Completion Of The A. & P. R. R. To This Point—Founding Of "New Town"—Some Of Its Pioneers And Present Business Men, Etc.
As North Springfield was not apparently thought of much before the year 1870, its history is necessarily brief, and may soon be told. But a history of the town would not be complete without a sketch of the incidents relating to the construction of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. In fact, without this sketch, its history would be as incomplete as would the history of the United States , which should not mention Columbus.
As we have seen from the reference to this road, before given, in the year 1868 a company of New Yorkand Boston capitalists, with the assistance and co-operation of a few of the citizens of Springfield, purchased the road from the authorities of the State of Missouri, into whose hands it had fallen after Gen. Fremont's failure to make the second payment on his purchase.
Prominent among these gentlemen from the East were Messrs. -Peirce, Hayes, Stout, Rich and Coffin; while among the citizens of this place, who were actively engaged in the enterprise, were Dr. E. T. Robberson, and Messrs. Eli Parrish, Chas. E. Harwood, Thomas Whitlock, S. H. Boyd, and Wm. Massey.
All the time, for, the organization of the company, about the year 1850, for the construction of the Southern Pacific Branch .Railroad, to within a few months of the completion of the road to this place in 1870, the people of Springfield had been looking forward with bright anticipations to the dawning of a new era of prosperity, whenever the iron band should connect them with the outer world; but as the path of the "iron horse" began to be marked out through Greene county, they saw, with alarm on the part of some, and, perhaps, misgivings on the part of others who had once had it in their power to bring it nearer, that instead of coming directly to the city, it would, like the Pharisee of old, "pass by on the other side."
"Still, though not realizing their fondest anticipations, the citizens of Springfield hailed with joy the day when the road was completed to a point so near their borders; and, from a pamphlet entitled "Opening of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and Completion of the South Pacific Railroad to Springfield, Mo., May 3d, 1870," we quote the following extracts from an address of welcome delivered by Gov. Phelps on that occasion:
"Mr. President and Directors of the South Pacific Railroad: In behalf of the citizens of Springfield and its vicinity, I tender you a hearty welcome. For years we have been anxiously looking for the completion of a railroad to this city. We knew the difficulties to be overcome, the obstacles to be removed, and the arduous work to be accomplished, and we duly appreciated the great advantage the road would be, not only to Springfield, but to the surrounding country.
"You now have our heartfelt thanks, that the great and difficult work is finished, and to you, Mr. President and Directors of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, the completion of the road to this point is a source of as much joy as it is to us.
"I notice there are with us the Governor and other officers of the State, Ex-Gov. Fletcher, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two of the members of Congress, and ex-mayor of the city of St. Louis, an ex-postmaster and the President of the Board of Trade of that city, the Secretary and an ex- Secretary of State, several members of our Legislature, and other distinguished gentlemen. All these have come here to greet us. I tender you a cordial and hearty welcome.
"Many of you, perhaps, have had business relations for years with some of the people of this city and the Southwest, yet as this is your first visit to our beautiful country, you can hardly appreciate the difficulties under which we have labored, without an easy and expeditious connection with other portions of the State.
"We were in an almost isolated condition; access to our country could only be obtained by days of tiresome and weary travel, over rough and rugged, roads, and through a hilly and mountainous country, whilst for years you have been in the enjoyment ofrailroad communication with all the advantages you possess; nay, more, we have rejoiced with you in your good fortune and prosperity, and have earnestly endeavored to secure the same beneficent results to ourselves. We cordially greet you on this morning of our prosperity. We unite with you in rejoicing that this railroad, of such infinite advantage to the people of Southwest Missouri, and of such great importance to the State, and which will tend so greatly to increase its wealth and population, is completed to our city.
"You have but just entered upon the table-land and beautiful country which extends not only to the western line of the State, but for many miles beyond the limits of our State. And now, my countrymen, this is a happy day for us. We celebrate the completion of the South Pacific Railroad to our city. This is an event which opens to us a new and a bright future henceforward, by reason of an easy and rapid communication with all parts of our country. This part of our State, with its mild and salubrious climate, with its fine, pure water, and numerous streams, with its rich and fertile soil, invites the enterprising man to make it his abode, and unite with us in advancing its material prosperity.
"Everything which can be produced in the United States can here be produced in superabundance, except the ice of Alaska, the cotton and rice of Carolina, and the tropical fruits of Florida. No portion of our country surpasses this in natural advantages. The bright and happy future, the subject of our wishes for many long years, has lust arrived upon us, and no longer shall we be compelled to travel by stage on bad and dangerous roads, over a broken, hilly and mountainous country, to reach the commercial emporium of our State.
