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Howell County was organized in 1857, the
territory being taken from Oregon and Ozark Counties.
In 1838 a
pioneer settlement was made near West Plains.
West Plains is the county
Howell County is a county located in the southern portion of the
U.S. state of Missouri. The largest city and county seat is West Plains.
The county was officially organized on March 2, 1851, and is named after
Josiah Howell, a pioneer settler in the Howell Valley.
was organized on March 2, 1857, from Oregon County, and is named for
Josiah Howell, who made the first settlement in Howell Valley.
first Circuit Court met in a log cabin one mile east of West Plains,
according to an 1876 account. A small, wooden courthouse was built on the
square in West Plains in 1859. It was damaged during the Civil War in
1862. The county was reorganized three years later, but all of the county
records were destroyed in an 1866 fire. A second courthouse was built in
West Plains in 1869. It was a small, three-room, frame building, about 24
by 30 feet.
(Source: A Reminiscent History of the Ozark
Region, Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers,