The Louisiana Purchase has been described as the greatest real estate deal in history. In 1803 the United States paid France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory--828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. The lands acquired stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. Thirteen states were carved from the Louisiana Territory. The Louisiana Purchase nearly doubled the size of the United States, making it one of the largest nations in the world. A region to be known later as "The Ozarks" was part of this purchase.
Geologists refer to it as the Ozark Uplift, geographers, the Ozark Plateau and historians, The Ozarks, and still others refer to the region as the Ozark Mountains. Where is this mysterious place located, that is known by so many names? Many stories have been told as to how the Ozark Mountains received their name. It is recorded in history. How Hernando De Soto was probably the first European to travel the region. He landed in Florida around 1539. In 1541 he crossed the Mississippi at New Madrid (Missouri) and marched to the highlands of the White River (Shepherd of the Hills). .
In the Ozark Plateau, much of the area is rolling with moderate relief (elevations or inequalities of a land surface) up to 1,000 ft. The Ozark highlands contain low dissected mountains composed of sandstone and shale, with altitudes up to 2,000 ft and a relief of 1,500 ft. Valleys are narrow, with steep sides and gradients. The Ouachita Mountains eroded from sedimentary rock formations compressed into great folds, with the upturned edges forming the mountain ridges, also referred to as the Ozark Mountains today. The Ouachita Mountains reach altitudes of about 2,600 ft. The Arkansas River flows across the southern part of the highlands and the Missouri River across the Northern (USGS).
The Ozark Mountains: Extending southwest from St.