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Local History

Old City Hall

"The tearing down of the three story brick building adjoining the Merchants National bank block on the [north] west side [of the square], which is to be started in a week or ten days, will mark the passing of one of the old landmarks on the public square. It was one of the three original brick buildings on the public plaza and at the time of its erection in the late sixties was the pride of Springfield.

"The building was then and for many years afterward known as the city hall building. It was never occupied by the city offices, however, but derives its name from the fact that the third floor was used as a public hall, opera house and for other purposes. For several years a large roller skating rink was operated on the third floor.

"The building was put up by Henry and Charles Sheppard and W.J. McDaniel, father of the local bankers, and originally had three store fronts on the square. One-third of the building was later replaced by a part of the Merchants National bank building. At the time of its erection, the old court house, another landmark to pass within the next month and a brick building at St. Louis Street and the public square were the only brick structures on the plaza. It provided an office building, modern stores and the city hall and was looked upon as a 'real' city building.

"The Merchants National Bank building was originally a tree-story structure and was increased to five stories some fifteen years ago. The Baker Block, the first big office building in the city, was erected twenty-seven years ago.

"Workmen will have the two top floors and a part of the third floor of the Merchants bank building torn down this afternoon. The Dalrymple Drug Store, the only remaining business concern in the block, is to be removed tomorrow to a temporary store in the northeast corner of the public square. T.M. Fainey will remove his cigar store to a temporary building at Boonville Street and the public square either late today or tomorrow."

Leader, April 30, 1914

The image above of the north side of the square, west of Boonville, is from the library's collection.

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