Cassville’s Early History
Cassville’s geographic location in the Ozark Mountains dramatically shaped our culture and history – Who We Are. A thriving town has evolved on a major roadway known over the years as the Indian Trail, Old Military Road, Trail of Tears, Butterfield Stage Coach Run and Old Wire Road. This highway was critical for both transportation and communication as the State of Missouri was carved out of a beautiful, rugged wilderness.
If you spent centuries past standing in one spot on that Cassville roadway– you would have been impressed to witness:
• An Indian Trail where Native Americans and fur traders first forged a pathway for trade.
• 16,000 Cherokees tragically removed to Oklahoma over what is now the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
• Military caissons over the Old Military Road between Springfield, MO to Fayetteville, AR, and the military post in Ft. Smith, AR.
• Butterfield Overland Mail Stagecoaches rumbling on a 2,812 miles trip twice a week from Missouri to California.
• Legislators and a Governor fleeing to the Barry County seat and voting to secede from the Union – so Cassville became the State Capital for one week.
• Civil War Soldiers – Union and Confederate – wearily traipsing to and from battles at Wilson’s Creek near Springfield, MO and Pea Ridge, AR.
• A new communications marvel being strung – telegraph wire – along what came to be known next as the ‘Old Wire Road.’
• Belching smoke from the Cassville-Exeter Railroad – Cassville’s ‘claim to glory’ and the world’s shortest rail line for 60 years.
To learn more, a trip to Cassville’s Barry County Museum is a fun and memorable experience for the entire family.
Photo Courtsey Barry County Museum