the Forsyth area is home to some of the Ozark’s best fishing, boating, and hunting opportunities. And with a mild four-season climate, you can usually enjoy these activities year around.

Whether you like to live in town with many homes for sale, on a farm or in the mountains, Forsyth has an abundant and affordable real estate options for you to call home. Our population today is approximately 1,716 by a 2009 calculation, but serves thousands more in the surrounding area. Industry, education, agriculture and retail trade currently make up the economic base of our Ozark community. A small, comfortable town, Forsyth offers a slower pace, low crime rates and unparalleled quality of life within commuting distance to Branson and Springfield. We are easily accessible by US Highway 160 which runs right through the center of town.

Forsyth offers a wide variety of businesses, an excellent school system, a number of great parks, many strong churches and many recreational opportunities throughout the town and surrounding area. In addition to these amenities, we have great people. Forsyth residents are hard working and dedicated.

One of the most popular activities in Galena is floating the James River. The area is also well known for great fishing. While floating or fishing, you can enjoy beautiful scenery and wildlife. You may even see one of our resident bald eagles. If you are interested in scheduling a trip or camping, contact the James River Outfitters or The Shoals Riverview Motel and Camping.

Branson is only 30 minutes from Galena. While in Branson you might want to visit Silver Dollar City, take in a music show, site see or take the kids to a water park, the list is endless. If you like to shop visit the Landing or shop at one of the outlet malls in Branson. After a busy day in Branson come back to the peacefulness of Galena and camp out or rent a cabin.

Real Estate
Galena is one of the most affordable areas of America to live in that is located in pristine natural beauty, close to shopping, world class hospitals and good schools.Contact us and we’ll be happy to let you know about residential or commercial properties for sale in the area.

School System
Galena has two schools – elementary (grades 1-6) and a high school (grades 7-12). A number of families also choose to home school and there are several options for connecting with co-ops. Contact the Chamber for more information.

Highlandville, MO and the neighboring Spokane, MO lie 20 miles south of Springfield, MO, at the base of the Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area. Located on an Ozark’s Plateau, we have the best view looking over the valleys and neighboring forest, and are also situated within 30 miles of Branson, MO, the Country Music Capital of the World. We truly have everything a community can offer a resident as we just recently have become host to the 4th Largest Home in America: The Pensmore Mansion standing at an astonishing 73,000 square-feet.

Come call our community your home as well! Our school system is Accredited with Distinction in both elementary and secondary education. Our new Middle and High School building will open at the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Every summer our community also plays home to the Annual Spokane Songwriter Festival and welcomes visitors to our humble Ozarks community.

With the establishment of the first US Land Office in Springfield in 1835 came a migration of rugged pioneer families into the virgin Ozark wilderness of Southwest Missouri.

Malinda Fortner was one of these early pioneers. Little is known of her past or why she chose the demanding life of a homesteader. The original 120 acre tract of land on which she established her claim in 1867 was the beginning for a crossroads settlement along the West Bank of Turkey Creek in the early 1880’s. Around the turn of the century, Rueben Kirkham opened a general store and applied to the Post Office Department for permission to establish a Post Office suggesting the name HOLLISTER after the birth place of his daughter in Hollister, California. Permission was granted and in 1904 the name of the Ozarks settlement was established.

With the coming of the St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad the area was opened to new expansion. It became the headquarters for the Mo-Pac Agricultural Agent of the White River Division. The area achieved tremendous agricultural development. Berries, vegetables, grape vineyards, orchards, cotton and tobacco flourished and the amount, variety of stock and produce shipped from the station in the early years was phenomenal.

W.H. Johnson and Professor J.W. Blankenship platted and started the major development of a beautiful English style village which attracted visitors from all over the world. Johnson’s dream resulted in the row of quaint Elizabethan structures which is now Downing Street. His son W.W. Johnson, built the historic Ye English Inn in 1912 and it became a stopover for travelers with special trains bringing visitors to a then remote area.

Hollister is noted for bringing to Taney County the first major influx of tourism. It had the first iron bridge in Taney County which still spans Turkey Creek, the first paved street, electric lights, movie house, the first registered pharmacist and modern steam heated hotel. The colorful history of this unusual Ozark town is fascinating and covers and era when stock wars were waged between merchants and stockmen. Grape carnivals promoted by the railroad were gala affairs where men and women of an age gone by helped to build an unique English Village in the Ozarks. . .Hollister, Missouri

Joplin, MO is located in the very center and heart of the four-state region in Southwest, MO and only 70 miles west of Springfield, MO. We are the gateway to the Ozark Mountain region as well as Route 66, and as the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state we are proud to welcome you to your next home. While many of you know of our losses suffered from a tornado strike in May of 2011, what you may not know is that Joplin is rebuilding and rising from our destruction better than ever. Our main street and business district including Northpark Mall were not hit and continue to serve our community with their exceptional service. With numerous parks and places of interest such as the Joplin Museum Complex showcasing our history of lead and zinc mining, we encourage you to walk around Joplin and take a step in our shoes for a day.

