History of Greene County, Missouri

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian

Chapter 31
Resume of the City's History from 1876 to 1883

Part 1
A Real City — Dead Weights — New Era — R. R. Extension —Incidents — Rise and Fall of a "Daily" — Thompson Tragedy — Fires — Birth of the Daily Extra — National Cemetery — Public Schools — Churches — Lodges


By 1876 Springfield had assumed the proportions of a city, and since that time its progress in that direction has never received a check. Wholesale and jobbing houses have been established, and a considerable foreign trade has long been attracted to the place. Manufactories have been built and operated and made fairly successful. The streets have been repaired—although there is still much improvement needed in this particular—additions made to the corporation, reforms of every sort introduced into its municipal government, and in short, there has been an honest, earnest effort of the vast majority of the people to make the city what it should be. Many northern men, with their proverbial pluck, enterprise, and sagacity, have been attracted to the place, and to them in great part is due much of the city's prosperity. [792]

Springfield has never been without its dead weights, however. Certain of its citizens, who have lived long in the place have always opposed every enterprise to which they have been asked to contribute a dollar, and there are yet a few old fogies, with objects selfish and sordid and ideas old and obsolete, who have opposed and still oppose all schemes of public improvement likely to cost themselves a penny, but the proportion of this class of individuals to the entire population never was large, and each year is growing smaller by degrees and beautifully less. "Old Scrooge" lives in Springfield yet. He has made some money by the industry and enterprise of others, and by the Shylockian system of cent-per-cent; but he does not enjoy his gains, or permit others to, and in a few years will die and make no sign, and be buried, unwept, unhonored, and unsung." Vex not his ghost.

The building of the Memphis road, as the Kansas City, Fort Scott, Gulf Railroad is called, especially its completion through from Kansas City to Springfield, was the beginning of a new era of prosperity in the history of Springfield. The extension of the branch of the "Frisco" road from North Springfield to Ozark, and thence southward into Arkansas, promises ultimately important results, but as yet has not begun to bear full fruit. A short history of the building of the Gulf road to Springfield may not be inappropriate.

The idea of a line of railroad from Kansas City to Memphis, via Springfield, is by no means a very recent one. Years ago the feasibility of the project was recognized, and initiatory steps taken toward the enterprise. It was, from some cause dropped, and not again received until 1870. A convention was then held in Springfield, as before noted, which was attended by delegates from most of the counties along the proposed route, and amid the greatest enthusiasm it was resolved to once more undertake the building of so important a line. Col. John M. Richardson, then of our city, was elected president, and Greene county, together with Dade and others, issued bonds in its aid. The amount of the Greene county issue was $400,000. Work was commenced at once, and the road bed constructed from Springfield to Ash Grove, in this county. Considerable grading was also done in Dade county, but at this stage the financial panic of 1873 overtook the work and completely prostrated it. This placed our people in an embarrassing position. Over $200,000 of the $400,000 issue had been sold, and the holders were clamoring for their interest. We had nothing to show for the investment but the twenty miles of road which was rapidly going to ruin. Varied and desperate efforts were made from time to time by our people to get the enterprise in such a condition that some public benefit could be realized from the investment. In 1875 three public-spirited citizens, Messrs. L. H. Murray, H. F. Havens and another man, purchased of Mr. Richardson all the right, title and interest his company had in the road, with a view of pushing its completion. But they were met with obstacles at every step which were insurmountable, owing to the prejudices toward railroads, and for two years their investment, like that of the county, was so much dead capital.





The road—or the proposed road—was at first called the Springfield and Western, but its name changed about as frequently as its fortunes. In the fall of 1877 the spirit of public enterprise, so often the offspring of desperate necessity, again strove with the people and they determined to resurrect the sleeping Springfield and Western, and give Messrs. Murray, Shepherd, and Havens an opportunity to build their road. The matter was agitated, meetings were held all over the county, and subscription books opened. In a short time the sum of $35,000 was secured, the subscribers receiving for their money transportation certificates—dollar for dollar. The contract was at once let to Ash Grove, and in the spring of 1878 the cars began to run between that place and Springfield. In 1881, under a new management, the present, the line was completed between Springfield and Kansas City. [794]

Immediately after the Kansas City connection had been made, property of all sorts, and especially realty in Springfield advanced rapidly and considerably, increasing in value in one year from 50 to 200 per cent, and now (in March, 1883) is still advancing. Buildings of every valuable kind are going up all over the unoccupied portions of town, and there is not, and has not been for months, a vacant house in the city. Just now, it may be well to state for the benefit of some future historian, that the early completion to Springfield of a branch of the Chicago and Alton railroad system is confidently looked for. What the future of the city will be of course can only be conjectured, but it is now certainly promising enough to satisfy the most sanguine and hopeful.


What is known as the "Arkansas Trade," has been, and with proper attention, always will be, an item of importance to the merchants of Springfield. This territory embraces the leading towns and cross-roads, places of business in Northwestern Arkansas this side, and even beyond the Boston mountains. It amounts to over a million dollars per annum, and is being yearly increased, the venturesome missionaries of our wholesale houses constantly spying out new fields of operations within the borders of much abused "Rackensack." It is largely from this country that the enormous quantities of cotton, hides, furs, and peltries, which form so important a part in our exports, are received. This trade is nursed carefully; and so long as our merchants manifest their present enterprise in catering, to the wants of Northern Arkansas, it will be retained.

The completion of the Ozark branch of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad to Harrison, Arkansas, certain of accomplishment in the near future, will greatly facilitate trade and communication between the merchants of Northern Arkansas and those of Springfield. This line of railway will open up a large section of country tributary to Springfield, and not only give it communication with the outer world, but assist rarely in its development, now in a very imperfect state.

