Branson, Missouri In 1882 an entrepreneur named Ruben Branson opened the first general store and post office as settlers began to come to the area seeking and finding plentiful game and fertile land. The area began to thrive because of the great fishing in the White River. 1895 saw the beginning of a new agricultural crop - tomatoes thrived here and soon a cannery was built in nearby Stone County. The many cans of tomatoes were loaded on to Paddle Wheel boats on the White River, the start of an industry that would last for over 75 years. In the early 1900s, there were many farms near the Branson Post Office, as well as a handle factory, a tobacco barn, cotton gin, and a steamboat landing at the waterfront. The tobacco industry was the largest agricultural crop of the area and would continue to be so until 1959 when the tobacco farms became the bottom of the newly formed Table Rock Lake. The first school sat high upon the hill overlooking what is now downtown Branson. The settlement took the name of its first postmaster until 1901, when the second postmaster, named William Hawking, changed the name of the post office to Lucia.