Ozark County, Missouri

Ozark County, Missouri
Ozark County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Ozark County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1841
Named for Ozark Mountains
Seat Gainesville
Largest city Gainesville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

755.07 sq mi (1,956 km²)
742.15 sq mi (1,922 km²)
12.92 sq mi (33 km²), 1.71%
 - (2008)
 - Density

13/sq mi (5/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.mogenweb.org/ozark/index.htm

Ozark County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 9,542. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 9,227. The largest city and county seat is Gainesville[1]. From 1843 to 1845 the county was called Decatur County, after Commodore Stephen Decatur. The county was eventually renamed to Ozark County after the Ozark Mountains and was officially organized on January 29, 1841.



According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 755.07 square miles (1,955.6 km2), of which 742.15 square miles (1,922.2 km2) (or 98.29%) is land and 12.92 square miles (33.5 km2) (or 1.71%) is water.[2]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 9,542 people, 3,950 households, and 2,855 families residing in the county. The population density was 13 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 5,114 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.57% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Approximately 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Ozark County were 28.6% American, 15.9% German, 12.1% English, and 11.4% Irish, according to Census 2000.

There were 3,950 households out of which 26.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 22.80% from 25 to 44, 28.70% from 45 to 64, and 19.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,508, and the median income for a family was $36,622. Males had a median income of $21,685 versus $17,312 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,302. About 16.10% of families and 21.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.80% of those under age 18 and 17.20% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns


Of adults 25 years of age and older in Ozark County, 73.0% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 8.3% holds a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Ozark County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Ozark County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (25.79%), Churches of Christ (24.83%), and Pentecostals (17.07%).



Politics at the local level in Ozark County is predominantly controlled by the Republican Party. In fact, all but one of Ozark County’s elected officeholders are Republicans.

Office Incumbent Party
Assessor Katherine Loftis Republican
Circuit Clerk & Ex Officio Recorder Becki Strong Republican
Clerk Kelly Maddox Republican
Collector Billy D. Hambelton, Jr. Republican
Commissioner – Eastern District T.J. Lewis Republican
Commissioner – Western District Greg Donley Democratic
Coroner Ron Mahan Republican
Presiding Commissioner David Morrison Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Thomas W. Cline Republican
Public Administrator Melinda Abraham Republican
Sheriff Raymond Pace Republican
Surveyor Tim Morgan Republican
Treasurer David Ford Republican


Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 42.47% 1,967 53.63% 2,484 3.90% 181
2004 63.04% 2,949 34.80% 1,628 2.16% 101
2000 58.65% 2,502 38.54% 1,644 2.81% 120
1996 59.15% 2,376 38.16% 1,533 2.69% 108

In the Missouri House of Representatives, all of Ozark County is a part of Missouri’s 143rd District and was represented by Maynard Wallace (R-Thornfield). Wallace was term limited and finished out his last term. He was succeeded by fellow Republican Lyle Rowland in the next legislative session in January 2011.

Missouri House of Representatives - District 143 - Ozark County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Lyle Rowland 2,509 74.94 +2.50
Independent Michael Chipman 839 25.06 +25.06

In the Missouri Senate, all of Ozark County is a part of Missouri's 29th District and is currently represented by State Senator Jack Goodman (R-Mt. Vernon). Goodman ran unopposed in 2008 and was reelected with 100 percent of the vote. The 29th Senatorial District consists of Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Ozark, Stone, and Taney counties.

Missouri Senate - District 29 - Ozark County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jack Goodman 3,630 100.00


In the U.S. House of Representatives, Ozark County is represented by Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau) who represents all of Southeast Missouri as part of Missouri's 8th Congressional District.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 8 - Ozark County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 2,192 61.82 -10.55
Democratic Tommy Sowers 1,126 31.75 +8.09
Independent Larry Bill 132 3.72 +3.72
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 96 2.71 +0.41

Political culture

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 62.27% 2,918 35.45% 1,661 2.28% 107
2004 65.50% 3,083 33.16% 1,561 1.34% 63
2000 62.05% 2,663 33.36% 1,432 4.59% 197
1996 47.18% 1,882 36.22% 1,445 16.60% 662

Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Ozark County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Ozark County in 2000 and 2004 by convincing two-to-one margins. Like many other rural counties throughout Missouri, Ozark County favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Ozark County in over 50 years.

Like most rural areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Ozark County traditionally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Ozark County with 82.18 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it narrowly failed in Ozark County with 51.07 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Ozark County’s longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Ozark County with 76.94 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.

Missouri Presidential Preference Primary (2008)

In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary, voters in Ozark County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.

  • Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) received more votes, a total of 766, than any candidate from either party in Ozark County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary.
Ozark County, Missouri
2008 Republican primary in Missouri
John McCain 428 (26.87%)
Mike Huckabee 766 (48.09%)
Mitt Romney 235 (14.75%)
Ron Paul 149 (9.35%)
Ozark County, Missouri
2008 Democratic primary in Missouri
Hillary Rodham Clinton 689 (65.62%)
Barack Obama 332 (31.62%)
John Edwards (withdrawn) 18 (1.71%)

Coordinates: 36°39′N 92°26′W / 36.65°N 92.44°W / 36.65; -92.44

See also

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Ozark County, Missouri


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. http://www.census.gov/tiger/tms/gazetteer/county2k.txt. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”