At present a great deal of the commerce between the sections is carried on by the primitive method of wagoning. From far down in Arkansas, in Boone, Carroll, Marion, and, other counties, daily come into Springfield teams hauling cotton, furs, hides, etc., to this market, returning soon afterward, commonly with loads of merchandise for the Arkansas retail dealers. The cotton haulers are numerous, and a class sui generis. With any sort of a team, a horse and a mule, an ass and a horse, in violation of the Pentateuch; these Rackensack teamsters make a vocation of hauling cotton to Springfield, and follow it for many months in the year. Two bales is an average cargo per wagon. The round trip sometimes occupies ten days. Often the teamsters travel in caravans. They camp out every night, even in the coldest weather, and are unlettered, uncouth, and unrefined, but jolly, generous hearted, and honest. [796]


In 1876 the population of Springfield was 5,653, divided as follows: Whites, 4,452 ; colored, 1,201. The population of North Springfield was 1,038—whites, 1,005; colored, 33.


In July, 1877, the residence of Henry Matlock, on North Campbell street, was burned; loss, $2,000. In October a little son of J. G. Willeke was accidentally scalded to death.

In the fall and winter of 1877 great interest was manifested in Springfield in the science, or subject, or whatever it may be, of the spiritualism, or the spirit philosophy. Numerous meetings were held, and numbers of prominent citizens became spiritualists. A "liberal society," with many members, was formed and held regular meetings. Lectures were delivered by Mrs. Nettie Pease Fox, who was regarded as the leader of the believers in the harmonial philosophy. A magazine, called The Spiritual Offering, was established this year, with an office at 215 South street. Mrs. Fox was the editress of the Offering, which publication was short-lived, as was the "liberal society," as a society. Mrs. Fox left Springfield a few years later. Her husband, "Mr. Nettie Pease-Fox," as he was sometimes called, was also a spiritualist. Furthermore, he is remembered as a borrower of money, but not a prompt payer at all times. Later in 1877 Prof. W. F. Jamieson lectured for the spiritualists and Liberals. [796]


In January, 1878, the Patriot newspaper issued a daily morning edition. The paper was a folio, with five columns to the page, and contained telegraphic news, markets, etc. It was not a long-lived journal, failing to receive sufficient support. The paper was ahead of the times.

February 26, began a discussion between Prof. W. F. Jamieson, spiritualist and "Liberal," and Elder W. R. Cunningham, of the Christian church, on the subject of spiritualism. The debate lasted for some days, and attracted considerable attention.

August 21, a terrible storm of wind and rain visited the city, demolishing buildings, prostrating orchards, shade trees, etc. Keet, Rountree & Co.'s two-story building was unroofed and torrents of water poured in on the goods with which the building was well filled. The M. E. church was injured. The cotton mill was damaged to the extent of $1,500. A building in the rear of the post-office was utterly demolished. A shoemaker's family had just moved in, but all escaped uninjured.



White Females

Colored Females

Total Females

White Males

Colored Males

Total Males

Total Whites

Total Colored

Grand Total

Under 10
















































































Over 80





















On the evening of May 29, 1878, a fearful tragedy occurred in Springfield, which horrified the citizens at the time, and must ever be remembered with a shudder. The locality, where the terrible event occurred, was the residence of W. H. Lawson, Esq., on East Walnut street, between South and Jefferson streets, and the actors were Mrs. F. M. Thompson and Miss Nettie Thompson, mother and sister of Mrs. Lawson. [797]

Mrs. Thompson cut her unmarried daughter's throat, and then committed suicide. The alarm was given and a number of citizens repaired to the scene. Those who first arrived say that when they entered the room one woman was lying n the bed in a pool of blood, and the other on the floor, each with her throat cut almost from ear to ear, and the blood still spurting from the ghastly wounds. The coroner and jury unite in asserting that it was altogether the most horrible sight ever presented to their eyes.

Before the coroner's jury, Mr. W. C. Holland testified that he was going home, passing Dr. Clements' house, between half-past ten and eleven o'clock, when he herd the door-bell ringing at the scene of the tragedy, and going on, saw Mrs. Lawson standing on the steps of her house. She asked him to come in, when he inquired what was the matter, but she replied she could not tell him. He thought possibly that burglars were in the house, and hesitated for a moment, when Dr. Clements arrived, and the two went in together. Going into the parlor, Mrs. Lawson said that her mother had killed Nettie and then herself. The first intimation which Mrs. Lawson had had of the tragedy was hearing a strange gurgling noise, and the fall of a body on the floor. She thought it washer children; calling to them, and finding them all right, she went into her mother's room and found her and her sister, with their throats cut.

Dr. Clements testified that about six weeks previous he was called to see Mrs. Thompson, and learned that at times she could not sleep. She was an oldish-like lady, being something near fifty years of age, and at times was very nervous. He had seen her every day after that up to the time of the tragedy, two weeks prior to which she had another attack of melancholy, but had been better and eaten heartily. The day before her suicide the doctor saw her, and she seemed cheerful, talking and laughing as lively as a young girl. At near eleven o'clock he was called in by Mrs. Lawson, and found Nettie Thompson on the bed and Mrs. Thompson on the floor near the bed, in the terrible condition before described. Other witnesses testified to the same effect. The jury rendered their verdict in accordance with the above facts, further finding that the act was committed by Mrs. F. M. Thompson while laboring under temporary insanity, induced by recent sickness. [798]

The instrument with which the deed was done was an old, dull and rusty razor, which one of the children had found in the cellar a few days before. The razor was found on the bed, seeming to have been thrown or dropped there by Mrs. Thompson. Some of the young lady's garments, lying in a chair near the bed, were marked with bloody streaks, showing that the razor had been wiped off before it was used the second time.

Miss Nettie Thompson was aged about sixteen, and was a young lady of much promise. The three ladies, with the children of Mrs. Lawson, were living alone in the house, Mr. W. H. Lawson being in St. Louis, where he is employed in business.


January 18, 1879, Mrs. Wellman's boarding house was burned. Loss, $1,500.

November 1, the first number of the Daily Extra, an evening paper, was issued by Renshaw & Ingram, who are still (1883) the publishers. At first the Extra was a folio sheet, containing but five columns of matter to the page. It has been enlarged to a seven-column paper. From the start, the Extra has been Republican in politics, but has many readers and admirers among those of opposite politics.