"This road is to be the great thoroughfare to the Pacific. You have just entered upon the beautiful and fertile country which extends for hundreds of miles in a westerly course from this city, and through which this road will pass. No trans-continental route possesses the advantages this route possesses. The climate of this entire route is mild; it is near the 35th parallel of latitude. But little snow in the most severe winters falls in any portion of this route, hence the running of cars will not be obstructed by snow. The greatest altitude on the route is about seven thousand feet above the level of the ocean. In that latitude the cold on the highest summit is not severe. The country on its entire route will be settled, except a small portion between the Colorado river and the mountains. But when this road shall be extended to the Pacific, the products of India and Japan will pass our very doors on their way to St. Louis and other portions of our country. This road to Southwest Missouri should have been built long before this time. It will profit nothing to inquire who was at fault, nor who to censure, if any. Let it be as it may, we now have a road which greatly contributes to our wealth, our prosperity and our happiness.
"In behalf of the people of Springfield and its vicinity, and in behalf of the people of Southwest Missouri, I return to the President and Directors of the South Pacific Railroad our heartfelt thanks for the great and inestimable benefit they have conferred on us, and to the President and Directors of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad we say, God speed them in the great and noble enterprise in which they are engaged! Push forward the work until the road shall reach the Pacific. Our hearts are with you; and to those from distant parts of our State, who have honored us with their presence on this day of our rejoicing, we tender our thanks, and again bid them, and the officers of the railroad companies, welcome, a hearty welcome!"
From the address of Hon. Francis B. Hayes, President of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, delivered on the same occasion, we quote the following:
"It is for you, gentlemen. and ladies, as well as for me and my associates. to unite in accomplishing the great work we are engaged in; and if we do succeed in our efforts, and this road is completed, you and I will have the satisfaction of having aided in accomplishing a work of more importance and value to this State and to the nation, than any ever before undertaken. Then let our cry be, 'Onward, onward to the Pacific ocean.'"
Ex-Gov. Fletcher was the next Speaker, whom the President asserted needed no introduction to a Missouri auditory. From his address we quote as follows:
"My Friends There is victory in this-glorious victory! Such a victory as peace only brings to patient, persistent toil in the right! In such an hour the human heart knows its most delicious thrill of feeling. God pity the poor miserable creature who has never experienced the joy-throbs of a victory crowning the struggle for the accomplishment of some good thing for mankind.
"Aye! I hear the deep rumbling echoes which are given back from the forests and hills around us for the first time. `Tis the sound of the tread of the ages--the noise of the footfall of destiny as it grandly marches onward.
"At this distance of two hundred and forty-one miles from where the central city of the Republic sits upon the sunset bank of the Father of Waters--at an altitude of nearly nine hundred feet above the quays of that city; here, at a distance of nearly fifteen hundred miles from Boston, a portion of the stockholders in this enterprise send greetings and congratulations to their associates down by the Atlantic shore, telling them in words of lightning the story of their success, and announcing that there is today an unbroken line of railroad and telegraph communication from Plymouth rock to Springfield, Missouri."
Several other addresses were made by distinguished visitors and citizens. all of whom expressed gratification at the completion of the road to this point, and great hopes for the future prospects of Southwest Missouri. But we must now return to the founding of North Springfield.
Col. S. H. Boyd, who was an ex-Member of Congress from this district, had once been before President Lincoln with a proposition for the construction of the road from Rolla to this place, for the transportation of troops and military supplies in time of the war; but, although the President seemed to look upon the subject with favor, it was opposed by the Secretary of War, and the plan was never carried into effect.
Failing in this, Mr. Boyd had been a partner with Gen. Fremont, in his purchase of the road in 1866, and now that if was again sold, he still took a lively interest in the affairs of the new company.
Being, from his past acquaintance with the plans of Gen. Fremont, pretty well posted in the probabilities connected with the construction of the road, Mr. B. purchased from Dr. Robbersons half interest in a large tract of land lying in the north part of Springfield and adjacent to its northern limits. Messrs. Robberson and Boyd then purchased all lands lying in the southeast part of the city which would be available for depot grounds; and when, at last, a meeting of the stockholders of the company was held in Springfield, to negotiate with the city for the location of the depot, it was found that suitable grounds within the city limits could only be purchased from these parties, at prices which the city was unwilling to pay.
Messrs. Robberson & Boyd then offered the railroad company a half interest in the lands first mentioned, provided the depot should be erected where it now stands, and this proposition was finally accepted.
This led to the Organization of the Ozark Land Company, consisting of the South Pacific Railroad Company, Dr. E. T. Robberson, and C. H. Harwood, who had purchased the interest of Col. Boyd.
A town was now laid out adjoining the city of Springfield on the north, and North Springfield sprang into existence as if by magic. The first building erected was the small frame building erected by the company, and used for some time as a real estate office, at the corner of Jefferson and Commercial streets. The next was the residence and store of J. J. Barnard, who opened the first stock of groceries and provisions. Next came Mr. Payton's residence and Dr. Hansford's drug store. Mr. Barnard's was the first family that came to town, but was soon followed by Mr. Payton's, Dr. Hansford's, Mr. Mumfort's, and other families too numerous to mention.
