The city of Branson, Missouri, is known as the "live music show capital of the world". It has more than 100 live shows and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Howard County, Missouri, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county was named after Benjamin Howard, the first governor of the Missouri Territory. It was established in 1816 and quickly became an important center of trade and commerce in the region. The county's location along the Missouri River made it a vital transportation hub for steamboats, which played a significant role in its economic development.

During the 19th century, Howard County witnessed several waves of settlement and expansion. In the early years, many settlers came from Kentucky and Tennessee, attracted by the fertile land and agricultural opportunities. The county became known for its vast plantations, primarily producing tobacco and hemp. As the population grew, so did the need for infrastructure, such as roads, schools, and churches.

The county played a significant role in the expansion of the Santa Fe Trail, a major trade route connecting Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Howard County's central location made it an essential stopping point for merchants and pioneers journeying westward. The trail brought economic prosperity and cultural diversity to the area, as well as opportunities for the local residents.

However, the county's history is not without dark moments. During the American Civil War, Howard County experienced intense conflict between Union and Confederate sympathizers. The county was split, with families and communities torn apart by the divided loyalties. The war brought destruction and hardship as battles and skirmishes took place on its soil. The county slowly recovered after the war, and agriculture remained the primary economic activity for many years.

Today, Howard County continues to thrive as a rural community with a strong agricultural base. Its historical significance can be seen in the beautifully preserved buildings and landmarks, as well as in the stories passed down through generations. The county's rich history is celebrated, and efforts are made to promote tourism and preserve its heritage, ensuring that the past remains an integral part of Howard County's identity.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Howard County, Missouri.

  • 1816 - Howard County, Missouri is established as an official county by the Missouri General Assembly.
  • 1817 - The first courthouse is built in Old Franklin, the original county seat.
  • 1820 - Franklin is chosen as the starting point for the Santa Fe Trail, boosting trade and settlement in the area.
  • 1841 - Boonville becomes the new county seat, replacing Old Franklin due to its location on the Missouri River.
  • 1861-1865 - Howard County is divided during the American Civil War, with both Union and Confederate troops occupying different parts of the county.
  • 1873 - The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad (MK&T) is completed, improving transportation and boosting the local economy.
  • 1897 - The original courthouse in Boonville is destroyed by a fire, and a new one is constructed shortly after.
  • 1926 - The first bridge over the Missouri River in Howard County is opened, connecting Boonville to New Franklin.
  • 1953 - Construction of the Mark Twain State Park begins near Florida, offering recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
  • 1979 - Boonslick Bridge, the current bridge over the Missouri River, is opened, improving transportation links in the county.