Pulaski County has a varied and interesting history. From pre-Civil War to present, travelers have passed through and settlers have found homes in the region.
In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, demanding Indians relocate west of the Mississippi River. Many of the Indians refused to voluntarily leave. By 1838, the Army began the forced removal of those remaining. Chief John Ross asked the government to let the Cherokee control their journey. He then organized detachments of approximately 1,000 each. The Indians traveled by foot or horse and wagon to complete the 800-mile journey.
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail follows the routes the Cherokees took in their forced march from their homes in the southeastern US to the newly established Indian territory in Oklahoma. The northern route took them through southern Missouri. In 1838-1839, thousands of Cherokees camped next to the Roubidoux Spring in Waynesville.