Among the pioneers to the new town was
J. C. JACKSON, GROCER
who came here when the town first began to build up, in the spring of 1870, and erected a two-story brick building 20x64 feet on the south side of Commercial street, near the corner of Jefferson avenue. In 1876, feeling encouraged by the prosperity which had attended him since he came here, he erected a second brick building adjoining the first one on the east, and of the same dimensions. In the spring of 1878 he raised his building one storyhigher, and now has one of the finest brick blocks in town. One room of this block is used by Mr. J. in Carrying on the grocery business, which he opened as soon as his building was ready to receive a stock of goods in 1870, and has ever since continued; and the rest of the building is fitted up in good style for a hotel, which in also run by Mr. Jackson, under the name of the
NORTH SPRINGFIELD HOUSE
This house has a wide reputation and goodly patronage, and on one is ever dissatisfied with either fare or charges.
Mr. Jackson is a native of Kentucky, but removed first to Coles county, Illinois, where he remained five years before coming to North Springfield.
H. H. KAUFHOLZ, GROCER
who was one of the first men that came to North Springfield, was born in Germany, in 1832, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1845, landing in Baltimore, where he remained until 1850, when he went, first to Washington, then to New Orleans, and finally to Texas, engaging in the dry goods and grocery business in San Antonio, where be remained until his removal to this place in 1870. During the war he held the office of constable in San Antonio. Arriving in North Springfield early in March, 1870, he immediately commenced the erection of a two-story frame building, 23x50 feet, with a ware-room about the same size, on the corner of Commercial street and Robberson avenue, in which he opened a "general store" in May following. In this building, he continued the business until it was destroyed by fire October 12, 1872. This fire was occasioned by the burning of the famous Fellows elevator, on the opposite side of the street, the heat being so great as to ignite Mr. Kaufholz' building at a distance of over a hundred feet.
Mr. K's loss by this fire was about $7,000, on which he only received insurance to the amount of $4,200, which was barely sufficient to pay his debts ; but his tried and true friends of New York city came to his aid, and he the next year erected his present fine two-story brick building known as the
and on the same ground where he sold the first sugar and coffee in North Springfield he now keeps one of the best retail groceryhouses in Southwest Missouri. Mr. K. has recently added to this brick building another store room, 16x58 feet, which is now occupied by Mr. H. H. Haynes, with a stock of millinery and fancy goods.
Mr. Kaufholz has several times held the office of Town Councilman since the town was organized. and is one of the most watchful guardians of its interests. He brought with him a highly respectable family, and for several years past has been assisted in his business by his son Henry, who will no doubt in future years fill as important a place in the growing city as his father has before him.
The whole loss in the fire above mentioned was first estimated at $20,000. although it did not, probably, reach quite that amount In connection with the elevator before mentioned, was the large forwarding and commission house of Mr. Fellows, which was totally destroyed. The building stood about where the new elevator has recently been erected, on the corner of Commercial street and Robberson avenue.
Strangers visiting the town always enquire what that large stone foundation was built for, just opposite the passenger depot. That is where once stood
THE OZARK HOUSE
a fine large frame hotel, which cost the railroad company and the Ozark Laud Company about $30,000. It was among the first buildings erected in North Springfield, and was kept for about five years as a first-class hotel, but in the winter of 1874 it was destroyed by fire and has never been rebuilt.
The following year Dr. Hansford's two-story frame boarding house was destroyed. and the Doctor set to work as soon as possible to erect
THE LYON HOUSE
which is a fine three-story brick hotel, standing on the ground which his former building occupied, on the south side of Commercial street. Dr. H. is a man who seems to understand the business of keeping hotel, and is highly respected, not only by those who have made his acquaintance here, but by his old friends and neighbors in Ozark and in Arkansas, where he formerly lived.
SOUTHWEST PRINTING OFFICE
In February, 1869, the Southwest was first issued by H. Lick, from an office over Dr. McAdoo's store in Springfield. In March following, Z. T. Hedges bought an interest in the paper, and in August of the same year Mr. Lick sold out his interest to D. B. Taylor, when the office was removed to North Springfield and the name changed to The Springfield Republican, Taylor, Hedges & Co. being the publishers. In the spring of 1871 the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Taylor retiring, and Mr. Hedges remaining in North Springfield arid re-establishing the Southwest Under this style it continued until 1875, when Mr. Lick returned and took charge, soon after which the office was destroyed by fire. The office was at that time in a building erected and owned by D. B Taylor, who still had some claim on the office, and held insurance policies to the amount of $l,900 on the building and office.
Soon after this a new outfit of material was purchased by Mr. Lick, who changed the name of the paper to the Southwester, and continued its publication until the spring of 1878, when W. H. B. Trantham became the editor and proprietor, and the paper, which had been published as an "independent" sheet, became the organ of the National Greenback party of this county. It is an eight-page, five-column paper, devoted to the interests of the farmer, the mechanic and the laboring man, in opposition to monopolies of all kinds, and seems to be quite popular with those whose cause it has espoused. Connected with the office is a job department, which turns out a large amount of first-class work.
