York family plays sports in Strafford, MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsStrafford, Missouri offers the York family the perfect opportunity to connect with their community through sports. Purchase Photo

Along Interstate 44, east of Springfield, sits the charming town of Strafford, Missouri with a population of about 2,643, according to Data Commons. In August, Aaron and Rachel York—owners of Donco 3 Construction—and their children relocated from Niangua to Strafford, drawn by the excellent school district and the proximity to athletic centers. “Moving to Strafford, we’re close to the sports center and all the gyms that the kids have games and practices at,” York says. The York family has five children aged 7 to 20 who play volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and football at both club and school levels. Their oldest even works at the Strafford Sports Center while going through the dental assisting program at Ozarks Technical Community College. The cozy small-town atmosphere has become one of Rachel’s favorite aspects of living in Strafford. “I’m able to be home at an earlier hour, even though our kids are very involved,” she says. “We’re very convenient to everything.”

Finding a home in Strafford proved to be an unexpected challenge. “I feel like it’s a sought-after area now,” York says. However, while discussing the region and school district, York discovered that a friend was moving from Strafford to the lake area full-time. They purchased their house in April 2023 and undertook a remodeling project, which included the installation of a brand-new kitchen, updated flooring, a fresh roof and new windows.

Within a few months, the York family found a sense of belonging in the Strafford community. “There are a lot of people who have moved into the community,” Rachel says. “We all share that feeling, and they go above and beyond to make you feel welcome.”

Papaw’s Kookies and Kream Ice Cream Parlor

Papaw’s Kookies and Kream Ice Cream Parlor is a popular after-school spot for kids in Strafford, Missouri.

Common Grounds Coffee & Cafe

Common Grounds Coffee & Cafe is a go-to for Strafford residents.

Photos courtesy Papaw’s Kookies and Kream Ice Cream Parlor, Common Grounds Coffee & Cafe

Why Residents Love Strafford, Missouri