In the 1820's pioneers, including John Merrick, began settling in vicinity of present-day Ozark, first called "Merrick's". Dale County formed December 22, 1824. In the 1830's wooden stores and cotton gin were built about one mile north of present courthouse. In 1841 the west half of Dale County became Coffee County. First post office, June 7, 1843, called "Woodshop". In 1859 postmaster Elijah T. Matthews petitioned for the name "Ozark" after Indians who inhabited the mountains of Arkansas and Missouri.
Side B - Fourth County Seat of Dale County
In 1868, Southern one third of Dale County became part of Geneva County. In 1869 courthouse in Newton burned; an election on January 17, 1870, selected Ozark as county seat. A "New Ozark" was surveyed on 70 acres centered on courthouse. The Southern Star and other businesses moved from Newton to Ozark in 1870. Courthouses on this site were built in 1870, 1885 (replacing one which burned in 1884), 1901, and present building, 1968.