RAILROAD LAND OFFICE
Prominent among the business interests of North Springfield in its infancy, was the real estate business, and in that little building, before mentioned, which still stands on the corner of Commercial street and Jefferson avenue, we are credibly informed that $90,000 worth of town lots were sold during the first six months. Besides this, thousands of acres of farming lands were sold during the same time, by Messrs. C. E. and Alfred Harwood, who occupied this office, and were for several years the authorized agents of the Railroad Company, for whom they have transferred nearly a million dollars worth of real estate.
These gentlemen were originally from Bennington, Vt., but came here from Wisconsin or Illinois. They are both highly respected citizens, and have amassed a large amount of property in the town and surrounding country, in the short time they have been in Southwest Missouri. They both reside within the limits of "Old Town."
In the spring of 1878 the Harwood Bros. resigned the position of agents for the Railroad Company, and Dr. E. T. Robberson was appointed as their successor. The Doctor, who is also a citizen of Springfield, has always been one of the most active and earnest advocates of all measures for the advancement of "New Town." The business of the office is now under the efficient management of A. M. Haswell, who is thoroughly posted in all the details of the business, having formerly assisted Messrs. Harwood Bros. in the office, and being for some time engaged in "grading" and setting prices upon the various tracts of railroad land in this and neighboring counties. Dr. Robberson is thus relieved of most of the care and responsibility of the office, and still has time to continue the practice of his profession. He is also a partner in the large drug store of Robberson & Reed, in the brick building at the corner of Commercial street and Benton avenue, where he has his office; besides which, he is a partner with Mr. McCaskill in a dry goods Store in the west end of town, and has a controlling interest in various other business enterprises.
THE LUMBER TRADE
was among the important business interests of North Springfield in its infancy, and was represented in 1870 by T. R. Johns, Theodore Bloess, J. C. Degenhardt, McAllister & Barber, J. G. Raithel, and Kennedy & Druhe.
Mr. Johns, who was from Ohio, came here a few months before the arrival of the cars; so he had become well acquainted in the new town, and being a man of fine address and pleasant demeanor, soon won a large share of the trade; but, with his liberality, and whole-souled generosity to all of the new enterprises which were gotten up for the benefit of the town and county, he soon failed. Having married a farmer's daughter, he has since settled down upon a farm west of town.
Mr. Bloess, who was also largely engaged in the lumber business in Sedalia, and whose name was familiar to the men who came here from the northern counties to purchase lumber, also did a large business during the first year, but he also "busted."
Mr. Degenhardt was at this time doing a heavy business in St. Louis, but, being unfortunate in the selection of a man to represent him here, he never built up a very extensive trade in the Southwest, and he also "went under."
Messrs. McAllister & Barber made it lively for their competitors here for a short time, but as soon as the railroad was completed to Pierce City, they "pulled up stakes" and removed to that place, where they have, until recently, been doing a thriving business.
Mr. Raithel, who came here from St. Louis, was originally from Bavaria, one of the states of Germany, where he was raised and educated, coming to America in 1852. After successive removals from New York to Indiana, thence to Iowa, and finally to St. Louis, he followed the new railroad, and, early in the spring of 1870, came to North Springfield, where he continued in business four years; first near his present residence on the north side of Franklin Square, and afterward on the corner of Campbell and Commercial streets. In 1874 he removed his lumber business to the corner of Mill and Boonville streets, in Old Town, among whose business men he is also mentioned. He still retains his residence and citizenship in North Springfield, where he has several times occupied a place on the Town Board and School Board.
But the only men in this business who have held to the place through evil as well as good report, from among the first to the present time are the firm of
KENNEDY & DRUHE
Prominent among the citizens in the advancement and prosperity of North Springfield, is John L. Kennedy. An old, tried, and true pioneer of the place, he stands as one of the noblest and firmest pillars in its structure. He has been on the ground since 1870, and has furnished a large part of the wood of many of its buildings, besides erecting, at his own expense, several fine residences for rent. Mr. Kennedy is a native of Dublin, Ireland, but has been a resident of this country over fifty years, during which time he has been familiar with the lumber business in various parts of the country, especially in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. His partner, Mr. Druhe, is a German, residing in Saint Louis, where he is one of the most extensive jobbers in the lumber trade.
W. WRIGHT, PRACTICAL ARCHITECT
As may well be supposed, carpenters and builders were in great demand in the first days of the town, and still seem to have a fair amount of work. The subject of this sketch is one of the pioneer builders of North Springfield, having made the plans and specifications of numerous substantial and imposing structures of the town. He is in every respect a first-class architect and builder. His nativity is Durham, Greene county, N. Y., one entire street of which city is settled by Wrights of his connection, and is accordingly very properly named Wright street.
J. M. DOLING, COMMISSION MERCHANT
From a recent issue of the Southwester we clip the following concerning this gentleman and his business:
"Foremost in North Springfield, in business and capital, is J. M Doling, and if we may not quite say, the life and embodiment of the place, it is at least due to this enterprising gentleman to accord him the credit of being the ruling spirit in the commercial interests of North Springfield.