At the city election this year, M. J. Rountree was chosen mayor; G. D. Emery, marshal; Z. M. Rountree, recorder; R. L. Goode, attorney; all Democrats. The Republicans elected H. D. Brown, clerk; J. W. McCollah, treasurer; Isaac Wunder, assessor. Four tickets were in the field—Democratic, Republican, Greenback and Temperance. The latter received 100 votes.

The population of the place this year, as reported by the census enumerators, was 6,524. (See general history for 1880.)


The National cemetery was established in 1867. The land, five acres, was purchased from the city at a cost of $218.75. The first superintendent was—Frane ; the next Martin Schmidt; the next, R. C. Taylor; the next, the present, Capt. Peter McKenna. The total number of interments is 1,564, of which 848 are known, and 716 are unknown. The total includes 30 Union citizens. [799]






The public schools of Springfield were not efficiently organized until April 24, 1867. James Baker was the first president of the school board, and D. L. Gorton, the first superintendent. In 1869, J. H. Nixon was superintendent; succeeding Nixon were B. F. Newland, in 1872-8; C. W. Hutchinson, in 1873-4; Jonathan Fairbanks, in 1874-5-6; R. L. Goode in 187_ ; J. Fairbanks, in 1878 to _. The main school building was erected in 1869. The site, corner of Jefferson and Olive, was purchased for $2,000. The colored school building was completed in the spring of 1872, at a cost of $4,867. In 1868, the high school was taught in the Mathias building, with 68 pupils; the primary in Phelps' hall, with 204 pupils; total white pupils, 272. The colored school was taught in the African M.E. church, with 48 pupils. Present number, about 2,000.


From the conference held at McKendre's chapel, Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, beginning September 15, 1831, Rev. J. H. Slavens, who, after two years on trial as a minister, had been received into the conference, was appointed to what was called the James Fork of White River Mission. Rev. Slavens spent the first Sabbath after conference at Greenville, Wayne county; the next on the Gasconade river; he reached Springfield about the middle of that week, and stopped with Wm. Fulbright, who lived near the large spring bearing his name, now in the western part of town. The next Sabbath, which was October 10th, he preached in Mr. Fulbright's house, and this was the first sermon ever preached in Greene county. Three weeks thereafter or on October 31, 1831 Rev. Slavens preached again and organized the first class of members of the M. E. church West of the Gasconade and south of the Osage river. The original members, eight in number, were Mrs. Ruth Fulbright, Isaac Woods and wife, Jane Woods, Bennett Robberson, Elvira Robberson, Samuel S. Mackay, and Sarah Mackay. (The last named afterward became Mrs. Sarth Mitchell). [801]

Polly Alsup, who afterward lived in Robberson township, north of Ebenezer, was the first person who made a profession of religion on this mission. Rev. Slavens reported 47 members on his circuit at the close of the year 1831. Of this circuit, take Springfield as a center and Bolivar, Greenfield, James Fork, Hartville and Buffalo as points on its periphery, and some idea may be found of its extent. During the first decade the mission became a district, with 1,850 members. "Springfield circuit" had 580; but how many there were connected with Springfield church cannot now be learned.

Springfield was made a station in 1848. Rev. A. H. Matthis was the first stationed preacher. In 1849 he reported 80 members. The station that year was left "to be supplied." David Ross was the "supply," and in 1850 he reported 87 members. In 1860 Springfield station reported a membership of 207. Then the next year the civil war broke out and the church suffered greatly in every way. Before the close of the conflict, Rev. L. M. Vernon, of the M. E. (Northern Methodist) church took possession of the church building and records and held them both until about the close of the year 1868, when the building was recovered by its proper owners, but the records were never restored.

As an instance of how the church suffered in loss of membership by the war, it may be stated that in 1870, five years after the close of hostilities, Springfield station reported a membership of only 119 against 207 ten years previously. In 1880 the number of members was 226. At this writing (February, 1883) the number is 209.

The first house of worship occupied by the Methodists of Springfield was built in the spring of 1832, only a short time after the organization of the first class, and stood about one mile east of the public square, near a large spring. It was a log house, with a puncheon floor, and furnished with slab benches, and a very plain pulpit. William Fulbright was the architect and contractor and built the house complete for $18. It was named and known as the Kickapoo Meeting House. As the land on which it stood had not yet been put on the market by the government, the site was never deeded to the church. The first quarterly conference of which there was any record was held in this meeting house, April 27, 1833. Rev. Jesse Green was presiding elder; James McMahan, P. C.; Rev. J. H. Slavens, secretary. The minutes of the conference 1831-2 (if any conferences were held) were never recorded. [802]

The next house, a neat frame building, was erected in 1843, on a lot some two blocks southwest of the public square in Springfield.

The site was deeded to Rev. J. H. Slavens, J. R. Danforth, E. Headlee, and E. Perkins, trustees, who had been appointed by the quarterly conference held January 1, 1842.

The present church building, a substantial brick, was built in 1858, and stands on the southwest corner of Walnut and South streets. Its present value is estimated at $10,000. During the war this church was used for a variety of military purposes, being occupied at different times as a hospital, a commissary store house, a barracks, and an arsenal. At one time it was well nigh filled with shot and shell and ordinance stores of all sorts. At the time of Gen. Marmaduke's attack on the city, January 8, 1863, the building was cannonaded by Collins' battery of Shelby's brigade. Three or four cannon shot struck the south walls; the indentations are yet plain to be seen. Other shots passed through the roof.

The pastors who have served the church at Springfield since its organization have been the following:

J. H. Slavensl

S. S. Colburn

A. H. Powell

James McMahan

W. W. Jones

J. W. Hawkins

H. J. Joplin

Joseph Williams

J. H. Rhea

J. P. Neil

J. M. Kelly

D. M. Proctor

M. B. Evans

B. McC. Roberts

W. M. Protsman

Edwin Robberson

G. M. Winton

G. W. Horn

C. F. Dryden

Joseph Dines

Warren Wharton

T. T. Ashby

A. H. Mathias

M. J. Law

B. P. Wood

David Ross

E. S. Smith

Elijah Perkins

J. L. Porter

T. M. Cobb

Silas Williams

D. S. Holman

W. M. Poage

Rev. C. R. Briggs, the present pastor.



