Click on image to enlarge.

(previous page) with an enrollment of 14,385 school children, in a total population of 50,000, and there is not a child of fortune or lowly birth in all the county beyond the reach of a good common school education. The county has an assessed valuation of $10,458,321, on which the rate of taxation is but $1.25 to each $100 of valuation, the assessed value of real and personal property being less than one-fourth of its real or commercial value. There are seventy-eight miles of railway and sixteen shipping stations within the county, and 90 per cent. of the population are living within four miles of shipping facilities. In the heart of this beautiful and fertile county, one-third of which is as fine prairie as the sun shines on, and central to the great and fast developing region but superficially outlined in the foregoing notes, is THE CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, whose recent growth is one of the marvels of western development, and whose destiny can only be measured by the magnitude and wealth of the country that has fostered it into fair commanding proportions. The EARLY SETTLEMENT of Springfield dates back to the spring of 1880, when J. P. Campbell, Joseph Miller, William and John Fulbright located within the present limits of the city, built cabins, established their families, made clearings and raised the first crops in this part of the county. Settlements had been made in other portions of Greene County as early as 1818, but the country was occupied by a band of Delaware Indians up to the spring of 1880, when they were removed further west, leaving the country open to settlement. Attracted by the group of fine springs, which, doubtless gave to the city its beautiful name, an Indian village had been established here long before the advent of white settlers. With the organization of Greene County in 1833, Springfield was made the county seat, and in 1838 was formally incorporated. In 1855 it was granted a city charter by the Legislature, and the first city election was held in 1856. From this time to the breaking out of the war in 1861 the city advanced slowly, and then for four years stood still. It lay in the midst of the military camps and forts, surrounded by the battle fields of Wilson’s Creek, Pea Ridge, Springfield, and other scenes of civil strife, and lost ground instead of advancing. From 1865 to 1870, it made perceptible advancement, but nothing more. The surrounding country was impoverished and well nigh desolated by the war, and gave little stimulus to the struggling city. In the last mentioned year came the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway, and with it NEW IMPULSE FOR THE TOWN, which had now quicker and closer relations with the outside world. North Springfield grew up about the new railway station, a mile and a half distant from the old city, with surprising quickness and vigor. In 1860, there were 1,500 people on the old town site. In 1870, the entire city numbered 4,500 souls. In 1880, the two towns embraced 7,500 people, an increase of about 80 per cent. in ten years, which was mainly due to the influence of the “Frisco” railway shops, and the general prosperity of the tributary country. In 1882, came the Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis (Gulf) Railway, and with it a NEW ERA OF PROSPERITY for city and country. With the coming of this great North and South line, came new and close relations with Kansas City and the Northwest, Memphis and the South, and with them commercial independence, new hopes, new possibilities, a new and higher ambition, and a splendid realization of the advantages of a live competing trunk railway, under liberal and progressive management. Springfield was no longer dependent on a single city or railway for its supplies and transportation. Larger mercantile and manufacturing enterprise became possible; large, new and growing regions of country to the north and south were brought under tribute, and a WONDERFUL GROWTH in trade, population, material wealth and industry followed; a growth that has suffered no (next page)

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 |
18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35

Springfield 1889 Home | Keyword Search | Engravings Thumbnails | Local History Home

 Springfield-Greene County Library