For more information, contact:
P.O. Box 3466 GS
Springfield, MO 65808
site was last
February 29, 2004
Currently this timeline
includes the early years of Springfield and Greene County.
On August 10 Missouri
becomes a state.
Soon after Missouri
became a state, white settlers began moving into southwest
Missouri. The primary route was down the Mississippi to the
White River in Arkansas, up the White River to the James,
and up the James to Wilson and Pearson's Creeks, thereby reaching
present day Greene County. They established themselves as
squatters, but when it was determined that the Indians had
legal claim to the area, they were forced to move on, or as
many of them did, bargained with the Indians and remained
where they were.
with this early settlement were: Augustine and William Friend,
Jeremiah Pearson, John P. Pettijohn, and Joseph Phillabert.
With the Delaware came a man by the name of James Wilson,
who became known as the "squaw man" because he took
Indian women as wives. He settled along a stream that flowed
into the James River and it became known as Wilson Creek.
The Delaware Indians
had relocated to the Ozarks in 1818 after they were forced
to cede their Ohio claims for land west of the Mississippi
River. On September 24, 1829, they were forced to move again
when they were relocated to a reservation in Kansas.
That fall marked
the arrival of John Polk Campbell and his brother, Madison.
They establish their claim at the "natural well"
and return to Tennessee.
In February, the
William Fulbright party arrived from Tennessee. William selected
a spot around a spring that later took the name, Fulbright
Spring. His brother, John, settled around another spring and
built a cabin. This spring later became known as Jones Spring.
His brother-in-law, A. J. Burnett, not realizing that there
was a claim on the "natural well," built a cabin
on the hill above it.
John Polk Campbell
returned to the area with his family on March 4. When it was
determined that Campbell had a prior claim to the site around
the "natural well," Burnett relinquished his cabin
and resettled at a new site.
On January 16,
the Joseph Rountree family arrived from Maury County, Tennessee.
Rountree later starts the first school. Along with the Rountree
family comes Sidney S. Ingram.
In October, Junius
T. Campbell, youngest brother of John Polk Campbell, arrived.
He opens the first store.
Other early Greene
County settlers who arrived in 1831 were Samuel Painter and
Indian removal began on October 24.
Greene County was
created from Wayne County on January 2. Named after Nathanael
Greene, Revolutionary War hero, the county included most of
On March 11, the
first session of the County Court was held at the home of
John Polk Campbell. One item of business was the establishment
of the county townships.
On August 5, the
first election in the newly formed Greene County was held.
The General Election
was held on August 4. 503 votes are cast.
That fall the first
Post Office in Southwest Missouri was established with Junius
T. Campbell as postmaster. Mail's brought once a month from
Harrison's Store on the Little Piney River.
By 1835 the settlement
of Fulbright and Campbell Springs had been named Springfield.
To ensure that Springfield would become the county seat, John
P. Campbell pledged 50 acres of his tract to the county for
county purposes. He had laid off the 50 acres into lots and
streets and a public square patterned after Columbia, Tennessee,
his birthplace. Springfield was officially designated the
county seat in 1835 but not finalized until 1836.
On September 1,
the U. S. Land Office opened, with J. H. Haden appointed Registrar.
On August 27, John
Polk Campbell formally deeds 50 acres of land to Greene County
for county purposes. A surveyor was appointed to lay off the
tract of land into lots and their subsequent sales.
The first presidential
election since the organization of the county was held in
November. Greene County favored the Democratic nominee, Martin
Van Buren, as did the state.
On November 28,
Sydney S. Ingram submitted plans for a courthouse to be erected
in the center of the public square. It was to be a two-story
That winter marked
the "Osage War." Bands of Osage Indians had crossed
the state border into Missouri. Governor Boggs ordered Col.
Charles S. Yancey, commander of the Greene County militia,
to compel the Indians to return to their own territory. Col.
Yancey postponed calling out his troops, deciding instead
to go in person to accomplish his mission. When this proved
to be impossible, he returned home to muster the troops. When
the troops returned to Springfield they found the citizens
in a state of agitation, believing that the entire county
was in danger. The citizens were put at ease when assured
that their fears were unfounded.
Standard newspaper was established by J. C. Tuberville.
The name was later changed to the Ozark Eagle.
The first bridges
built in the county were bridges over two streams on the state
road to Arkansas and a bridge across the "town branch"
north of the square.
On March 13, Boone
War," another Osage Indian disturbance, occurred that summer.
On December 1,
government land in Greene County became available.
On February 19,
Springfield was incorporated with a population of about 250.
On May 9, the Benton
and Ozark Townships were organized.
In the November
1840 Presidential election, Greene County went for the Democratic
candidate, Martin Van Buren, over Whig candidate, William
Henry Harrison. According to historian Return Holcombe, the
election was not as exciting as in other parts of the country.
Of course, Harrison was elected due in part to the dissatisfaction
with the incumbent, Van Buren, who received the blame for
the less than ideal economic conditions of the time.
The first census
for Greene County was taken in 1840. The population stood
John Andrew Stephens
established an academy for boys known as Stephens' Academy.
It was located in Springfield at Kimbrough and short Benton.
May, the first issue of the Springfield Advertiser, a
Democratic paper, was established by Warren H. Graves. The paper
continued until 1861.
That fall, the
presidential election pitted Henry Clay (Whig) with James
Knox Polk (Democrat). In Greene County Polk was favored both
locally and nationally. This was also the beginning of the
Congressional career of John S. Phelps that lasted eighteen
first bank, a branch of the State Bank of Missouri, opened in
On May 13, the
United States declared war against Mexico marking the beginning
of the Mexican War. The first company of Greene County soldiers
was organized under the command of Capt. A. M. Julian. It
was never mustered into a regiment and returned home.
May, Capt. Samuel Boak organized a company for service in the
Mexican War. It became part of the 3rd Missouri Mounted Infantry
Volunteers and saw service in Chihuahua and El Paso.
This year's presidential election was somewhat low key. The
Democrats were favored to win with Cass and Butler over Whig
candidates, Zachary Taylor and Millard Filmore. Taylor won nationwide.
stood at 344; 108 of those were slaves.
On September 10,
a new paper, the Springfield Whig, made its appearance.
It was edited by Littleberry Hendrick. It ceased publication
after a year.
Rev. Charles Carlton,
a Christian minister from Canada, established a female college
on College Street near Main known as Carlton College.
February a temperance revival broke out in Springfield as meetings
were held and a lodge, the Sons of Temperance, was formed.
By the close of
the 1840s, Greene County was twelfth in the state in terms
of population and tenth in the value of real and personal
link will take you to the rest of the timeline.