(previous page) Mr. J. Lodge, of the Old Coon Tobacco Works, says: The growth of our own business shows that trade from this city may be carried all over the Southwest, and that a commercial city of 100,000 may be built here in ten years.
T. Ashby Sims, of Sims Bros., financial agents, and a young gentleman of exceptionally good judgment, says that in spite of grumblers, croakers and fossils, the city will have 75,000 people within ten years, and that the young and enterprising men already here and yet to come will ultimately build a mach larger city.
My old friend, A. L. Drew, who has practiced law, loaned money and handled real estate here for the past eight years, and whose carefully considered opinions are worthy the highest esteem, thinks 60,000 people will be living on the town site within the next ten years, and that 100,000 is not a high estimate of its ultimate growth.
Mr. Chas. H. Goffe, Secretary of the Real Estate Exchange, and from early to late a constant, public spirited and unselfish worker for the advancement of this city, says we shall have 100,000 people here ten years hence. Eight years ago, when we had but 10,000 people, I predicted, in the Southwest Advocate, which I then edited, that by 1890 we should have 25,000 people, and here we are to-day with not less than 36,000 within the city and suburbs. The geography and topography of this great Southwestern country makes Springfield the natural center for railways and commercial distribution for a big radius of country, reaching well toward Kansas City, Wichita, Fort Scott, Little Rock, Memphis and St. Louis. We have a splendid climate, vast undeveloped mineral and agricultural wealth, and no commercial rival within all the region I have outlined. Yes, sir, you may safely tell the outside world that Springfield is the coming city of the Southwest, and we have room and need for 100,000 new men full of heart and hope to aid us in building the beautiful metropolis and developing the latent wealth of Southwest Missouri.
L. M. Hill & Co., veteran real estate, loan and insurance men, put the next ten years growth of the city in good round figures, and believe its general future as bright as any city in the Southwest.
P. H. Martin draws very hopeful conclusions from the past growth of the town, and thinks 60,000 population not a large estimate for the ten years to come. He buys and sells realty like a man who has unfaltering faith in a great destiny for his adopted city.
Copeland & Bennett handle real estate with the confidence born of faith in a bright outcome for the city, and put the population ten years hence at 70,000.
Mr. L. S. Hardy of the Troy Laundry, and Secretary and Treasurer of the Springfield Furniture Manufacturing Co., says the recent rapid growth of their laundry business in Missouri and Arkansas, satisfies him that the possible extension of the trade of Springfield is much greater than most people suppose, and he shall not be surprised to see 80,000 here within less than ten years.
Capt. Geo. M. Jones, the sagacious, clear-sighted president of the Greene County Bank, says it is reasonable to anticipate 60,000 people in ten years. We have access to and are the commercial center of 125 miles radius of country, whose great mineral wealth we are just beginning to find out. This region is largely new and is fast settling with enterprising farmers and fruit growers, and it is easy to see that its development will have an important bearing on the growth of the city.
Mr. A. R. Fearn, a retired merchant, whose inside real estate is worth close to $100,000, and whose business judgment is rarely at fault, thinks 75,000 people is a moderate estimate for the next ten years, and that no city with a radius of 100 miles can successfully compete with Springfield for commercial and industrial supremacy.
Mr. J. C. Dingle, of the wide-awake real estate firm of Thomas, Kenner & Dingle, who for half a dozen years has often visited Springfield in the capacity of a commercial traveler, and who belongs to the company of level-headed, enterprising young business men, settled here from choice, in the belief that the city is destined to take high rank among the strong industrial and trading centers of the Southwest. In 1880 it had 1,000 less population than Joplin; now it leads that city by 25,000. If Springfield fails to grow into a town of 100,000 people, there is nothing in a big tributary country of great natural wealth.
Mr. J. J. Hibler, one of the most enterprising and successful real estate dealers and loan brokers of the city, whose investments for outside parties exceed half a million dollars, and whose prime business gifts have brought him a handsome property, has unbounded faith in the steady growth of the city to three times its present population. Mr. Hibler is the fortunate owner of some good Greene County farms and valuable city properties, and in a loan business of $500,000 for non-resident capitalists, has never had a foreclosure.
Dr. E. A. Roberts, the city oil inspector, a veteran councilman whose fifteen years’ residence here, and thorough knowledge of the city and its resources give decided value to his opinions, thinks 75,000 people will be living on the town site within ten years.
James M. Kirby, a successful and level-headed business man, who has grown rich here in the last fifteen years, thinks the city will grow to 50,000 within five years, and finally double that number of people.
Col. J. D. Williams, who does the bulk of the rental business in the city, says it is the most promising town in the Southwest, and that the mineral, agricultural and fruit-growing resources of the tributary region will carry it up to 60,000 people. His rental business is steadily increasing, and for the last six years the supply of homes has been considerably behind the demand.
Col. J. W. Powers, the President of the Central National Bank, and a man of ripe judgment and clear forecast, has great faith in the future of Springfield, and thinks the city will have 75,000 people within the next decade.
John W. Jump, a prominent and influential attorney, who has known Springfield and surroundings from his boyhood, is confident that the city will grow to 75,000 in ten years.
Jas. A. Bell & Co., enterprising and successful real estate brokers and abstractors, say that Springfield always has been and always will be the metropolis of Southwest Missouri; that it is central to the finest agricultural, mineral and fruit country in the Southwest, and will have 60,000 or more people in the year 1900.
Mr. J. F. Bigbee, real estate and financial broker, and a man of clear business views, says: We shall have 60,000 people in ten years, because we have a big country, all our own, with no near rival city; an abundance of cheap fuel for manufacturing, and no end to lead, zinc, iron, copper, marble and fine building stone within 100 miles of us. We are in the garden of the Southwest, have the purest atmosphere and water in the middle Union, and a splendid location for a large, beautiful and healthful city.
Mr. D. L. Griffith, one of the foremost insurance men of the city, and a capital worker in all good public enterprises, says the new population in the later additions outside of the city limits, would alone make a good sized town, and that the incoming workers for the new shops and factories will nearly double this outside population.
J. B. Dixon, a live real estate man with a level head, says: 60,000 for Springfield in 1899. Our natural increase will nearly give us that number. We are in daily receipt of inquiries from all over the North and East, showing that the eyes and hearts of a great multitude of good people are set on Springfield and Southwest Missouri. Our city is beautiful, high, healthy, and nearly out of debt. Our visitors and new settlers all like us. We’ve a prime reputation abroad, are on the high road to fortune, and want all the good men and women we can get to come and enjoy it with us.
I am pleased, in this connection, to quote the good opinions of Springfield entertained by well known and recent visitors from other states. Hon. Wm. Martindale, a prominent Kansan, largely interested in banking and stock farming, and a gentleman of conservative views and capital business sense, said to the writer, I am greatly impressed with the beauty, thrift and evident promise of Springfield, and believe it is destined to become one of the strongest cities in the Southwest.
Mr. C. C. Black, the genial and capable manager of the Missouri Pacific Town Co., for (next page)
Springfield-Greene County Library