Where do you plan to retire?

Many people retire to the Ozarks including Daniel Boone’s youngest son, Nathan.

Nathan Boone's home near Ash Grove Mo.

Nathan Boone’s home near Ash Grove Mo.

Nowadays, people are drawn to the Ozarks for various reasons: a lower cost of living, great healthcare, the lakes, having a moderate four season climate, etc. But why, in 1837, would you build a cabin in the Missouri Territory, amidst the government pushing out the native Indian tribes of the Osage and Kickapoo? On Sunday, we drove to the Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site near Ash Grove, Mo. to find out more about this frontier man.

Nathan Boone's homestead.

Nathan Boone’s homestead.

We think Nathan Boone had visited the area during his surveying days and fell in love with the rolling hills and clear streams, a place where he and his family could put down roots and build a new life. He had ventured into the American West as a surveyor, trapper, hunter, and soldier and his family saw an opportunity to buy up large quantities of land, vacated by the Indian tribes.

Boone House.

Boone House.

Whatever the reason, Nathan and his wife, Olive, and their family (14 children were born to the couple) arrived in 1834. Settlers were moving into the area as the Indian removal continued. By 1837, three of his sons and two of his slaves built a double log house in the newly established Greene County. Boone Township was established around the same time as the township of Springfield was formed.  The small Ozark farm grew to more than 700 acres.

Nathan continued his military career into Indian Territory and surveying, all the while his family remained in Boone Township.  By 1853, he was done with the military and retired to his home. He died in 1856. We hope he savored his retirement in the Ozarks.

Ash Tree Antiques in Ash Grove, Mo.

Ash Tree Antiques in Ash Grove, Mo.

We enjoyed our Sunday afternoon visit to the State Historic Site. And of course, we managed to check out two antique/flea markets in the town of Ash Grove. The “Ash Tree” and “Kaydee Jo’s Treasures” are located across Maple Street from each other. Both are small booth-type markets carrying few antiques and mostly vintage items.

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