From 1824, when Dale County was created by an act of the Alabama Legislature, until 1870, the area now comprising the "City of Ozark" was gradually settled mostly by farmers who came and bought the former Indian lands from the U.S. Government. In 1855 Elijah T. Matthews bought a country store located on the hill at the north end of Union Street. He became the postmaster for the area and selected the name "Ozark" after the Ozark Indians in Arkansas and Missouri. On October 27, 1870, the Alabama Legislature incorporated the City of Ozark.(Back):
Ozark's Role in the Origin of Fort Rucker
In the mid-1930s, several Ozarkians including Congressman Henry B. Steagall and Jesse Adams, editor of The Southern Star, led in the acquisition by the U.S. Government of 35,000 acres of land in the southwest quadrant of Dale County. In 1941, with World War II threatening, the same Ozark leadership persuaded the War Department to use the 35,000 acres as the nucleus of a 64,000-acre Infantry Division training post. The camp, which eventually became the Army Aviation Center and a permanent "Fort," was named after Confederate General Edmund Winchester Rucker.