The year 1880 found southeastern Anderson County in Lone Elm Township an area of vast prairies and farmlands. There was two post offices one named Rich in a home and the other in the town of Ozark. Closer to the center of the southern border between Anderson and Allen Counties was the location of Elizabethtown. Ozark was also on the Anderson and Allen County boundary, but closer to Linn County. W.C. Routzong considered a trading settlement farther north in north central Lone Elm Township would be advantageous.
In 1883 the town of Equity was established near the Rich post office, which was a country post office in a home started in 1872, on land owned by E.C. Routzong. Several businesses were built and Routzong sold lumber and hardware. There were two general merchandise stores, a blacksmith shop, and a druggist. The same year Equity was established the Rich post office was closed and moved to Equity.
There were high hopes the St. Louis and Emporia Railroad would be built through Equity as the preliminary survey showed. However, the survey was changed, and Equity was passed by as the railroad went through south of Equity. After the railroad was built Lone Elm and Kincaid were developed on the advantageous location on the railroad right of way.
Equity businessmen started moving their store buildings and stock to Kincaid on the railroad in the fall of 1885. The post office remained until November 1894, and then was closed. When the post office closed, and the businesses left Equity the town faded away.
Before 1870 a post office was established in Allen County just south of the Anderson County border. It was located in the Milsap family log house. The post office was named Ozark and had been established in 1862. A weekly mail route from Neosho Falls passed through the Ozark post office and on to Mound City in Linn County.
The post office was moved in 1873 when J.N. Fallis built a store in Rich Township south of present-day Kincaid. A new town was started, and stores and businesses were established. The town was named Ozark. A blacksmith and wagon shop were operated by Thistle and Force. John McD Ray, A.C.G. Shockey, Dave Tate and E.B. Ellis all established businesses in the new town. Rev. W.R. Shockey was a pioneer minister and became the postmaster. He also operated a public house in town.
In the early days of Ozark, the closest railroad was in Colony fourteen miles away. Ozark prospered until 1885 when Kincaid was platted on the new railroad, the St. Louis and Emporia built across southern Anderson County in that year.
David Tate was the first to move his store to Kincaid on the railroad. Slowly other businesses were moved to the new town. Finally in 1885 the post office was moved to Kincaid and Ozark died.
Thomas Day was the first settler on Deer Creek arriving in 1855. Joseph Price, originally from North Carolina, came from Illinois in 1858. These two men were prominent ranchers in the area. Day and Price were the first proprietors of Elizabethtown. Mrs. Elizabeth Cook played a predominate role in town as it was named after her.
In 1858 the town was chartered and in 1859 it was surveyed, and Joseph Price, Thomas Day and James A. Dorsey started a town company. They laid out Elizabethtown on Section 15, Township 23, and Range 19 on the east side of Deer Creek. It was laid out on land owned by J.B. Rhodes and F.H. Rhodes.
W. Stubblefield and Company opened a store. The post office was established April 15, 1859, and the postmaster was G.M. Sands. Later Mrs. Elizabeth Cook became the postmistress. The post office operated from April 1859 to 1884. The legislature vacated the town in 1899. The hope for the small towns depended on the railroad and when the railroad passed the town five miles to the north Elizabethtown dwindled and finally died.
Ozark #1 Cemetery south and east of Colony is locally known as the Liztown Cemetery and is in the area where Elizabethtown was located. The cemetery was partially bulldozed in by a farmer until stopped and only a few of the gravestones survived and are now standing. Many of the stones were broken or destroyed and could not be repaired. Probably there are several individuals buried there who will never be known. The old schoolhouse possibly used into the early 1930’s has also disappeared.
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