1 Dr. Slavens was received on trial in 1829, into full connection in 1831, and, located in 1835. He was a practicing physician in Greene conuty for many years. On his way to James' Fork of White River Mission, in 1831, he overtook some movers at noon one day. He alighted and took lunch with them. The family settled near where Springfield now is, some of whom were present when he organized the class and one of whom became his wife. They were married the next summer and Brother Slavens had to go to Cooper county to get a preacher to marry them.


This church was organized in the spring of 1859, Rev. T. I. Holcomb, who was formerly assistant in Christ's church, St. Louis, being the first minister. The original members were: Mrs. Wade H. Burden, a pioneer church woman; Mr. J. A. Stephens, the first senior warden; Mr. H. B. Farmer, first junior warden; Miss Laura J. Berry, first adult baptized; Miss Sue Ware, baptized by immersion in Fulbright's spring; Mrs. Dixon, a lineal descendant of John Rogers, the martyr; Mr. Royal Greaves, Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Steele, Mrs. Sanford Peck. The following were additional members prior to the war: Lieut. Cregho, Dr. Cecil, Mrs. Wm. Simpson, Miss Mollie Fairchild and Miss Fannie Goff. Mr. Holcomb first came to Springfield, at the request of Mrs. Burden, to baptize her infant daughter, and Miss Nellie Burden was therefore the first person baptized into this church in Springfield. During Mr. Holcomb's first visit here he also baptized several others, members of some of the leading families of the place. The baptisms were performed in the Presbyterian church, and for some time after that the services of the church were held in Temperance Hall, which stood on the east side of the public square. After that, services were held on alternate Sundays in the Baptist church. Mr. Holcomb remained in charge until the spring of 1861, when he was called to the charge of St. Paul's church in Cincinnati, which he accepted for three months, hoping while there to obtain aid for the construction of the new church which the society contemplated erecting here. The war coming on about this time, Mr. Holcomb did not return, and the project of building was postponed. This society had services occasionally during the time of the war, among which was one extraordinary service, conducted in the Baptist church by a Confederate officer, a layman who read the Episcopal church service and then called upon Col. Mitchell, a Methodist minister, to close with prayer, which he did with a great deal of earnestness, including a lengthy exhortation to the congregation. About the year 1868, under the efforts of Rev. Wm. Charles, the erection of the present church, on the corner of East Walnut and Kimbrough streets, was commenced, but it was not completed and consecrated until New Year's eve, 1870. The consecration services were conducted by the Rev. C. T. Robertson, LL. D. The church was at this time under the care of Rev. J. H. Waterman, by whose efforts the house was completed and cleared of debt. This church has always been celebrated for its excellent music, having always maintained a good choir. The first regular quartette choir was organized by Mrs. Burden, before mentioned, and consisted of Miss Jennie Stephens, soprano; Miss Fannie Stephen, alto; Wm. Stephens, tenor, and Geo. M. Sawyer, bass, with Miss Annie Stephens, organist. Among those who have officiated as organists were Miss Nellie M. Madison, Mrs. James Smith and Miss Clem Culbertson. The present membership is eighty. [803-804]

The rectors who have served this church have been Rev. T. I. Holcomb, Rev. C. Nash, Wm. Charles, J. H. Waterman, Timothy O'Connell, Frank B. Gilbert, T. W. Mitchell, T. F. C. James, Octavius Parker and Wm. Page Case. The parish aid society, now called Parish Guild, was organized in 1867, and has been in active operation up to the present time, with the exception of a few months. This band of ladies has been very successful in raising money for church purposes.


This church was organized in the year 1844. Relating to its beginning is the following minute:

"Ozark Presbytery of the C. P. Church, in session on the 4th of April, 1844, at Pomme de Terre camp ground, in Polk county, Mo. On petition: Resolved, that a new congregation be organized in Springfield, to be known and called Springfield Congregation of the C. P. church, bounds to be Springfield and its vicinity, and Revs. J. Carthel and T. M. Johnson attend the organization of said congregation." This resolution was carried out, and on the 19th of May, 1844, the following named persons, many of whom are dead, signed the constitution, and thus became an organization: John S. Bigbee, C. B. Holland, Emaline H. Holland, and "Leah," a black woman, S. B. Allen, H. Snow, S. H. Owens, A. Younger, Richard Younger, J. T. Morton, John S. Kimbrough, Mary Hackney, Katharine Kimbrough, Jane N. Younger, Lucinda Morton, Susan Julian, and a few other names by transfer. H. Snow, C. B. Holland, and S. B. Allen were elected ruling elders of the congregation, and S. B. Allen was at once made clerk of the session. This duty he faithfully performed until his death in July, 1847. C. B. Holland was then chosen clerk of the session, and has been performing the duties of this office for thirty-six years. For some years the congregation had no house of worship. In the year 1859 they began to erect the present brick, but the war came on and the congregation was disbanded, and the work on the house ceased. The house was used during the war by the Federal army and somewhat damaged. In 1868 the congregation was reorganized, the house completed, and in 1869 it was dedicated, the Rev. J. B. Logan officiating. The following are the ministers who have at different times had charge of the church:

J. Cathrell, T. M. Johnson, J. B. Logan, C. C. Williamson, Z. A. Anderson, W. W. Waters, Wm. McKenzie, J. N. Edminston, P. A. Rice, C. W. McBride, T. W. Pendegrass, and O. C. Hawkins. [805]

The present pastor, E. V. Atkisson, came from Union Seminary, New York City, and began to labor with the congregation in 1881. The present membership is now about ninety. During the year 1882 the Sabbath school quadrupled itself. Also in the same year sixteen hundred dollars were expended in repairing and furnishing the house. The house is now one of the most beautiful, convenient, and comfortable buildings in the State. Its estimate value is $12,000. There is no debt over the congregation. While its membership is small, the aggregate wealth of the congregation will fall short of few in the land, outside of our large cities. The congregation has met many difficulties. It was about evenly divided on the war question, and thus for a number of years held no regular services. Its membership now is made up of early settlers and Southern families. Many of its original members are alive to-day. At times its membership has reached nearly three hundred. Many have gone from it to work in other parts of the land, while many have gone to their reward.


