Missouri Land and Livestock Company
About 1882, the Missouri Land and Livestock Company purchased about 350,000 acres of land near Neosho and began importing purebred Angus and Hereford stock. (In the early days of white settlement in the Ozarks, livestock had often been allowed to range free and intermingle, and there were few purebred cattle.) The company started not only raising high quality livestock but also began selling them to the surrounding small farmers and ranchers, and that, of course, provided an impetus to the development of the industry.
Despite the important influence that the Missouri Land and Livestock Company had on the cattle industry in the Ozarks, there is very little on the Internet about this company, as opposed, for instance, to the Ozark Land and Lumber Company, which had a huge influence on the timber industry in the region and about which you can find a lot on the Internet. However, I did find one interesting item that pertains to the Missouri Land and Livestock Company and that confirms the important role it played in developing the stock industry in the Ozarks. It is a letter written by a resident of Washburn, Missouri, that was published in the National Tribune in 1889. (The National Tribune was a Washington, D.C. newspaper devoted to the interests of former soldiers of the Civil War, especially Union soldiers, and most subscribers were former soldiers.) The Washburn letter was touting Barry County as a good place to live and farm, and part of what the writer said was this: "Every alternate section of land is held by a company known as the Missouri Land and Lumber Company. This company is fencing large tracts and seeding it down to tame grass, and this will, in a few years, be the greatest stock country in the Southwest. For farming I cannot recommend it as a whole, but for fruit and stock raising, good water and good health, the world cannot beat Barry County."