Springfield, Pierce City and Joplin
The period following the Civil War was a fairly lawless one in the Ozarks. Never a particularly urbanized region, the end of the war broke society down even further with a wellspring of guerilla and vigilante forces cropping up, fighting in honor of the Confederate cause up until the 1880s.
Bushwackers like the famous James-Younger Gang fought for the Confederate side and Bald Knobbers fought for the Union long past the end of the war. By the turn of the 20th century, life in the Ozarks had finally become somewhat stable, and many African Americans lived comfortably in segregated Black communities in small towns across the region. A series of widely reported lynchings, beginning with Pierce City in 1901, however, brought violence back to the forefront and effectively exiled the majority of African Americans who had settled in the Ozarks.
This violence led to a mass exodus of African Americans from the region and contributed to the majority White makeup of the Ozarks that exists to this day.