Each August, we celebrate our cities history with our annual celebration: Boomtown Days and we invite you to do the same this coming year. Being home to a stretch of Route 66 gives us many distinctions including the Mother Road Marathon, a 3-state, 26.2-mile race each October. The 66 Drive-In, one of the last remaining and operating drive-in movie theatres left on the mother road, also graces Joplin as a favorite for locals and vacation goers alike. George Washington Carver who among other items, invented Peanut Butter was born outside of Joplin and each year thousands of visitors embark on the 240 acre National Park birthplace and childhood home to visit the historic Ozark countryside. As if there wasn’t already enough to do here, Joplin is also home to the world renowned Precious Moments Chapel and living museum grounds.

Joplin Public Schools invite you and your family to come see why Joplin is not only a city of history but also a home for your family’s future history as well.

Marionville is a charming community located in the heart of the Ozarks in Lawrence County, Southwest Missouri. Marionville has a population of white squirrels, which is one of a handful of such populations in the United States.

Visitors come to Marionville in hopes of catching a glimpse of our white squirrels. The totally white creatures roam the yards and are protected by City law. The squirrels have been here, reportedly since the late 1800’s. Marionville, “The Land of Seven Springs” was founded in 1854 by James Marion Moore. Early settlers came, camped and established homes due to the abundance of clear, fresh water provided by the springs in the area. In the area that is now the City Park; a creamery was established in 1911. It was rated second in the state, producing 38,529 pounds of butter in 1913. Sometime shortly after the creamery, the Honey Creek Bottling Works, a soft drink company, established business in the park east of the creek. This thriving community has historic homes for sale as well as new housing developments being added to monthly.

The City of Marshfield is a Fourth Class City. Our population is comprised of 6,633 wonderful citizens. The City of Marshfield is located on Interstate 44, with the Historic Route 66 running through the City. Marshfield is home to the invention of the Hubble Telescope for NASA and now too many housing developments that help in the population growth.

Marshfield Mo. is a community that strives to provide many activities throughout the year, including: the Cherry Blossom Festival, Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, Fiber Fair, Marshfield Chamber of Commerce Independence Day Celebration & fireworks on the Fourth of July, Marshfield Chamber of Commerce & IPRA/ACRA sanctioned Rodeo, Marshfield Chamber of Commerce “Marshfield Classic” Golf Tournament, Webster County Fair, performances by the Marshfield Performing Arts Society, truck and tractor pulls, ATV rodeo, Demolition Derby, Pow Wow, Equine Events, Boots, Bands & BBQ, corn maze and pumpkin patch, Christmas Parade and events and much, much more!

Mt. Vernon, Missouri lies at the start of the Ozark Mountain Parkway – scenic Route 265 leading to the Branson/Table Rock Lake tourist areas. It is also a popular stopover for travelers on their way to Stockton Lake, Precious Moments Chapel, and Roaring River State Park, to name just a few of the numerous area attractions. Mt. Vernon is the seat of Lawrence County government. The county’s historic Carthage stone courthouse, built in 1901, lies in the center of the Mt. Vernon square. Mt. Vernon is home to the Missouri Rehabilitation Center, Gene Taylor VA Outpatient Clinic, and the Missouri Veterans Home / Mt. Vernon. With some of the most gorgeous land, Homes For Sale and conservation trails in the Ozarks Mt. Vernon has become THE place to build your dream home, go for walk or bike ride and raise a family.

Nixa traces its origins back to the mid-1800s with the movement of farmers and traders into this fertile soil region of Southwest Missouri. The growing community quickly became known as a stopover or crossroads site, as the community was a half-day ride with a team. As with many other communities in Southwest Missouri, Nixa’s early economy was based on agriculture and farming. Grain crops, dairy and beef cattle, and vegetables were the primary products of the area. Since most early residents of Nixa had little cash, “swapping of goods” was a common practice – – wood for flour, molasses for bran, and beef for horses from Springfield.

Throughout the last 150+years Nixa has become one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Missouri. The population has grown from 756 people in 1922 to 19,220 in 2012 according to The Nixa Chamber of Commerce, the rise in Nixa home sales and Nixa real estate development has tripled.

Rapid residential home growth has spurred new business development in Nixa. Several new retail, convenience and service-oriented businesses have located in the community since 1990 and expansion of existing industries is under way. Financial institutions like Liberty Bank, People’s Bank and Empire bank have constructed new offices and Springfield hospitals Mercy and Cox Health Center have opened satellite medical clinics to serve the growing Nixa population. Improved community facilities and services, such as the Nixa Community Center, police station and utility office, have been developed to serve the needs of the Nixa population into the 21st century.

