Missouri Counties
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Missouri Counties

Missouri has one hundred and fourteen counties and one independent city. St. Louis City is separate from St. Louis County and is referred to as a "city not within a county." Following the Louisiana Purchase and the admittance of Louisiana into the United States in 1812, five counties were formed out of the Missouri Territory at the first general assembly. Most subsequent counties were apportioned from these five original counties.

Ozark County, Missouri

Ozark County Education, Geography, and HistoryOzark County, Missouri Courthouse

Ozark County is a county located in the southern portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 9,723. The largest city and county seat is Gainesville. The county was organized as Ozark County, named after the Ozark Mountains, on January 29, 1841. It was renamed Decatur County, after Commodore Stephen Decatur, from 1843 to 1845, after which the name Ozark County was restored.

Etymology - Origin of Ozark County Name

Named for the Ozark Mountains. A mountain range that is very old as well as beautiful. The name is of Indian and French derivation and it is said that it is the result of a misunderstanding by the English. It means literally "at the (country, river, or place of the) Arkansas." The Quapaw Indians, belonging to the Siouan stock and after migrating westward, were called the Arkansas by the Illinois. Early eighteenth century maps by G. De. l'Isle show that both the Ohio and Wabash rivers were known as the Arkansas. It was customary for the French to abbreviate the difficult Indian place-names; hence les Arkansea became les Arcs. Miss O'Brien states that in the French archives "the phrase "aux arcs" appears many times, meaning on the river, at the post, or in the country of the Arkansas." The shortened phrase "aux arcs" was mistaken by the English for one word and they spelled it Ozark. (Miss O'Brien's thesis)

Source: Overlay, Fauna R. "Place Names Of Five South Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1943.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Ozark County

Organized in 1841, cut off from Wayne County, of which it had been a part since Wayne was formed in 1818 from New Madrid County, Named from the Ozark Mountains. (See Bell, under Wayne)

Source: Bell, Margaret E. "Place Names In The Southwest Border Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1933.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 755 square miles (1,960 km2), of which 745 square miles (1,930 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (1.4%) is water. Arkansas is located to the south of Ozark County.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Douglas County (north)
  • Howell County (east)
  • Fulton County, Arkansas (southeast)
  • Baxter County, Arkansas (south)
  • Marion County, Arkansas (southwest)
  • Taney County (west)


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Ozark County, 73.0% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 8.3% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

Thornfield R-I School District - Thornfield - (K-08)
Lutie R-VI School District - Theodosia
Gainesville R-V School District - Gainesville
Dora R-III School District - Dora
Bakersfield R-IV School District - Bakersfield

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