Founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1895, Seymour is the “Summit City Of The Ozarks,” as it is Missouri’s highest incorporated community at more than 1,600 feet in elevation. With a population of nearly 2,000 residents along the busy four-lane U.S. 60 corridor, Seymour is only 30 minutes east of Springfield and has steadily gained population in every federal census since 1940. Seymour offers amenities few small towns offer — a bustling city square, several public parks, a city-owned ballpark and tennis court, modern YMCA with an indoor swimming pool, a large public library, first-class public school with nearly 700 students and a growing business district along the highway.
Each year, the city plays host to the annual Seymour Apple Festival, a tradition on the downtown square since 1973, which annually draws more than 30,000 visitors over three days on the second Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every September. Seymour is home to the renovated Owen Theatre on the city square’s south side, a performing-arts and music venue constructed in 1941 and completely remodeled in 2018 after community fundraising efforts raised more than $250,000. Seymour is home to a wide variety of clubs and civic organizations, including the Seymour Area Arts Council, Seymour Community Development Association, Seymour Lions Club, Seymour Merchants’ Association and Seymour Historical Society, among others. The city also is home to more than 10 churches, representing a wide variety of denominations.
Rural Seymour is home to the largest Old Order Amish community in the United States. The Highway A and Highway C Amish communities include nearly 4,000 people of all ages and are active in Seymour, working as carpenters, making homemade baked goods, growing fruits and vegetables sold locally and shopping in local businesses. Their children are educated in a network of more than 10 one-room schools that surround Seymour in all directions.
City government in Seymour is led by a mayor, four aldermen and a city administrator. The city offers its residents 24-hour fire and police protection. Seymour has a complete network of public works, including electric, sewer, streets and water services, all owned and operated by the city. Semi-annual community cleanups are a free city service offered to all businesses and residents.
Seymour City Hall is located on the northwest corner of the square in a historic two-story building that dates back to the 1880s. The city also has park and planning-and-zoning boards, as well as a board that manages its state-approved Economic Enterprise Zone (EEZ). The city’s workforce of nearly 20 men and women includes several employees with 15 or more years of service.
Seymour’s origin is as a railroad town as a line from the San Francisco-St. Louis Railroad Company (Frisco) was completed here in 1882. For decades, the rails fed the economy, hauling apples and other fruits from Seymour’s plentiful and large orchards, which were stored at the community’s longtime “apple house” near the Frisco depot. As passenger rail traffic was replaced by automobile traffic, the old Route 60 became four-lane U.S. 60,and Seymour now has daily traffic of more than 25,000 motorists each day along its highway. The city has become a crossroads for southeastern Webster County, which has enhanced the community’s growth.
We invite you to visit our small city in the Missouri Ozarks, which we see as our version of “Mayberry” brought to millions of Americans in the 1950s and 1960s by “The Andy Griffith Show.” Seymour offers many of the services of larger cities while also giving a daily glimpse of small-town America and a community where neighbors know neighbors. Seymour’s survival and growth has been led by the involvement of its people.
Come see us!