"Mr. Doling's property and money interest is, perhaps, greater than any other one person's in Springfield. Besides his large estate in North Springfield, he owns a half interest in the Metropolitan Hotel of South Springfield, the original cost of which, if we are rightly informed, was more than $100,000. He likewise owns numerous other brick and frame buildings in that place, besides property in the north part of the State. His entire property and monied interest will probably aggregate a quarter of a million dollars.
"Mr. Doling is a native of Lexington, Ky., from whence he removed to Paris, this State, in 1843, and after successfully engaging in business there and at Gallatin a number of years, removed to Springffield1in 1867. When the shrill whistle of the first locomotive sounded from the summit of the Ozarks, and "Moon City" (as the Old Town people were wont to call our town) was seen through the veil of mystery, Mr. D.'s interest was identified with South Springfield; but, notwithstanding the entreaties of numerous parties to withhold his fine business talent and capital from North Springfield, he readily saw the advantage gained in shipping by locating here, and in 1870 commenced buying and shipping grain. That year he 'opened the road' to this place for the extensive grain shipping it now enjoys, handling in the first twelve months upwards of 30,000 bushels of wheat. In 1875 he shipped the enormous amount of 150,000 bushels of wheat besides immense shipments of rye, oats, corn and other produce, for which he paid out in cash over $150,000. Besides this, during that year, 1875, he handled about 3,000 bales of cotton, 50 hogsheads of tobacco, and 600 tons of other freight. When we see him doing the principal shipping and commission business at this place for one hundred miles south and fifty miles north, the above figures do not surprise us. It is safe to say Mr. Doling is by all odds the largest shipper on the line of the St. L. and S. F. R. R., west of St. Louis."
Besides this, Mr.'. Doling is extensively engaged in dry goods, hardware, and other kinds of business, in North Springfield.
JAMES A. STOUGHTON, STOCK DEALER
is one of the "heavy men" of North Springfield, and one of the pioneers. He is one of the largest real estate and personal property owners here, having the most extensive livery stable to be found anywhere in the West, consisting of two large, well-built frames, 50 by 100 feet, both well stocked with horses and Carriages. He is among the leading men of the town, both in wealth and enterprise. He was formerly from Connecticut, if we mistake not.
familiar with nearly every railroad man at this and other places along the line, was here in North Springfield's palmy days, and is here yet. Mr. Brunaugh for several years has been caterer to the good tastes of a host of patrons, who always find good eating at his restaurant.
B. H. BILLS, JEWELER
was another pioneer of this town, and the two-story frame building erected by him for a jeweler's shop, at the corner of State street and Robberson avenue, north of the railroad, still stands as one of the old land-marks. Mr. Bills is a native of Tennessee, from which State he removed in 1843, to the farm now occupied by him, two and one-half miles northwest of Springfield, where he has since remained, with the exception of about three years during the time of the war, when he considered the climate of Arkansas more healthy for him than that of Missouri.
For about fifteen years after coming here, he followed teaching, and was, for some time, the County Commissioner of Schools for Greene county. He is now engaged in the jewelry and watch-making business, on Commercial street, near the Lyon House.
The next house built on the north side of the railroad was that of S. H. Richardson, who removed his family thither in the spring of 1871. Mr. R. is a native of Virginia, being born in Richmond' and raised in Lynchburg, from which place he emigrated first to Louisville, Ky., and afterwards to this town, which he reached in 1870.
LOUIS MEISSBACH, BARBER
is a German by birth, but has been in this country ever since he was ten years old. His parents, with whom he came to America, stopped first in Galveston, but soon removed to St. Louis, where Louis was raised and learned his trade. Early among the pioneers of North Springfield he came here, and opened a first-class barber-shop and erected his present residence on Washington avenue, which was one of the first buildings in town. Mr. M. is a general favorite with citizens, railroad men and travelers, and. seems to have a host of patrons.
JAMES McKENNA, PAINTER
was originally from Wilmington, Delaware, and is consequently what is called one of the "blue hen's chickens." He came to North Springfield in April, 1871, and soon opened an ice-cream saloon and toy and notion shop, on Commercial street, where he seems to have a good trade. This establishment, however, is chiefly under the care of Mrs. McKenna, who is always on hand to wait upon customers, while her husband is at work at his trade. He appears to be an excellent mechanic, and is one of North Springfield's most highly respected citizens, having held successively several of the town offices.
J. L. MOONEY, BUTCHER
In the summer of 1877 Mr. Mooney opened a meat-market on the corner of Commercial street and Jefferson avenue, and seems to be doing a fine business. He is from St. Louis, where he was six years superintendent of the large packing house of John J. Roe & Co.
