HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Springfield Business College
The building in the postcard is the Springfield Business College, an offshoot of the Springfield Normal and Business College. It occupies the southeast corner of Jefferson and Walnut Streets, at 408 East. Walnut. The building was built in about 1906. It was made of red brick with large first floor windows. The street is deserted in this scene, which appears to be a photograph, but trolley tracks can clearly be seen in the right part of the postcard. The viewer is looking northeast toward the building.
Springfield Normal and Business College, also called Springfield Normal School, was established at Cherry and Pickwick Streets in 1894. J.A. Taylor founded the school and served as its first President. Students came from Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, as well as Missouri. The school had a football team which played -- and won-- the first night football game west of the Mississippi. In its final year of 1904-05 Springfield Normal enrolled 700 students and was still growing.
In 1905 the Missouri legislature passed laws that resulted in the erection of the Springfield district normal school, to be called Southwest Missouri State Normal School. The Springfield Normal and Business School did not in any way oppose the new school, even though it was established in the same city. In fact, it turned over its own normal school to the state normal school with "good will."
The school in the photograph was built as a continuation of the business part of the school. It continued in operation as the Springfield Business College until 1927. In 1929 the building became the College Apartments and in the 1960s the name was changed to Fleur De Lis Apartments. In the 1970s it was the East Walnut Apartments and finally Park Central Apartments in 1980. It is currently empty.