The name was given to this city by families who came here from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Four hundred feet above the Mississippi and 12 miles distant from it, the site of Bowling Green was selected because of a big spring, the only ready source of water in the area. The city is located at the beginning of the prairie. Open land lies to the west and south hills and valleys to the north and east. The first settler was John Walter Basye, a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who first moved to Louisiana, Missouri, but purchased land in the Bowling Green Area on December 23, 1818, only ten days after Pike county was formed. As more and more settlers came to the area, the city began to grow and the first school was organized in 1825 by Edmond Basye.In 1923, a centennial celebration was held with festivities and events. In 1973, the town celebrated the sesquicentennial birthday.