FRANCIS A. HEACKER, TOBACCONIST
sometimes known as "Big Heacker," and sometimes as "Little Heacker," has a reputation for doing up the "devil's weed" in the most tempting and pleasant manner. Frank has justly won for self and his manufactory the deserved reputation of Excelsior, and to-day stands a full length ahead of all other cigar-makers in Southwest Missouri. The Little and Big Heacker Cigars, his last brands, have found their way to nearly every "Johnny Schmoker" in this whole section of country, and "none know them but to love them." The Southwestern Cigar Factory is one of the important institutions of North Springfield, and stands at the corner of Jefferson avenue and Commercial street.
NEW STEAM ELEVATOR
Among the latest improvements in North Springfield is the steam grain elevator erected in the summer of 1878, by Robberson & Straw. The former partner in the firm is Dr. E. T. Robberson, before mentioned, and the latter is a gentleman who has formerly been engaged in the grain trade at Marshfield. We are informed that he intends removing his family to North Springfield and becoming a citizen.
SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER SOCIETIES
Not long after the laying out of the town and the commencement of business here, the writer opened school in a small frame building, known as the chapel, which stood on the west side of Jefferson street, where Locust Street now crosses. Here, during the winter of 1870-'71, he had a private school of from sixty to eighty students. Miss Bills also had a small school on the north side of the railroad.
In the spring of 1871, a public school was established and the private schools discontinued. Since that time there has been public school in the district from six to ten months every year, and in 1872 the present fine brick school building in the north part of town was erected at a cost of $17,000.
The first Church organized in North Springfield was a union Society, composed of different religious denominations, under the ministry of Rev. James Harwood. The place of meeting was in the Chapel before mentioned. After conducting the services about a year in this building, the name of the
was adopted by the society, and the present fine frame building was erected on the east side of Jefferson street, nearly opposite the first place of meeting.
For some time Mr. Harwood remained as the regular minister, after which two or three other ministers were employed, each for a short time, then Mr. Harwood was again engaged for a while. At the present time the pulpit is occupied by Rev. Oliver Brown, one of the professors of Drury College. Regular Services are held every Sunday, morning and evening, and a flourishing Sunday school, connected with the church, meets Sunday mornings at nine o'clock.
THE M. E. CHURCH
of North Springfield, was organized in 1874, under the labors of the Rev. S. M. Mortland, who was stationed here as the first regular minister. Since that time Revs. B. F. Poole, E. A. Day, and E. E. Condo, have been the ministers in charge, the latter being the present pastor. Prior to the organization of a regular society here, the town was included in a circuit, and Rev. J. G. Gardner preached here once a month. This Church now has regular services every Sunday, in the hall over Mr. Burge's store, at the corner of Commercial street and Benton avenue. A Sunday school was organized by Rev. Mortland, and is now conducted under the superintendence of John C. Keet, of Springfield.
SPRINGFIELD LODGE NO. 218, I. O. O. F
was organized in Springfield, in 1870, and removed to this place in 1871. Its present officers are: E. F. Wyland, N. G.; T. E. Wright, V. G.; F. A. Heacker, R. S.; E. T. Robberson, Treasurer; and George W. Burge, Cor. Sec'y. Regular meetings are held every Wednesday night, over the post office, corner Commercial street and Benton avenue.
GATE OF TEMPLE LODGE, NO. 422, A. F. & A. M.
was chartered May 8, 1872, with T. U. Flanner, W'. M.; B. F. Lawson, S. W.; and E. A. Finney, J. W. Its present officers are: E..D. Parce, W. M.; G. E. McCauley, S. W.; John Lopp, J. W.; W. D. Littlefield, Sec'y; W, Wilson, Treas.; Robt. Jay, S. D.; Alfred Ball. J. D.; F. H. Wightman, Tyler. Meets over post office, corner of Commercial street and Benton avenue, on the second .and fourth Thursdays in each month.
ST. LOUIS & S. F. R. R. SHOPS
Not exactly in the town, but on a forty-acre tract of land adjoining it on the east, are the extensive car and locomotive repair hops of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway. Up to 1873 the principal shops of this road were located at Franklin, or Pacific as it is now called, but at that time the round house was erected here, with accommodations for twelve engines, and shops large enough to admit five engines at a time for repairs, besides large blacksmith shop, with all the latest appliances for utilizing and saving labor.
In 1876 a sixty horse power stationary engine was put in to run the machinery, and the car shop, brass foundry and oil house were erected; also a large lumber and dry house. In 1877 there was considerable increase in the machinery, including a steam punch and shears, and a steam hammer of 36,000 pound stroke, but so regulated that the force may be diminished even to the weight of an ounce. In 1877 these shops employed about 170 men and turned out over one hundred new cars, besides keeping up ordinary repairs for the whole road of 363 miles.
Mr. K Kearney is the Master Mechanic having charge of the whole business of these shops. The bridge shop, erected in 1876, located a short distance north of the machine shops, and is under the control of James Dunn, Chief Engineer and Superintendent of Bridges, Buildings, Pumps, &c. At this shop most of the timber is furnished and the framing done for the bridges and buildings of the whole road. H. C. Sprague is foreman of this shop, and C. O. Ingraham is foreman on the Western Division, having charge of the work from Springfield to Viniti. This department employs about 25 or 30 men, most of whom have their headquarters in North Springfield.
