Hernando de Soto
September 8, 1541: Hernando DeSoto’s party of exploration crossed the highest mountains in the Ozarks and found an Native American village near present day Lesterville, which they called Palensia. They wrote of being impressed by the painted skins decorating the home of the chief. But the village was “scattered” and poor, so they moved on and made camp that night on Bunker’s Plateau.
This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.