Monett History

In the heart of Ozark country, Monett was established in 1887 as a trading post and shipping center for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, later known as the Frisco. Originally settled as Plymouth, Plymouth Junction and Plymouth Crossing, the town was part of the Cherokee Indian’s Trails of Tears in the 1830s. The rail line had a large impact on the community, transforming Monett from a quiet town to a vibrant transportation hub for the region. The town developed into a diverse economy, with trade in livestock, apples, tomatoes, cigars, ice, razors and cutlery, poultry, dairy and the famous Ozark strawberries. In fact, Monett was known as the “Strawberry Capital of the Midwest” for many years.

Today Monett has evolved into a diverse manufacturing center and a regional hub for business and industry, for both nationwide leaders in their field and small, family-owned businesses alike. Monett is headquarters for EFCO Corporation, a major manufacturer of custom windows, and Jack Henry and Associates, Inc., one of the largest providers of information technology services for financial institutions worldwide. Many other businesses and corporations have facilities in Monett, as the area continues to grow.

Though the Frisco has long since left Monett, today’s city street names reflect its railway heritage, including Bond, Cale, Wishart, Dunn, Benton and Scott – all former railroad officials – and the original town structure remains. The historic buildings and landmarks stand in much the same place as they did in the late 19th century. In 2014 a large portion of the central business district was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is now referred to as the Downtown Monett Historic District. Monett is a vibrant small-town community with unique shops and businesses and a culture that demonstrates a continued commitment to creating a place of “Pride & Progress,” honoring and remembering our past as we grow into our progressive future.

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