Founded in 1888, the City of Ozark is 15 minutes south of the state’s third largest city, Springfield, and 20 minutes north of the state’s number one tourist destination, Branson. Ozark has experienced a population boom since the mid 1990’s in which the city has seen its population triple to 19,000+ residents and its housing market and real estate in Ozark has increased as well. Homes for sale in Ozark are very reasonably priced and new construction continues to grow.

Site location to Missouri’s third largest city and metropolitan area, including Ozark, whether it’s new business development or expanding business and industry, is made easy when working with Springfield & Ozark’s Partnership for Economic Development. Ozark is a top location, rated highly for our tax climate, livability factors and growth in jobs and population. Ozark offers new and exciting places of business such as B &B Theatres Marque Suites and Divine Veterinary Hospital but it is the well known businesses of Dennis Hanks Chevrolet and The Ozark Community Center a.k.a. The OC, that keep the community thriving and increasing the Ozark population and business growth.

Pierce City. MO is located 50 miles southwest of Springfield, MO, just off of Interstate 44. We have many historic features within our borders including our turn of the century Main Street and historic homes that you can call home too. Our history can be seen from every angle as you walk down our sidewalks but more importantly can be viewed at the Harold Bell Wright Museum housed in a historic church that Wright himself once preached in.

Besides our ample city parks and recreation facilities, the children of Pierce City, MO excel in our R-VI school where our motto is “Educating Youth for a Better Tomorrow”. We know your tomorrow will look brighter in historic Pierce City and invite you to come see why you’ll want to call us your next home today.

A small and quaint town located just before Branson West, Reeds Spring offers deep Hillbilly heritage, amazing dining experience such as Papouli’s Greek Cuisine, Dinky’s Diner and Reeds Spring Pizza Company, which was voted one of the best pizza companies in the nation. Close to the James River for floating and the “Quiet end” of Table Rock Lake Reeds Spring offer comfort and tranquility plus fantastic homes and lake retreats. All are close enough to all the Branson fun.

Here is a little more of Reeds Spring Pizza history fun!

French woman, by the name of Flavie (Flaw-Vee), walked into the small town of Reeds Spring and had a vision. Digging deep from within her French heritage, Flavie drew up plans for the Italian sensation, The Reeds Spring Pizza Company. After crossing paths with some great cooks, and with the help of her husband, Paul, and her three daughters, Flavie finally brought her vision to life. Now the pizza shop has been voted “Best Pizza Parlor in Missouri” by the U.S.A. Today, it’s a local favorite, and hosts many events which include live music, stand-up comedy, and the showing of classic, award-winning films. So… what are you waiting for? Come on down and check it out!

The Rogersville community is growing fast! With new developments, social structures, and planning, Rogersville is rapidly becoming one of the choice locations to start new lucrative businesses and raise a new family.

Little is known about how Republic got it’s name. Some of the older residents say that Mark Ritter and his sister, Mrs. Worsefield, (the first postmaster and his assistant), named it. Still others say that Uncle Billy Cliborn gave it the name it now bears. Republic is located in the center of the township and in the midst, at that time, of a rich, thickly populated prairie and an excellent local trade. Republic, being situated on the Frisco Railroad, became a well-known shipping and traveling point.

The first flour mill was built in 1890 by R.C. Stone. Later it was remodeled and had a running capacity of 2,000 barrels every 24 hours. During the years between 1900 and 1907, the mill was operated night and day. At that time it was the largest flour mill in the Middle West, and carried the slogan “The World is Our Field.” Flour was shipped out to all sections of the United States. The mill was in the large, brick building on the corner of Elm and Main Streets.

You will find that Republic is a fast-growing City with a current population of 14,751. Over the last 7 years the housing industry has brought a vast number of new residents into Republic. Over 5 new subdivisions with homes for sale have arisen and a brand new 60,000 sq. ft high school has been built to accommodate the growing community.

Designed to be a place where nature and home life are in sync. Saddlebrooke would not exist if it weren’t for the natural beauty that Mother Nature originally created. To deliver on that vision, there are many acres that will remain undeveloped. Too many times a developer tries to make use of every square foot of land. Saddlebrooke wants to protect as much green space as possible for all all of their home owners to continue to enjoy for many years to come.

The main lifestyle goal is to be living on a Home estate in the wilderness. Experience total privacy with plenty of room for children or grandchildren to run and play.

Over 30 miles of trails can be explored throughout the community. Walking, mountain biking or riding an ATV are just a few of the many ways to view the beautiful scenery and experience The Communities of Saddlebrooke. With more than 13 miles of creek frontage winding through the community, many residents also enjoy canoeing, kayaking and fishing along Bull Creek or Cook Creek.

With a population of 1,921, Seymour is the epitome of a small town community! If you enjoy the feeling of being a part of an extended family, then Seymour is the place to be and buy your dream home. Farmland has begun to find homes built yet the Amish are still tilling the farmland and helping the Seymour community grow with assisting in the Homes for sale and new folks moving into the area. Seymour has beautiful churches which serve the religious needs of the community as well as civic organizations that include the Greater Seymour Area Chamber of Commerce, Merchants Association, Lion’s Club, Arts Council and others that encourage community involvement.

The town of Seymour was established in 1895 and has a rich history that is preserved by our Historical Society. Many generations of families have been raised here and as housing and developments so does a community that hopes to remain a town of neighbors helping neighbors.

With more than 450,000 people in the metro area and millions of tourists each year, Springfield, MO is rich with interesting and entertaining attractions, more than 6,000 hotel rooms, more than 800 dining options and a variety of shopping and cultural activities. The one thing you need to know about Missouri weather is that there’s plenty of it. Cold in the winter, hot in the summer, rain, snow – you name it. A little bit of everything. The running joke about Southwest Missouri is that “just wait five minutes, the weather will change.”

You could call Springfield a college town, but the truth is education is the cornerstone of the community at all levels. Nearly 24,000 students attend the Springfield R-12 School District. Collegiately, Missouri State University and its 21,000 students call Springfield home, as do the students of Drury University, Ozarks Technical Community College and Evangel University. Many graduating students choose to stay in Springfield and purchase a home for sale to raise their family.

Among Springfield’s finest assets are its beautiful scenery and clean environment, something community leaders are striving to maintain through a variety of programs and sustainable building projects. Those projects include the Discovery Center, a hands-on science museum housed in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building. The Discovery Center, certified at the Gold level, was the first building in southwest Missouri to attain the certification.

Springfield is the proud home to Missouri’s first hotel designed to LEED Gold Standards. The hotel Hilton Garden Inn has a modern interior and exterior with unique design elements for sustainable operations.

Springfield also is home to the Green Circle Shopping Center, an environmentally friendly building home to several retailers including Dynamic Earth, an outdoor sporting goods store. The new shopping center received its Platinum Certification in early 2009.

Stockton’s 25,000 acre lake offers three hundred miles of unspoiled shore line with clean clear water. A variety of camping opportunities, hotels, motels and cabins make Stockton the perfect lake get away! In addition to swimming, recreational and tournament fishing, scuba diving, and kayaking, Stockton Lake was rated as one of the top ten sailing lakes in the country by SAIL Magazine. They are conveniently located 2 hours south of Kansas City, 1 hour north of Springfield and less than two hours north of Joplin, Mo. In addition to easy access from major highways we offer a community airport and dedicated water landing strip. With the continued growth in home for sales this thriving sailing community is evolving at rapid speed.

The town of Strafford was platted by the railroad to serve as a shipping and receiving point and as maintenance headquarters for the section of line. The railroad had ambitious plans for the new town of Strafford, platting 16 blocks containing 201 lots ranging from 2000 to 7500 square feet each. However, in the mid 1870’s about half of the blocks are vacated to be sold as larger tracts. Strafford is incorporated as a village in 1961 and now has a town government. In 1964 Strafford becomes a Fourth Class city. Construction activities and homes sales abound in the 1960’s. With the passage of the Federal Interstate Highway Act, construction of Interstate 44 begins with construction of a divided four lane highway and overpass on the north side of Strafford. Weigh stations are also constructed just east of town. The Eastgate motel, restaurant and service station is built northeast of the new interchange in the early 1960’s. Two additional service stations are built south of interchange to serve the increasing traffic on the new interstate highway. Strafford R-VI School District builds an industrial arts building, two elementary additions, gymnasium and bus garage in the period from 1959 to 1967. The new millennium ushers in a growth period of residential housing and retail trade. The Strafford R-VI School District constructs early childhood facilities in 2000 and a middle school expansion and fine arts facility in 2006 to accommodate this growth.

In 1870, the US Congress gave large land grants to railroad companies, hoping to encourage the westward expansion of the rail system. The town of Willard began to grow and flourish in 1884 when the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad laid the first track of line running from Springfield through Willard and Bolivar and eventually to Kansas City. This line, which later came to be referred to as the “High Line”, was used by three passenger trains and two freight trains per day at the height of its operation. The railroad brought people, goods, and mail to Willard and was a means to ship agricultural produce from Willard to outside markets. Throughout the years Willard has expanded and grown into a wonderful agricultural community. New home sales are climbing as well as industrial building. Willard has added 4 new schools in the last 3 years and is a nice suburb of Springfield, MO.