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flag  History of Springfield, Missouri, USA

Journey back in time to Springfield, Missouri, USA

Visit Springfield, Missouri, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Springfield, Missouri, USA - Woodruff Building

Springfield, Greene, MO

Springfield's nickname is "Queen City of the Ozarks" and it is known as the "Birthplace of Route 66".


There is MUCH more to discover about Springfield, Missouri, USA. Read on!

Springfield Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Woodruff Building
Springfield, Missouri, USA

Woodruff Building
Colonial Hotel
Springfield, Missouri, USA

Colonial Hotel
City Hall
Springfield, Missouri, USA

City Hall

Discover Springfield: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1854 - Springfield
Springfield, capital of Greene county, Missouri, on the S. W. branch of the Pacific railroad, 130 miles S. W. from Jefferson. The situation is high and healthy, and the water excellent. Springfield has a city charter, and is the most important and flourishing town in S. W. Missouri. It contains a court house, a United States land-office, 2 newspaper offices, and 1 bank. Population in 1850, 415; in 1853, estimated at above 1000.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1861 - October 25 - First Battle of Springfield in Missouri during US Civil War, Union victory
1863 - January 8 - American Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield
1865 - July 21 - In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.
July 21, 1865
1873 - September 25 – Classes begin at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, USA.
1889 - By an accident on the 2d on the St. Louis & San Francisco railroad near Springfield, Mo., three men were instantly killed and five injured, four of them fatally.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
February 9, 1889
1895 - Springfield
Springfield, a city of Missouri, the capital of Greene 80, is situated on high ground, on the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, 242 miles W.S.W. of St. Louis, and about 60 miles E. of Carthage. It is the most important and populous town of Southwestern Missouri...
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Springfield, a city of Missouri, the capital of Greene co., is situated on high ground hear the Ozark Mountains, on the Frsico System and the Kansas City, Clinton and Springfield R., 60 miles E. of Carthage. It contains a Federal building, high-school, Drury College (Congregational), which was organized in 1873, Loretto Academy, and a zoological garden. A national cemetery is located here. The city has important manufactures of flour, lumber, wagons, agricultural implements, engines, saddlery, etc., iron-works, foundries, and railroad-shops. Pop. in 1880, 6522; in 1890, 21,850; in 1900, 23,267.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
Springfield, Mo. - One of the most disastrous conflagrations in the history of Springfield, between 1 and 3 o'clock Wednesday morning, destroyed the Baldwin theater building and the Dr. J. H. Dixon building, on St. Louis Street, badly damaging the New Colonial Hotel building and threatening to destroy the entire business district.

The estimated loss is $200,000, with probably $100,000 insurance carried on buildings and contents.

Fire Chief Kanda fell down a stairway, but was uninjured.

Opie Reed, the novelist, was the attraction at the Baldwin Theater Tuesday night. The fire broke out in the theater building an hour after Manager Olendorf had gone home. Opie Reed was one of the guests at the Colonial Hotel, and was forced to flee with the others when it was feared the hostelry could not be saved.

The fire is supposed to have been caused by leaking gas. No one was injured.

A fierce wind carried sparks and burning embers many blocks, and scores of residences caught fire... Read MORE...

June 6, 1925: "Tiny Town" mini city last exhibited, Springfield, Missouri

The Old Farmer's Almanac
June 6, 1925
1932 - January 2 - Young gang shoot dead 6 police in Springfield Missouri
1938 - Tower, Support for Yule Star, Crashes on Classroom; 8 Hurt
Springfield, Mo., June 10 (AP).-Eight students at Southwest State Teachers’ College were injured Friday when a forty-right foot steel tower crashed through a skylight into a room where a class in architecture was in session. Thirty others escaped injury.

In a hospital here are Miss Edith Oliver, 40, a Neosho schoolteacher, who suffered a deep cut across the back; Miss Verna Lee Lunsford, 34, of Bolivar, also a schoolteacher, who suffered head cuts; Miss Edwina Shields, 26, of Conway, whose right hand was badly cut, and Miss Betty Ferguson, 22, of Springfield, who was knocked unconscious and suffered slight cuts and bruises.

The tower crashed during a rainstorm, and Roy Ellis, president of the college, believed it was struck by lightning. The tower was erected stop the administration building two years ago. Its sole use was for displaying a lighted star at Christmas time.
Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas
June 11, 1938
Springfield, Mo. (AP) - An American Airlines plane threading its way through darkness and rain toward a landing field crashed last night, killing 12 persons and injuring 23.

The twin-engine Convair crashed in a pasture about two miles north of the Springfield airport. Wreckage was scattered more than 300 feet.
The plane carried a three-member crew and 32 passengers. All the survivors were injured.

JACK FRIPISH, of Chicago, the pilot, was the only member of the crew to survive. Stewardess RITA MADAJ and copilot GLENN WALKER, of Chicago and Los Angeles, died.

The airport control tower had given final clearance for the landing. As the craft approached CARL McCRARY in the tower saw a flash. Then the plane disappeared and he gave the alarm.

Sheriff GLENN HENDRIX, one of the first to reach the scene made muddy by an all-day rain, said:

No Fire.
"There was no fire. In the darkness I found it hard to find the plane and I lost my shoes in the mud as I crossed the farm... Read MORE...

2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Springfield:
Fantastic Caverns: Explore the underground wonders of Fantastic Caverns, a ride-through cave system that offers a unique and fascinating experience.

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium: Immerse yourself in the incredible world of wildlife at this museum and aquarium. It's a top-notch facility with stunning exhibits and interactive displays.

Dickerson Park Zoo: Spend a day at the zoo, home to a variety of animals from around the world. It's a great place for families and animal lovers.

Nathanael Greene/ Close Memorial Park: This large park is perfect for a day outdoors. It has walking trails, a beautiful lake, and even a butterfly house.

Springfield Art Museum: If you appreciate art, check out the Springfield Art Museum. It features a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks.

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield: History buffs will enjoy exploring this Civil War battlefield. The visitor center provides insights into the events that took... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Springfield Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Springfield, Missouri, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Springfield.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorCharles DRAGER (1827, Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Niedersachsen, Germany - Oct 21 1895, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
female ancestorRebecca Jane POTTER (Oct 28 1842, Springfield, Missouri, USA - June 3 1883, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
male ancestorJames Spencer REYNOLDS (25 June 1855, Billings, Christian, Missouri, USA - 31 August 1936, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
female ancestorHelender B Ella SHEPHERD (17 January 1856, Franklin, Illinois, USA - 12 June 1933, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
female ancestorCaroline Charity WOOD (17 December 1859, Yellville, Marion County, Arkansas, USA - 1 September 1944, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
male ancestorWilliam Henry KEENE (20 September 1861, , Indiana, USA - 31 January 1937, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
male ancestorThomas Jefferson HOLBERT (26 November 1868, Humansville, Polk, Missouri, USA - 16 March 1926, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
photo of Lula Mae CLARKLula Mae CLARK (2 March 1869, Springfield, Missouri, USA - 16 October 1953, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA)
male ancestorElijah Roberts WILLIAMS (22 December 1883, Springfield, Missouri, USA - 18 November 1951, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA (Indian Orchard))

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Updated: 10/15/2023 9:44:41 PM