The First Baptist church of Springfield, Mo., was constituted on the second Saturday in July, 1852. Springfield was then a village of about seven hundred souls, and there had hitherto been no Baptist preaching. Living here at that time was Elder B. McCord Roberts, who had but lately been a presiding elder in the Methodist church, but who, having changed his theological views, was now a Baptist and a member of the Liberty church, this county. To him is due the honor of being the main instrument and leader in the establishment of the church. The constituent members besides him were: Wm. Phillips, B. F. Price, William Evans, Nathaniel Robinson, Finella B. Caynor, Aaron Beckner, Francis A. Allen, P. H. Edwards, John Young and B. W. Henslee, of whom four lived in the country.

Rev. Roberts was elected pastor, and the little flock gathered to be fed once a month in the small brick house on Olive street, northwest of the present Christian church house. As early as January, 1853, efforts were made to "arise and build," and in 1861 they entered their new house. In the intervening years the church, to find a place for worship, "went from house to house," meeting in Rev. Roberts' house, in the M. E. church, and in the Temperance Hall. During this time four ministers served as pastors—B. McCord Roberts, R. Eaton, Geo. White and James Kennon. Six months after entering their new house, they were forced to vacate and surrender it to the soldiers, who occupied it as, in truth, a church militant. [806]

The building was first used by the Confederates, after the battle of Wilson's Creek, as a hospital, and then as a commissary department and storehouse. Soon after the Federals gained permanent possession of the town, in February, 1862, it was occupied first as a hospital and then as a home for Union refugees. For awhile, in 1864, Gen. Sanborn's body-guard used it for headquarters.

At one time during the war an amateur dramatic club gave regular entertainments in the church for the benefit of the "refugee fund." Among the members of this club was Miss Dosia Smith, who was afterward imprisoned in St. Louis as a "rebel spy," but on a proper investigation of her case she was honorably acquitted. Miss Mary Phelps, daughter of Gov. John S. Phelps, Mrs. Burden, and Mrs. Fairchild were among the other members. From May, 1861, to September, 1866, religious services were suspended, and during these years the house was badly abused, the seats all being destroyed, and the walls defaced and otherwise damaged.

In September, 1866, with Rev. E. Alward, as moderator, the remaining members of the old church and other Baptists in the city—13 in all—reorganized and again began business as co-laborers with the Lord. The following were officers in the organization: Clerk, F. P. Rosback; treasurer, J. W. Lisenby; deacon, B. W. Henslee, and pastor, Rev. E. Alward. Rev. Alward was pastor until July, 1867, during which time there were nineteen accessions to the church.

In November, 1867, Rev. Geo. Kline assumed pastoral care of the church, and continued pastor until March, 1870. When he came, there was 37 members, and during his pastorate, 131 members were received. For several years about this time the church was a beneficiary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. There has been no pastorate in the history of the church before nor since so successful as was Mr. Kline's. The pastors since have been Dr. Chas. Whiting, Revs. J. C. Maple, J. F. Howard, J. D. Biggs, M. D. Bevan and J. H. Garnett.

The contributions of the church in the decade between 1866 and 1876 averaged over $1,500.00 per-annum. During the latter part of that decade the church indulged high hopes caused by a legacy left it by one of its members, Mrs. Dr. T. J. Bailey. After years of suspense, however, the courts awarded the pending suit in favor of certain heirs, under a provision in the old Drake Constitution which not only deprived the church of its legacy, but defeated another wish and design of hers—the establishment of a female college at Springfield. [807]

From 1873 to 1879, the church suffered severely in various ways. Her membership was depleted by deaths and removals, and weakened by financial reverses and the great stagnation in business which was so universally felt. Latterly, however, its condition was greatly changed for the better. The present membership is about 130. They are united, firm in the faith delivered once for all to the saints, and trusting in the Almighty arm they hope for greater conquests for the Risen Redeemer than they have ever made.

The present church building was finished in April, 1882. It is a very neat edifice, with a seating capacity of 300, and a study and vestry. Its cost was about $3,500.






The first Presbyterian church ever formed in Greene county, Mo., was organized by Rev. E. P. Noel, at the house of Mrs. Jane Renshaw, near Cave Spring, on the 19th of October, 1839. It was, and still continues to be known as the Mt. Zion Presbyterian church, of Cave Spring, and originally consisted of ten members. (See History of Cass township.)

On the 22d of April, 1849, eight persons were dismissed from this church at Cave Spring, to join with a number of Presbyterians in and near Springfield, for the purpose of organizing the First Presbyterian church of Springfield, Mo. This church was organized the same day by Rev. Dr. Ballard, of St. Louis and Rev. G. A. M. Renshaw, a home missionary, then preaching in the viciity. This organization took place in a school house, then standing on Benton avenue, on the ground now occupied by the residence of Mr. W. C. Beck. Both of these churches were connected with the new School Presbytery of Osage. The church at Springfield continued in this connection and prospered for about ten years, during which time a lot was purchased and a house of worship was erected on Jefferson street, between East Walnut and Elm streets. This building is still standing and is now (1883) known as the Vinton boarding house.

In the years 1859-60, the agitations and disturbances incident to the war began to be felt. The elders of the church in Springfield at that time, all resided in the country, in the region of the present Belleview church. They, in connection with the minister (Rev. Mr. Morton) sought to transfer the ecclesiastical relations of the church to the "United Synod," or what afterwards was known as the Southern General Assembly. This proving to be decidedly unsatisfactory to the church members living in town, on the 28th day of August, 1859, a new church was organized by Rev. H. M. Painter, and named the "Calvary Presbyterian Church of Springfield." There were thirty-one original members, of whom Mr. Chas. Sheppard, Mrs. Rhoda Sheppard and Mrs. Anna Elliot alone remain upon the roll. The church was by vote of its members placed in connection with the Old School Presbytery of Lafayette county, in the synod of Upper Missouri, in which connection it continued until the union of the old and new school assemblies in 1870 brought it into connection with the Presbytery of Ozark, where it now is. This action of the town members in bringing about the organization of a new church while they were still members of the church, whose officers resided in the country, proved highly unsatisfactory to the latter, the former were immediately cited for trial and a most lively church quarrel seemed imminent, but wiser counsels soon prevailed and each party went on its chosen way without interference with or from the other. [809]

During the war the church property was sold for debt by order of the civil court, and was purchased by Mr. Chas. Sheppard, and made over by him to the trustees of Calvary Presbyterian church. Much of the time during the war, this church was the only place where religious services were held in Springfield, being occupied by citizens and soldiers in common. Rev. Frederick H. Wines being stationed at this point as an army chaplain, conducted services, and acted as pastor and chaplain alike, and is gratefully remembered by many citizens.