G. E. McCauley, who was one of the first settlers of North Springfield, came here as a machinist, when the Company had only a small three-stall wooden engine-house, but as soon as the present large shops ware erected, be was appointed foreman of the round house, which position he still holds. Mr. M. is formerly from Baltimore, Md., but more recently from St. Louis.
F. Doyle, the present foreman of the Car Works, has occupied the position since 1876. He was originally from Ireland, but has been in this country about forty eight years, coming here when but three years old. He was formerly foreman on the Cincinnati & Marietta R. R:., and afterward of the North Missouri.
I. N. Mellinger was formerly foreman on this road, first at Franklin and afterward here, but about the middle of March, 1876, while coupling cars on the yard, was caught between two cars and almost instantly killed. Many sad cases of this kind have occurred here, and we are credibly informed that since the completion of the road to this place in 1870, not less than thirty men have been killed on this road, while engaged in this dangerous business of coupling cars.
Besides the gentlemen already mentioned, the following officials of the road have their headquarters at North Springfield, of which they are among the most highly respected citizens:
J. M. McCabe, Foreman in Machine Shops; J. R. Wentworth, Passenger and Freight Agent; J. R. Osborn, Yard Master; W. D. Littlefield, Supt of Telegraph; H. H. Haynes, Tie and Fence Inspector; John Williams, Clerk of Road and Building Department; L Lyman, General Road Master; and D. H. Nichols, Assistant Supt. of the Road.
As this is the station at which conductors, engineers, and brakemen are exchanged on nearly all trains, it is the home or headquarters of nearly all employees on the whole line.
By the census recently taken for this work, we find that over one-half of the citizens of North Springfield are directly in the employ of the Railroad Company, while of the remainder, a large proportion are engaged in keeping stores, hotels, boarding-houses or something which makes them indirectly dependent on the arrival of the pay-car on its monthly trips; and even the book-agent who would succeed in this town must put his time of delivering books about "pay-day."
A large portion of North Springfield is supplied with water from the large natural spring one half mile north of the Passenger Depot. This spring also furnishes water for the motive power of the extensive machine shops of the Company and for all locomotives running over this division of the road. The reservoir of the spring is 19x70 feet and about 6 feet deep. From this spring the water is forced up to the tank at the machine shops, and the one from which the locomotives and the town are supplied, by means of a powerful engine and Cameron pump, with 50 feet of suction pipe, and 2640 feet of three-inch discharge pipe.
INCORPORATION AND ATTEMPTED ANNEXATION
On the 4th day of July, 1870, the County Court of Greene county made an Order incorporating the "Town of North Springfield," which then included the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter, and all of the southwest quarter of section 12, and the east half of the east half of the southeast quarter of section 11, in township 29, range 22.
At the same time and by the same authority, J. J. Barnard, L. Hansford, M V. Smith, H. H. Kaufholz and William Turk, were appointed Trustees of said town. These orders were made "on petition of two-thirds of the citizens " of the town, but were afterwards discovered to be illegal, from the fact that scarcely any of said petitioners, and not even the gentlemen appointed as trustees, had been in the State long enough to become citizens. Therefore the original orders of incorporation were rescinded. and, on the 8th of May, 1871, the town was again incorporated including the same amount of territory though differently described.
By order of the County Court, Jan. 7, 1873, a voting precinct was established here, and on petition of , J. J, Barnard and others, the corporate limits of the town were so extended as. to include the northwest quarter of section 12, before mentioned.
In 1874, there was a bill introduced in the State Legislature to extend the limits of Springfield far enough north to include North Springfield, and the bill was passed providing that it should be so extended, if a majority of the tax-payers of both towns should vote in favor of such extension. The vote was first taken in North Springfield, and stood 72 opposed, and 1 in favor--Frank Lawson casting the vote in favor of the extension merely as a joke. Learning what the result was here, it was not considered necessary to take a vote on the proposition in Springfield.
In the Southwester of Feb. 31, 1877, we find the following condensed statement of the Town Records, furnished by James McKenna, who was at that time Clerk of the Board:
"Since the incorporation of the town the following named gentlemen have acted in an official capacity with marked ability and with little, if any, exception to their management. The Greene County Court granted the act of incorporation on the 8th day of May, 1871, and appointed the following named persons to act as Trustees; J. J. Barnard, J. C. Jackson, W. M.Turk, H. H. Kaufholz and A. P. Harwood.
Nov. 12, 1871--The Trustees met by consent, and J. J. Barnard was appointed Chairman and D. B. Taylor, Clerk, after which the Board proceeded to enact by-laws and regulations for the town. W. M. Turk was elected Marshal; A. M. Haswell, Assessor; L. Hansford, Collector; T. R. Johns, Treasurer, and J. C. Jackson, Street Commissioner. L. Hansford resigned the office of Collector and W. M. Turk was appointed to fill the vacancy.
