Originally the area was part of the infamous Indian "Trail of Tears." Monett was formally established in 1887 when the Frisco rail line moved its spur here.
Overnight, what was formerly the small town of Plymouth, became a booming transportation hub and an active community.
Barry County was organized in 1835 and named after William Taylor Barry from Kentucky, a United States postmaster General. As Monett quickly became a vibrant Frisco railroad terminal, it sped its growth in agriculture trade, retail commerce and small manufacturing.
Some "firsts" of Monett: the first mayor was S.J. Courdin; first birth was Monett "Montie" Myers (painter and artist), the first newspaper was The Monett Weekly News; first police chief marshal was Anthony Segerer; first city hall was built in 1896 and the first YMCA was the magnificent "Railroad YMCA" built in 1898.
Young Monett developed an economy of much diversity - livestock, apples, tomatoes, a cigar factory, ice plant, razor/cutlery factory, creamery, poultry, dairy and the famous "Ozark" strawberries. In fact, Monett became known as the "Strawberry Capital of the Midwest."
The first licensed auctioneer in Missouri operated with the Ozark Fruit Growers Association of Monett. As the railroad economy in Monett began to decrease in the middle of the last century, several farsighted business leaders established the Monett Industrial Development Corporation, which encouraged the growth of manufacturing in the area.
Upcoming area and county events include the Dogwood Car and Truck Festival, the Annual Home and Business Show, Back To School Kid's Fishing Day, Antique Tractor and Engine Show, Spring Kid's Free Fishing Day, the Cassville Christmas Parade, the Christmas Tour of Homes, the Annual Wurstfest, the Chili Cook-off and Salsa Festival, the Homer Sloan Buddy Bass Tournament and more.
Public elementary, middle and high schools in Monett include Monett Elementary, Monett Intermediate, Monett Middle, Oakview State School, Monett High and Southwest Area Career Center.
Colleges and universities near Monett include Missouri Southern State College, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Southwest Missouri State University, Southwest Baptist University and Pittsburg State University.
Hospitals and medical centers in and near Monett include Cox-Monett Hospital, Aurora Community Hospital, Missouri Rehabilitation Center and South Barry County Memorial.
Recreational opportunities have always abounded in Monett. The Monett City Park System began with a 1921 bond election. In 1923, 40 acres were purchased and a swimming pool constructed. The park lake and casino building were constructed around 1926. Today many enjoy the municipal pool, tennis courts, ball field, skateboard park and more.
Movies have also been a part of Monett since the early 1900s with Dreamland Theatre and the famous Gillioz Theatre.
Recently a new Monett YMCA organized with many worthwhile programs. A new facility is planned in the near future.
Other recreational attractions include the Roaring River State Park in Cassville, the Promised Land Zoo in Eagle Rock and more. Area golf facilities include the Monett Municipal Golf Course, Bryce Oaks Golf Club, Cedar Creek Country Club, Kings River Golf Course and the Cassville Golf Club.