The grave site of the man Branson is “kind a named after.”

A lot of the individuals and families that come to Branson never get to historic downtown Branson and that’s a shame. Interestingly, those that come on guided tours or by bus will almost always get to historic downtown Branson. Why? The professionals guiding those tours don’t want their clients to miss it’s old time atmosphere, collection of local restaurants, such as the Farm House, Clocker’s, Branson Café, and The Shack, unique shopping, and “Dick’s Ole 5 & 10 Store” because they provide an Ozarks experience not available anywhere else in Branson.

And of course, there is the reason it is referred to as “historic downtown Branson.” Everything that Branson is today, including its rich family entertainment tradition, has its roots in historic downtown Branson.

Although it’s kind of hard to put a handle on who the “founder” of Branson is; it’s not to difficult to determine who the city of Branson is “kind a named after.” That would be Ruben S. Branson.

Ruben S. Branson, a store keeper and school teacher in his late twenty’s, started a general store near the mouth of Roark Creek and the White River in 1882. The general store had a post office and, you guessed it, it was called the “Branson Post Office.” Ruben moved to Forsyth, a scant four years later in 1886, but the post office kept its name. Thus the “kind a named after,” because Branson is actually named after its’ first post office, which, for obvious reasons, was named after Ruben S. Branson.

Each day hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people, most unknowingly, drive past the grave of the man whose name the city bears as they travel to, from, and through historic downtown Branson via Okalahoma Street. The grave site may be conveniently viewed, without actually entering the cemetery, from the northwest corner of Oklahoma and Commercial. Just look for the large grey rectangular headstone with the name of “Branson.” It marks the graves of Ruben and his wife Mary.