postcard dates to the time of the O'Reilly General Army Hospital
which existed from November 1941 until it was converted to a Veterans'
Administration hospital in September 1946. It depicts the O'Reilly
Service Club, billed as one of the finest enlisted men's service
clubs in the entire army. Its caption reads "The O'Reilly General
Hospital Service Club is equipped with every convenience for the
pleasure of the Men of the Armed Forces." It is published by Ozark
News Agency, Springfield, Missouri.
The building which housed the Service Club was originally built
in 1911-1913 by a fraternal organization called the Knights of Pythias
as a home for the widows and orphans of its members. It was called
the Pythian Castle. The 3-story, 27,000 square-foot limestone building
at 1451 East Pythian is an example of Late Gothic Revival architecture.
The army bought the "Castle of Springfield" in 1942 for $29,500
and made it their Service Club. In 1945 it became a Veterans' Administration
Hospital. In 1980 the Ozarks Area Community Action Corps (OACAC)
first leased the building, remaining there until 1994. The building
was sold at auction in January 1994 to Gene and Rhonda Taylor. They
kept the castle until 2000 when the Springfield City Directory show
Linda and Frank Gray as owners. They are planning to use the building
for some type of work with the disabled.