Soon after the war, Rev. James H. Paige became the first installed pastor of the church and so continued for a number of years. During his pastorate the parsonage on East Walnut street was projected and built. After this, Rev. J. Howard Nixon, D. D., now of New Jersey, and a brother of Mrs. Rhoda Sheppard, being here on account of his health, preached for a time and was of great service to the church.

In 1873, Rev. C. H. Dunlap, so pleasantly remembered by all who knew him, was called as pastor. His pastorate continued to the close of the year 1879 and was most fruitful in good works. Under him the present handsome church edifice was planned and carried forward to the completion of the basement, or lecture room. Soon after the occupancy of these lower rooms, in the latter part of 1879, Mr. Dunlap resigned and returned to New Castle, Pa. He was immediately succeeded by Rev. J. J. Marks, D. D., as stated supply. Dr. Marks was of great service to the church, being highly respected and beloved by all. He continued with the church until the present pastor was called in March, 1881.

The church edifice was completed in the spring of 1882 at a total expense of $2,500, including furniture, and was formally dedicated on the 19th of March, 1882. The present pastor, Rev. D. P. Putnam began his services with the church on the 22d of April, 1881 and was formally installed pastor on the 23d of March, 1882. The church now numbers nearly 300 and has a Sabbath school of about the same number.


United Lodge, No. 5, A. F. and A. M., was instituted by Anthony O'Sullivan, and was formed by uniting Taylor Lodge, No. 5, and Greene Lodge, No. 101. The charter bears date May 30, 1857. Some of the charter members were Charles Carlton, Joseph Gott, Wilson Hackney, R. B. Faulkner and James E. Danforth; and some of the first officers were Charles Carlton, W. M. Joseph Gott, S. W. Wilson Hackney; J. W. The present officers are: W. A. Hall, W.M.; W. L. Bigbee, S. W.; W. S. C. Dillard, J. W.; Job Newton, treasurer; Joseph Gott, secretary; John Grenade, S. D.;

McDaniel, J. D. The present membership is fifty.


Solomon Lodge, No. 271, was instituted by M. J. Hubble, D.D.G.M. The dispensation was issued January 11, 1868. The charter bears date October 15, 1868. The charter members were John Y. Fulbright, J. E. Tefft, W. F. Dunn, and others. The first officers were: John Y. Fulbright, W.M.; J. E. Tefft,, S.W.; W. F. Dunn, J.W.; J. M. Rountree, treasurer; J. L. Carson, secretary; F. S. Jones, S.D.; E. A. Finney, J.D.; S. H. Jopes, tyler. The present officers are W. F. Dunn, W.M.; O. H. Travers, S.W. ; J. R. Ferguson, J.W.; P. T. Simmons, treasurer; Ely Paxson, S.D.;—Whitson, J.D. The present number of members is ninety-five.


Springfield Royal Arch Chapter Lodge, No. 15, was instituted by John D. Daggett, G.H.P. The dispensation was issued January 15, 1851. The charter bears date May 16, 1851. Some of the charter members were John Dade, John Chenoweth, B. R. Johnson, James E. Danforth and R. A. Hufford. The first officers were: John Dade, H.P.; John W. Chenoweth, king; B. R. Johnson, scribe; J. J. Clarkson, C. of H. H. W. Might, P.S. . Wm. B. Farmer, R.A.C. R. A. Hufford, secretary; J. H. Haden, master of third veil; J. W. Danforth, master of second veil; F. B. McCurdy, master of first veil. The present officers are: O. H. Travers, H.P.; F. W. Laker, king; F. M. Ramey, scribe; D. C. Kennedy, C. of H.; W. T. Bigbee, P.S.; T. H. B. Lawrence, R.A.C.; J. R. Ferguson, treasurer; B. F. Lawson, secretary; W. F. Dunn, master of third veil; Ely, Paxson, master of second veil; W. S. Johnson, master of first veil; J. M. Gear, guard. The lodge meets in the third story of the court-house. The present membership is seventy-six. Two of the past high priests of this chapter—Anthony O'Sullivan and C. F. Leavitt—have filled the position of Grand High Priest of the order in this State.


St. John's Commandery, No. 20, K.T., was instituted by Wilson F. Tuttle, Deputy Grand Commander. The dispensation was issued April 1, 1872. The charter bears date October 8, 1872. The charter members were Frederick King, Charles H. Evans, Washington Galland, A. O. Fairchild, F. J. Underwood and James B. Stockton. The first officers were: Frederick King, eminent commander; Job Newton, generalissimo; C. H. Evans, captain general; F. J. Underwood, prelate; B. F. Lawson, senior warden; C. F. Leavitt, junior warden; John A. Nattross, treasurer; John H. Paine, recorder; Geo. H. McCann, warder. The present officers are W. A. Hall, eminent commander; F. M. Ramey, generalissimo; Frank Lawson, captain general; Ely Paxson, senior warden; W. T. Bigbee, junior warden; T. H. B. Lawrence; treasurer; John R. Paine, recorder, Job Newton, warder; W. F. Dunn, standard bearer; John R. Ferguson, sword-bearer; John M. Gear, sentinel. This lodge also meets in the third story of court-house. The present membership is fifty-eight.


