Brief History of Greene County....
Even before Missouri
became a state on August 10, 1821, settlers were arriving in southwest
Missouri. Claims by the Delaware, Kickapoo, and Osage Indians, however,
prevented any type of permanent settlement. It was not until after
1830, the date of the Indian removal, that the future Greene County
was opened for settlement.
The county itself, named
for Revolutionary War hero, Nathanael Greene, was officially established
on January 2, 1833. Its boundaries encompassed most of southwest
Missouri, having previously been a part of Wayne County. Its present
boundaries were finalized in 1858. As the county prospered and increased
in population, small villages arose, particularly along the Frisco
Railroad, with names such names as Bois D'Arc, Brookline, Ash Grove,
Fair Grove, Republic, Strafford, Walnut Grove, Willard, and Battlefield.
The largest community
in Greene County is Springfield, founded by John Polk Campbell,
a settler from Maury County, Tennessee. He arrived with his brother,
Madison, in 1829, and upon finding a "natural well, its
water flowing into a small stream at the foot of a wooded hill,
carved his initials on an ash tree to establish his claim. (The
site of the spring is on present-day Water Street, between North
Jefferson and North Robberson.) Campbell returned to Tennessee for
his family and returned to the Ozarks in March 1830. Other settlers
arrived almost daily and it was not long before a rather sizable
log cabin settlement developed along with stores, mills, a school,
post office, land office and other necessary businesses to service
a growing community.
The date for the "birth"
of Springfield has not been firmly established. It was incorporated
in 1838, but the town site was plated in 1835 when Campbell deeded
50 acres of land for the county seat. There was a post office as
early as 1834 for "Springfield" and the first permanent
courthouse, a two story brick structure, was constructed in the
middle of the public square in 1837. In any event, Springfield grew
and prospered and since at least as early as 1878 has been known
as the Queen City of the Ozarks.
To learn more ....
Through the years, members
of the Society have compiled a great deal of useful information
County and the surrounding area. Much
of that material has been compiled on this website. Click here to