HISTORICAL MARKERS OF SPRINGFIELD & GREENE COUNTY, MISSOURI

MARKER NUMBER TWENTY-ONE

HISTORY OF SPRINGFIELD PUBLIC SQUARE

NOW

PARK CENTRAL SQUARE

1835-1970


Previous Marker

This marker was erected in 1972 and is located in the south part of the square. Many of the important events in the history of Springfield took place in or near the square and this marker records some of these happenings. The text of the marker reads as follows:

 

 

1835 JOHN POLK CAMPBELL PLANS GREENE COUNTY SEAT AND DONATES 50 ACRES OF LAND FOR TOWN SITE, INCLUDING 2 ACRES FOR PUBLIC SQUARE.
1836 FIRST COURTHOUSE, OF TWO STORY RED BRICK, BUILT IN CENTER OF SQUARE.
1858 BUTTERFIELD OVERLAND STAGE COACHES STOP AT STATION ON NORTHEAST CORNER OF SQUARE. CONSTRUCTION IS UNDERWAY ON NEW COURTHOUSE ON NORTHWEST CORNER AT COLLEGE STREET. TOWN WELL DUG FOR PUBLIC USE.
1861 UNION TROOPS UNDER COL. FRANZ SIGEL MARCH INTO SQUARE, JUNE 24. MILITARY COMMAND INCREASES UNDER UNION GEN. NATHANIEL LYON WHO LOSES HIS LIFE AT BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK, AUG. 10. CONFEDERATES UNDER GEN. STERLING PRICE HAVE BRIEF CONTROL. ORIGINAL (1836) COURTHOUSE IN CENTER OF SQUARE BURNS DURING RAID, OCT. 25, LED BY MAJ. CHARLES ZAGONYI, AT HEAD OF BODYGUARD OF GEN. JOHN C. FREMONT. UNION ARMY OF 30,000 WITHDRAWS WHEN FREMONT LOSES COMMAND, NOV. 3.
1862 UNION ARMY AGAIN OCCUPIES SPRINGFIELD, WITH COURTHOUSE IN USE FOR MILITARY PURPOSES.
1863 BATTLE OF SPRINGFIELD, JAN. 8, MOVES CLOSER TO PUBLIC SQUARE BEFORE ON-COMING CONFEDERATES ARE REPULSED.
1863 WILD BILL HICKOK KILLS DAVE TUTT IN GUN DUEL CONCERNING POKER DEBT AND HICKOK'S WATCH.
1871 WOODEN BELL TOWER WITH SPEAKER'S PLATFORM IS BUILT IN SQUARE AND STANDS UNTIL 1882.
1883 UNION AND CONFEDERATE VETERANS OF WILSON'S CREEK DEDICATE MONUMENT TO GEN. LYON, WHICH IS REMOVED IN 1884 TO NATIONAL CEMETERY.
1899 GOTTFRIED TOWER, WITH STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ELECTRIC ILLUMINATION IS ERECTED AND STANDS UNTIL 1908.
1910 COURTHOUSE ON SQUARE SOLD AS CONSTRUCTION GETS UNDERWAY ON NEW BUILDING AT BOONVILLE AND CENTRAL.
1911 ROUND CONCRETE SLAB, KNOWN AS "THE PIE", CIRCLED BY TROLLEY TRACKS, CENTERS SQUARE.
1947 THE PIE IS REMOVED, PERMITTING CROSS-SQUARE TRAFFIC.
1970 PARK CENTRAL SQUARE IS DEDICATED AS PEDESTRIAN PLAZA.

DEDICATED 1972

BY

UNIVERSITY CLUB OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI

MARKER NO. 21

—Prepared by Will Fletcher

Previous Marker

 
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