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Whatever Happened to ????????

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Ha Ha Tonka, located about three miles SW of Camdenton, was once known as Gunter Springs, named after James G. Gunter, an early land owner.  Next to the Gunter propery was property owned by the Roach Family.  Robert G. Scott and his friend from Iowa purchased the Roach tract of land in order to form a little town.  Mr. Scott was not fond of the name Gunter Springs, so it became Ha Ha Tonka.  It was alleged that the Ha Ha Tonka name was an Osage Indian phrase meaning "Laughing Waters", however, there is no evidence of this.  So the post office at Gunter became the post office at Ha Ha Tonka.


Originally called Harroldstown, had its beginning in the early 1860's with the building of a Mill at the junction of a spring branch and the Wet Glaize Creek at the mouth of Barnett Hollow.  This little community continued to grow and at one time consisted of a Post Office, drug store, livery stable, blacksmith shop, restaurant and general store along with several other businesses.  The Post Office was discontinued in 1941 and the town slowly closed her doors.  From a once thriving community with at least twenty buildings the town has disappeared and is only a memory.


The town is believed to have its beginnings in about 1885 or 1886 when land was donated and a school was built.  As in many other small towns, the school was its main point.  It was located near the banks of the Glaize.  This little town was too was taken over by the waters of Bagnell Dam.  The old school building is still standing on the hill and is still a gathering place of former students.  The school closed in 1940.


The following pictures are recent.  Taken March 1, 2004, but hasn't changed a whole lot.

Climax Springs City Hall

Across the street from the bank

Citizens Bank

Main Street

Climax Springs is located on Section 30, Township 39 north, Range 19 west.

James C. Beard was the first settler in the vicinity of the town, his settlement having been made in 1868.  First residence in the town was a small frame house built in 1882 by John T. Wayne, who opened the first store there in the same year.