"Nov. 20, 1871--J. J. Barnard removed out of the corporation and A. P. Harwood was elected chairman. The removal out of the corporation of J. J. Barnard and the resignation of W. M. Turk left a vacancy, and a special election was had, which resulted in the election of J. G. Raithel and W. M. Payton. A J. Russell was elected Marshal and Collector in place of W. M. Turk, resigned.
"Feb. 26, 1872.--Assessor A. M. Haswell resigned and D. B. Taylor was elected to fill the unexpired term, and J. R. Stokes Marshal and Collector in place of A. J. Russell, dismissed or expelled.
April 23, 1872.--After a spirited election, with many candidates in the field, the Contest resulted in the election of S. L. Campbell, Robert Sears, Oliver Smith, H. H. Kaufholz and W. Lawson. Raithel and Kaufholz being a tie, tossed up for theplace, and Kaufholz won. Organized by electing Oliver Smith chairman; H. F. Fellows, Clerk; J. L. Kennedy, Assessor L.Hansford, Treasurer ; J. R. Stokes, Marshal and Collector, and Jas. McKenna, Street Commissioner. J. L. Campbell and W. F. Lawson's resignations taking place June 24th, a new election was had on July 20th, which resulted in the election of J. G. Raithel and A. P. Harwood to fill the vacancies. Oliver Smith and Robert Sears resigning, a new election was had Oct. 26th, 1872, which resulted in the election of A. W. Wright and W. R. Graves. Dec. 16th, 1872, E. L. Wright was chosen clerk in place of Fellows, resigned. March 17th, 187 '3,, E. L. Wright resigned the Clerkship, and J. J. Dunlap was appointed to fill the vacancy.
"April 10, 1873.--New Board elected, consisting of the following persons; W. R. Graves, A. W. Matthewson, Wm. Lawson. Pat Mc Sweeney, H. S. Blankenship. A. W. Matthewson was chosen Chairman; J. J. Dunlap, Clerk; L. Hansford, Treasurer; Joseph Fletcher, Marshal; J. C. Jackson, Street Commissioner ; J. L. Kennedy, Assessor. May 6th, the County Court granted the petition of citizens asking for an extension of the town limits, and also a voting precinct, and fixed the boundary of northwest quarter of section 12, township 29. range 22. June 16th, Dunlap resigning, W. J. Rountree was elected to fill his place. July 7th, 1873, Joseph Fletcher resigned the Marshal and Collectorship and H. K. Durham was elected in his place. Aug. 12th, H. T. Rand was elected Clerk. vice Rountree resigned.
"April 18, 1874.--The newly elected Board, consisting of A. W. Matthewson. A. B. Clayton and D. P. Stewart, was duly qualified and organized by electing the following officers: J. M Mellinger, Chairman; H. T. Rand. Clerk; J. L. Kennedy, Assessor; L. Hansford, Treasurer; J. R. Cox, Attorney; H. K. Durham, Marshal, Street Commissioner and Collector.
"April 12, 1875.--A newly elected Board consisting of the following was duly qualified; I. N. C. Mellinger, D. P. Stewart, A. B. Clayton, L. Hansford and Jas. McCabe. Organized by electing I. N. C. Mellinger, Chairman; J. H. Moore, Marshal and Collector; W. Reed, Treasurer; Geo. Burge, Assessor; Jas. McKenna, Clerk; J. J. Barnard, Attorney; J. H. Moore, Street Commissioner. January 3, 1876, John H. Moore resigned and F. H. Wightman was elected to fill the vacancy.
"April 17, 1876.--New Board elected, viz: L. Hansford, Benj. Grist, H. F. Langenberg, C. W. Patton and H. H. Kaufholz. Organized by electing L. Hansford, Chairman; F. H. Wightman, Marshal and Collector ; W. Reed, Treasurer, and J. L. Kennedy, Assessor. June 5th, F. H. Wightman resigning his office. H. L. Baldwin was elected to fill the same.
From the present Clerk, Mr. J. H. Moore, we obtain the official record for 1877 and `78, as follows:
1877. --Councilmen, Dr. L. Hansford, W. C. Patton, H. Langenberg, H. H. Kaufholz, and H. H. Haynes. Organized by electing L. Hansford, Chairman; James McKenna, Clerk; Geo.Dickerson, Assessor; Wm. A. Reed, Treasurer; and H.L. Baldwin, Street Commissioner.
1878.--Councilmen, G. E. McCauley, L. Hansford, H. H. Kaufholz, H. H. Haynes and J. R. Stokes. Organized by electing J. R. Stokes, Chairman; J. H. Moore, Clerk; J. J. Barnard, Assessor; Wm. A. Reed, Treasurer, and J. F. C. Day, Marshal and Street Commissioner. Before the close of the year J. W. Palmer resigned his position on the Town Board, and a special election being held, Willis Augustus was elected to fill the vacancy.
Our allotted space for historical matter being now more than filled, we close the history of North Springfield, and call the reader's attention to the full and complete Directory of Springfield and North Springfield which follows.
Springfield-Greene County Library