OZARK, Mo. – Midway up Eutsler Hill between Finley River Park and downtown Ozark sits the historic Weaver House. The landmark was built between 1842 and 1858 by John R. Weaver.
The structure is Ozark’s only pre-Civil War building that currently stands and is the oldest house in the entire town. The home was not only present during the Civil War, but also became a part of the war’s history itself.
On August 1, 1862, a battle between Confederate and Union soldiers broke out near Camp Brown, which is where Finley River Park currently sits. As the battle ensued, the Weaver property became a temporary war hospital for both sides of the fight. Blood stains can still be seen on the floor of an upstairs bedroom.
Historian Wayne Glenn once said that the house had been riddled by gun fire. While no ammo has ever been found, home-owner Scott Kaufman has a cannonball that was found inside the side of the house years after The Battle of Ozark.
The previous home-owner found the cannonball and gave it to Kaufman after he purchased the property. Another cannonball was recovered from the property in the 1970s and now resides inside the Christian County Museum. A patched hole can also be seen on the side of the fireplace chimney where a cannonball reportedly went through it during the battle.
After the Civil War, the Weaver House served as a safe haven for the Christian County Baldknobbers vigilante group. The Baldknobbers’ original purpose was to hunt down bushwackers, murderers and other criminals in the Ozarks as lawlessness became abundant post-war. However, the Christian County group soon took their “duties” too far.
While the Taney County Baldknobbers were being praised for ridding their county of murderers and robbers, their Christian County counterparts added moral behavior and personal vendettas to the fold by attacking alcoholics, unwed couples, adulterers and more.
After the Christian County Baldknobbers murdered two men and injured others while searching for a man who spoke against their organization, the group was disbanded and many members were publicly hanged for their crimes.
According to a local legend, three baldknobbers who were publicly hanged made the Weaver House into a hideout before their demise. In an upstairs bedroom, a Baldknobber mask was burned into the floor and is still visible today, which was often done to let other group members know that it was a safe place to be. The same bedroom is said to be the location of the last known Baldknobber meeting.
Due to its dark past, The Weaver House is also known to be one of the most haunted locations within the Ozark and Springfield areas. Owner Scott Kaufman says he is in the process of refurbishing the home and has plans to open it to the public for history buffs and ghost hunters to check out in the future.