Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eldorado Springs

During the late 1800s, many towns sprang up in the Ozarks and, indeed, all across the country, at the site of mineral springs, which were thought to have curative powers. In our region, these communities were concentrated in northwest Arkansas and in Missouri along the northern rim of the Ozarks. The area around Springfield and east of Springfield, because of a preponderance of pure water, had comparatively few towns founded because of mineral springs.
Probably the most famous town in the Ozarks that was founded at the site of a mineral spring is Eureka Springs, but there were many others, some of which no longer even exist and others of which are now mere wide places in the road.
Another comparatively well-known town that was founded because of its mineral water and that is still a prospering little town today is Eldorado Springs, in Cedar County, Missouri. People were already coming great distances to drink the water at the site of Eldorado Springs for its supposed medicinal value when the Cruce brothers, Nathanial and Waldo, platted the town in July of 1881. By December of the same year, the town had already grown to a population of about 500 people, and by 1896 Eldorado Springs was home to almost 3,000 people.
Most people no longer believe in the curative powers of spring water, but a lot of the towns that sprang up back when most people did believe are still in existence. If you know of a town with the word "springs" on the end of its name, chances are it was probably founded during the spring water craze of the late 1880s.

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