Harmony Lodge No. 71, I. O. O. F. , was instituted October 21, 1854. The charter and records of the lodge being destroyed during the war, the early history can not be obtained. On the 18th of March, 1864, the lodge was reorganized by J. B. Winger, D.D.G.M., and the following officers were elected: J. B. Perkins, N.G.; H. T. Hunt, V.G.; W. M. Armstrong, secretary; B. Kite, treasurer. On the 8th of August, 1868, a second lodge, under the name of America Lodge No. 195, was instituted by R. W. West D.D.G., with the following charter members: G. H. McCann, W. C. Peck, M. V. R. Peck, A. Demuth, J. Demuth, J. J. Bently, and J. W. McCollah. The first officers were M. V. R. Peck, N.G.; A. Demuth, V.G.; G. H. McCollah, secretary; W. C. Peck, treasurer. On the 8th of June, 1874, the two lodges were, by act of the Grand Lodge, consolidated under the name of New Harmony Lodge No. 71, I. O. O. F. The present officers are H. E. Nearing, N.G.; B. White, V.G.; E. D. Ott, R.S.; A. V. Guerringer, P.S.; Joseph Buck, treasurer; B. F. Huntington, C.; T. H. Hymen, W.


Springfield Council No. 13, Order of Chosen Friends, was instituted by James E. Cowan, Deputy Supreme Chancelor, June 28, 1882. The charter members were H. M. Cowan, F. Cowan, N. N. Kinney, G. W. Hackney, W. H. M. Reid, M. Echelberry, C. C. Clements, B. Scott, J. Combs, H. B. Reeves, J. C. Hanson, J. H. Kerns, W. S. C. Dillard, H. Schaller, L. C. Neiswanger, J. F. Atzert, W. F. McCracken, J. L. Richardson, W. A. Disbrow, D. W. Merrett, F. Winkle, S. O. Morrow, and J. H. Onstott. The first officers were H. M. Cowan, P.C.C.; N. N. Kinney, C.C.; G. M. Hackney, V.C.; W. H. M. Reid, secretary; C. C. Clements, medical examiner; J. L. Richardson, treasurer; Jno. Coombs, J. F. Atzert, and J. H. Kern, masters. The present officers are the same as the first. The lodge meets in the hall of the A. O. U. W., every alternate Wednesday evening, and is increasing in membership at the rate of two initiations every meeting. The present membership is 29.


This institution was organized under the general statutes of Missouri in August 1878. The corporate name first adopted was Springfield College, but the name was changed, December 10th, following, to that of Drury College in honor of the late (1883) Samuel F. Drury of Olivet, Michigan, its principal contributor up to that time. Origin: The pastors of the several missionary churches of the Congregational order that sprung up along the line of the Atlantic and Pacific ("Frisco ") railway seeing the need of a school of higher education especially for teachers of the public schools, resolved with their church support to found a college and locate it where the greatest liberality should be shown on part of the citizens. Carthage, Neosho, and Springfield competed for the location, and the last won. Among those who did most towards this enterprise may be mentioned Rev. H. B. Fry, of Carthage; Rev. H. D. Lowing, of Neosho; Hon. W. I. Wallace, of Lebanon; and Rev. J. H. Harwood and C. E. Harwood, of Springfield. Pre-emitient among these promoters stands the name of Rev. Mr. Harwood. Citizens of Springfield subscribed fifty thousand dollars in money and lands, and additional donations were received from Mr. Drury and friends in Michigan, Ohio, and New York.

The first board of trustees of "Springfield" and also "Drury College," was comprised, besides several prominent gentlemen of Springfield, of the following gentlemen from a distance; N. H. Dale, of Neosho; W. I. Wallace, of Lebanon; C. L. Goodell and S. M. Edgell, of St. Louis, and S. F. Drury, of Michigan. Rev. N. J. Morrison, D.D., formerly president of Olivet College, Michigan, was elected president of the board and also president of the college. Mr. Morrison had already done much to forward the enterprise, and himself drew the articles of association which constitute the college charter. He also mapped out the different departments of the institution, its course of study, etc., much as they exist at this writing. The first term of the college opened September 25, 1873, with thirty-nine pupils in attendance. The faculty consisted of Pres. Morrison, Prof. G. H. Ashley, and Prof. Paul Roulet. Later in the term Miss Mary Carkener, of St. Louis, was added to the force of teachers. The first building was a two-story brick structure, costing $7,000, which was begun in August and was ready for occupancy by September 25. A frame edifice for the musical department was next erected, and about the same time a fine boarding house for young ladies called "Walter Fairbank's Hall" was begun, but not completed till 1875. The latter building is an elegant brick structure and cost about $32,000, nearly all of which was contributed by Charles Fairbanks, of London, England, and named in honor of his deceased son Walter.





On November 16, 1880, during a furious snow storm, and in the presence of one hundred and fifty visitors, from a distance and a large company of Springfield people, the corner-stone of the fourth building was laid with imposing ceremonies. This building was the Stone Chapel, which was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1882. Many prominent gentlemen were present at the laying of the corner-stone, and a banquet was given at Fairbank's Hall, and in the evening a great meeting was held and speeches made on educational topics in the City Opera House. The chapel was designed for class rooms, lecture room, music hall and the various religious purposes of the institution. Forty thousand dollars had been expended on this edifice, and it was within five thousand dollars of completion when it burned. Mrs. Valeria G. Stone, of Malden, Mass., had given twenty-five thousand dollars towards its cost, and it was named "Stone Chapel" after its benefactress. At this writing (April, 1883) the rebuilding of the chapel as it originally was is far under way, the insurance money and liberal gifts of the Springfield people being about sufficient therefore. In just twenty-two days from the time the hammer was first raised for that purpose, a wooden structure, costing twenty-five hundred dollars, was erected and entered by the college for chapel purposes. Including furniture, something more than one hundred thousand dollars has been expended by the college on buildings. The campus embraces about thirty acres, part in oak grove and part open prairie, which it is designed to increase to forty or more acres. It is very eligibly situated, midway between the two business centres of the city (Springfield and North Springfield) admirably drained on land gently sloping eastward and southward. It is capable, by judicious management, of fine effects in landscape gardening.

