Queen City of the Ozarks, settled in 1830 by Tennessee pioneers on what had been a Kickapoo, Osage, and Delaware Indian camping ground. Springfield was first called Campbell and Fulbright Springs after its first settlers. Rivalry over location of the railroad in 1870 led to founding of North Springfield. the two towns were joined in 1887.
Through here came Cherokee Indians on their "Trail of Tears" removal to Oklahoma, 1837. In 1858 the first westbound Butterfield Overland Mail coach stopped at its station here. It is of interest that Springfield was the home of Missouri Governor John S. Phelps.
Here were established Drury College, 1873, on campus is Shepard Museum; Southwest Mo. State College, 1906; Central Bible Institute, 1922; and Baptist Bible College, 1950. The U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners is here.
Near Ash Grove, 21 miles northwest, is the Greene County home of Nathan Boone, noted surveyor, legislator, soldier and son of Daniel Boone. Nathan came here with his family in mid-1830's. On farm are graves of Nathan and his wife, Olive van Bibber Boone.
Springfield was a military prize held by both sides during the Civil War. At Wilson's Creek Battlefield, 3 miles southeast, on Aug. 10, 1861, one of Missouri's bloodiest battles was fought, ending in an important Confederate victory. Union General Nathaniel Lyon was killed leading his outnumbered troops against the combined force of the Confederates and General Sterling Price's Missouri State Guard, both under command of Gen. Ben McCulloch.
The Confederates left Springfield at the approach of the Federals under General S.R. Curtis, Feb. 1862. For the duration of the war Springfield was under Union control. In Jan. 1863 a Confederate attack under General John S. Marmaduke was repulsed with help of a "Quinine Brigade" of convalescent soldiers. "Wild Bill" Hickock served as a Union scout here.
On a 1300-foot Ozark plateau, Springfield, county seat of Greene Co., is an industrial, rail, and dairy center. One of many historic markers in the area identifies Fort Ancient, the work of early mound builders. Also of interest are Wilson's Creek Battlefield, now a memorial park; the National Cemetery; and the City Art Museum.