Nixa traces its origins back to the mid-1800s with the movement of farmers and traders into this fertile soil region of Southwest Missouri. The first settlers were farmers who chose to locate their homes along the wooded streams in the vicinity of present day Nixa. The growing community quickly became known as a stopover or crossroads site, as the community was a half-day ride with a team of horses from Springfield. It became a convenient stopping point for teamsters hauling supplies from Arkansas to Springfield and for those traveling to the lower James River and Arkansas.
One of Nixa's early civic leaders was Nicholas A. Inman, a blacksmith who moved from Tennessee in 1852. Inman established a partnership with Joe Weaver and opened a blacksmith shop in Ozark. Inman's family home site of 160 acres adjoins the present day corporate boundaries of Nixa.
As the community continued to grow and new settlers and businesses opened in this "crossroads" site, a post office was opened. At a town meeting held to select a name for the community and post office, it was suggested that the town be named after Inman because of his years of service to the community. Another suggestion that "nix" best described the community, as it was "nothing but a crossroads" (Collins, 1989). An "a", Inman's middle initial, was added to "nix", arriving at the community's name — Nixa. Nixa officially incorporated as a village on June 10, 1902.