The college has a large and valuable library, consisting of about 15,000 bound volumes and 17,000 pamphlets, including duplicates in both cases. This library is open daily to the public as well as students. Four departments in chief are embraced in this institution, viz.: The College proper, Preparatory School, Conservatory of Music, and Art Department.

The institution has a small but valuable museum of natural history, a cabinet of minerals and geological specimens, and physiological, chemical and philosophical apparatuses sufficient for class-room purposes, and pianos, organs, etc., for students of music. During the first decade (now nearly completed), nearly 2,000 students in the aggregate have been connected with the college, most of whom, however, have been students for a limited period, and in the preparatory department. A large number who have taken part of the college course have been called away by business.





The college corporation consists of twelve trustees, besides the president. These hold office for four years, retiring in sections of three, the remaining members choosing successors for the out-going members by ballot. The board holds all ultimate authority, appointing teachers and officers and administering its pecuniary affairs. The discipline, as well as the instruction of the college, is placed with the factiltly.

The college has property, including an endowment of $50,000, of fully $200,000 valuation. More than a quarter of a million has been donated, from first to last, by people in all parts of this country, and even Europe, embracing sums ranging from twenty-five cents to fifty thousand dollars in a single gift. Mrs. Stone, previously mentioned, has given the most—her donation being seventy-six thousand dollars. That lady has given more than a million dollars to some thirty American colleges and theological seminaries.

Personal application to the benevolent has secured the college resources for the most part, the two gentlemen who have done most active work in soliciting aid being Rev. J. H. Harwood and President Morrison.

While not sectarian in any narrow sense, the college has a quasi connection with the Congregational denomination of Christians, the charter requiring seven of the board of trustees, when the board is full, to be Congregationalists. No ecclesiastical body is allowed to interfere in the college management. College gratuities are distributed without regard to theological bias, and all students for the Christian ministry and children of ministers are exempt from the usual charges, except for fine art courses.

No sketch of the life of Drury College would be complete without some reference to the trials through which it has passed. Of poverty Drury College has had its full share. Its organization was effected on the basis of gifts and pledges valued at one hundred thousand dollars. Before the first term opened, on the 25th of September, 1873, by the disastrous effects of the commercial collapse which had paralyzed the country, these "great expectations" had shrunken fully seventy-five per cent. Before the first college year ended the corporation was unable to pay its debts and claims against its property went to the extent of judgments in the court and threatened execution. Even two or three years later the credit of the college was so bad that one bank refused to renew its paper, and it was widely thought that the enterprise would soon succumb to a load of accumulated debt. And whatever of external lack of repute among men, or of internal discord and weakness, has afflicted the college, any vacillation in discipline, any short comings in the standards of instruction, any failure to take advantage of inviting opportunities or growth and expansion, has been largely attributable to the same want of means. [817]

With all the noble generosity of the people of Springfield toward Drury College, it yet remains true that most of the resources of the college have thus far been brought over the weary distance of fifteen hundred miles from the far East. If any one imagines it an easy task to get money for a college in Missouri from wealthy men in New York and Boston, let him consider how an appeal for a college in Alaska or Mexico would fare if made to himself. And yet few life tasks are fuller of encouragement, or more inspiring. That must be a dull soul that takes no joy from the privilege of organizing and founding institutions of the public good.

The religious element has always been strong and prominent in the work of Drury College. This motive inspired the conception of the enterprise; this has sent hither nearly all the resources ever contributed to it; this holds officers and teachers to their ill-requited tasks for the college. A very large portion of the students have always been church members. Of twenty-three young men who have graduated from the college, thirteen have entered the ministry, or are preparing therefor. Two of the lady graduates are foreign missionaries. Not a few of the present undergraduate students are preparing to follow these in religious work.

The college has also had an important influence on the public schools of the Southwest. Probably two hundred of its students have been, or are now, teachers in these schools. Doubtless also it has done its share toward elevating the general standard of teaching and education. From the first the officers of the college have cultivated relations of friendship and co-operation with teachers of the public schools.

Below is a list of the officers and instructors of Drury College, at the present time, April, 1883:

Board of Trustees. Nathan J Morrison, D.D., ex officio, president. Terms will expire June, 1883: Rev. Henry Hopkins, Kansas City; Hon. John W. Lisenby, Springfield; T. Blonville Holland, Esq., Springfield. Terms will expire June, 1884: C. L. Goodell, D. D., St Louis; Hon. Stephen M. Edgell, St. Louis; Hon. James Richardson, St. Louis. Terms will expire June, 1885: William H. Wilcox, D.D., LL. D., Malden, Mass.; James S. Garland, Esq., St. Louis; Hon. Charles E. Harwood, North Springfield. Terms will expire June, 1886: Edwin T. Robberson, M. D., North Springfield; Charles Sheppard, Esq., Springfield; Carlos S. Greeley, Esq., St. Louis.

Executive Committee. John.W. Lisenby, chairman, T. Blonville Holland, Charles E. Harwood, Edwin T. Robberson, George M. Jones, Charles Sheppard, Nathan J. Morrison. George A. C. Woolley, Esq., secretary and treasurer; Jere C. Cravens, Esq., counsel. [818]

Faculty. Nathan J. Morrison, D.D., president, Stone professor of moral and mental philosophy; Laura M. Saunderson, A.B., principal of the ladies department and instructor in anatomy and physiology; Paul Roulet, A.M., professor of mathematics and instructor in French; Oliver Brown, A.M., professor of the Latin language and literature; George B. Adams; A. M. Nickerson, professor of history and English literature and instructor in German; Edward M. Shepard, A.M., professor of natural science, and instructor in chemistry; Edward P. Morris, A.M., professor of the Greek language and literature, and instructor in physical science; Frederic A. Hall, A.M., principal of the preparatory department; Kate O'Donald, assistant in preparatory department; Clara J. Hatch, instructor in drawing and painting; George B. Adams, A.M., librarian; Paul Roulet, A.M., secretary of faculty.

Faculty of the Conservatory of Music. William Havemann, A.M., professor of vocalization; William A. Chalfant, professor of the piano and organ; Edward L. Busch, professor of harmony and orchestra. [819]

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