The famous Dred Scott case, which helped fuel the tensions that led to the Civil War, originated in Missouri. Dred Scott was a slave who sued for his freedom in the Missouri courts in 1857, but the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled against him.
Taney County, MO, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich historical background that stretches back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware, before European settlers arrived in the early 1800s. The first permanent settlement in the county, known as "Lick Skillet," was established in 1834.

In the 1830s, the region experienced rapid growth with the establishment of several towns, including Forsyth, Protem, and Rockaway Beach. The county was officially named Taney County in 1837, in honor of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Roger B. Taney. During this time, the area mainly relied on agriculture, with crops like corn, wheat, and tobacco, as well as livestock farming, supporting the local economy.

The American Civil War had a significant impact on Taney County, as it was located in a border state. The region witnessed numerous skirmishes and tensions between Confederate and Union sympathizers. The Battle of Forsyth in 1862 was particularly notable, as Union forces successfully repelled a Confederate attack. Following the war, the area began to recover and experience growth in various industries, including lead mining and tourism, thanks to the stunning beauty of the nearby Ozark Mountains and the geological wonder, Marvel Cave.

Throughout the 20th century, Taney County continued to thrive and evolve. In the 1950s, the completion of the Table Rock Dam led to the creation of Table Rock Lake, which has become a popular destination for boating, fishing, and water recreation. In recent decades, the county's economy has increasingly shifted towards tourism, with the presence of popular attractions like Silver Dollar City, Branson Landing, and numerous live entertainment shows. Today, Taney County remains a vibrant, growing community that embraces its history while embracing the opportunities of the 21st century.

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

  • 1837 - Taney County is organized and named after Roger B. Taney, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1861-1865 - Taney County is strongly divided during the Civil War, with Confederate sympathizers in the southern part and Union supporters in the northern part.
  • 1880s - The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad is constructed through the eastern part of Taney County, promoting economic growth.
  • 1913 - The White River is dammed to create the Powersite Dam, providing electrical power to the area and forming Lake Taneycomo.
  • 1930s - The construction of the Empire District Electric Company's Table Rock Dam leads to further economic development in the county.
  • 1959 - The world-famous Silver Dollar City theme park is established, attracting tourists to the area.
  • 1980s - Branson becomes a popular entertainment destination, boosting tourism and the local economy.
  • 1992 - The devastating Great Flood of 1992 causes extensive damage and loss of life in Taney County.
  • Present - Taney County continues to thrive as a tourist destination, known for its entertainment venues, natural beauty, and outdoor recreational activities.