HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
O'Reilly Service Club, O'Reilly Hospital (view 3 of 3)
This postcard dates to the time of the O'Reilly General Army Hospital which existed from November 1941 until it was converted to a Veterans' Administration hospital in September 1946. It depicts the O'Reilly Service Club, billed as one of the finest enlisted men's service clubs in the entire army. Its caption reads "The O'Reilly General Hospital Service Club is equipped with every convenience for the pleasure of the Men of the Armed Forces." It is published by Ozark News Agency, Springfield, Missouri.
The building which housed the Service Club was originally built in 1911-1913 by a fraternal organization called the Knights of Pythias as a home for the widows and orphans of its members. It was called the Pythian Castle. The 3-story, 27,000 square-foot limestone building at 1451 East Pythian is an example of Late Gothic Revival architecture. The army bought the "Castle of Springfield" in 1942 for $29,500 and made it their Service Club. In 1945 it became a Veterans' Administration Hospital. In 1980 the Ozarks Area Community Action Corps (OACAC) first leased the building, remaining there until 1994. The building was sold at auction in January 1994 to Gene and Rhonda Taylor. They kept the castle until 2000 when the Springfield City Directory show Linda and Frank Gray as owners. They are planning to use the building for some type of work with the disabled.