City of Ava Missouri
Parks and Recreation Department


Militia Springs Park

According to local tradition this park is located in the area where General Samuel R. Curtis' troop of State Militia was headquartered during the Civil War. Military journals note that General Curtis, along with 12,000 men camped in this area on a march from Forsyth MO through Vera Cruz on their way to West Plains in April 1862. 
Militia Springs is one of eleven springs located along the headwaters of Prairie Creek, At one time these springs collectively were known as the California Barrens. Local history indicates that this area was a launch point for wagon trains heading west to seek their fortunes. Local tradition also suggests that a log building, located on the northern edge of the camp, housed the Militia Springs post office. In 1928 there was a milk receiving station and a cheese factory and in 1937 there was also an ice plant and cold storage facility. Then in 1939 Clarence, Inez and Lois Clinkingbeard purchased the property in order to build a larger facility for their family business, Clinkingbeard Funeral Home.
In 2003 a group of students from the Missouri State University planning department put together a plan for a residential park in the Militia Springs area. After careful consideration in 2004 the Lyle Clinkingbeard family donated the land to the City of Ava, followed by a property donation from the Ronnie Johnson family. In 2005 the City of Ava constructed the park, thereby continuing a legacy created by the vision and efforts of previous generations of providing open space and recreational opportunities for area citizens.

Leon Harris, Mayor -- David Norman, Board President -- Burrely Loftin, East Ward Alderman -- Judy Lovan, West Ward Alderman -- James Taber, East Ward Alderman