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SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, AND SURROUNDINGS • 1889


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Grand old Missouri has passed her trial years, and is coming to the front. A dozen years of border and civil war, with their attendant moral and material desolation, followed by other years of the social, political and industrial disorder that marked the transition from the barbarism of civil strife to the happier conditions of peace and good will, together with later years of popular prejudice against State and people, have done this grand old commonwealth incalculable harm. During these years of trials, and, indeed, up to a recent period, the immigration, capital, ambition and enterprise that had marked for their own the plains of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas, had poured with constant and increasing tide across Missouri, to build up splendid civilizations in these less inviting regions, wholly unconscious that they were passing the greenest fields and kindliest people in all the Middle Union. Blind prejudice led the way and millions of people, and hundreds of millions of capital, swept by this grandest of all the States, to reclaim the desert, build homes, found schools, churches, newspapers, railways and towns in lands infinitely less favored by nature or Providence. The new prairie States grew apace, while Missouri stood still. Everything and everybody worked for Kansas and Nebraska, nobody worked for old Missouri. Out there were treeless and rainless plains, and the land-grant railways, the newspapers, the State, county and town authorities, the clergy, the people, all said come! And come they did, with their wealth of brain and heart and muscle and gold, to transform an uninviting wilderness into great and prosperous States. Behind them lay the greenest (next page)

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