Club Historical Markers....
Dr. Edward M. Shepard,
longtime faculty member and professor of biological science at Drury
College, is the person principally responsible for the erection
of twenty historical markers in Greene County during the years 1921-1934.
Up until the time of his death, Dr. Shepard would locate a site
that needed marking, interest the appropriate business, religious
or educational organizations, and with the University Club as sponsor,
erect the marker. Always in the background, Dr. Shepard's name is
in no way identified by the text appearing on any marker as having
had anything to do with its erection. It should be noted that there
is usually a practical association between the donor of the marker
and the historic site it is set to mark.
Information about the
markers is copied from the Vol. 3, # 7, January 1960 issue of the
Greene County Historical Society Bulletin. The location given
below is the original location and may not be the present location.
Some of the markers have been moved or lost over time.
# 1. First Settlement in Greene County.
Legal description: (NE 1/4, Sec. 27, T 28N, R 22W
First settlement in Greene
County about 10 miles southwest of Springfield at Patterson's Spring
on the north bank of the James River, at the side of the road.
Text: "465 Ft.
due west is site of first claim located in what is now Greene County
by John Pettijohn, Sr. About 1818. First settlement made here by
Thomas Patterson, August 1822. Also site of Munsee Indian village
under Chief Swannick. Marker erected 1921 by the Springfield Chapter,
Sons of the Revolution."
# 2. Campbell's Settlement At The Natural Well.
Legal description: NW 1/4, Sec. 24, T 29N, R 21W
at the Natural Well. Marker is located in the retaining wall of
the Missouri Pacific right-of-way, between Boonville and Jefferson
Streets on the south side of Water Street. The marker is now cracked,
disfigured, and needs replacing at a more suitable place."
(At a later date, the marker was relocated across the street north.)
Text: "The Natural
Well 55 feet north of this point caused the location by John Polk
Campbell about 1829, and the settlement in 1830 of what is now Springfield.
Marker erected 1921 by the Rotary Club of Springfield."
# 3. Schoolcraft's Camp Near Kershner's Spring.
Legal description: SE 1/4, Sec. 35, T 29N, R 21W
Schoolcraft's camp near
Kershner's Spring on the James River near the mouth of Pearson's
Creek, about 3 miles east of the present east city limits of Springfield.
This is also the site of the old Phelps mines, previously used by
the Osage and observed by Schoolcraft.
Schoolcraft, geologist, explorer and ethnologist, camped here Jan.
1, 1819. Site of first lead mine and primitive smelter in Southwest
Missouri. Also of Osage camp. Marker erected 1921, by Rotary Club
of Springfield, Missouri."
# 4. First Mill Site In Southwest Missouri.
Legal description: NW 1/4/NE 1/4, Sec. 21, T 28N,
R 21W, Galloway Quad.
First mill site in Southwest
Missouri. The marker was placed near the northwest corner of the
Old Ozark Bridge (just west of present-day bridge over US 65) just
south of Galloway. On a recent visit to site, marker was not located.
Text: Site of first
grist-mill in Greene County and as far as known, in Southwest Missouri..
Dam and mill erected by __________Ingle, 1822, Osage Indians forded
here on their main trail to White River hunting grounds. Marker
erected 1921 by Kiwanis Club of Springfield.
# 5. First School In Springfield.
description: NE 1/2, Sec. 23, T 29N, R 22W, Springfield Quad.
First school in Springfield.
Marker located in the southeast corner of a filling station building
located on the northwest corner of College and Main Streets. It
is in good condition and easily accessible.
Text: "Site of
first school in what is now Springfield, built by pioneers, 1832,
of small logs with mud and stick chimney, loose plank floor, and
three-legged benches. Joseph Rountree first teacher, marker erected
1921 by the Springfield Public Schools. University Club Marker NO.
# 6. First School In Greene County.
Legal description: NE 1/4, SE 1/4, Sec. 22, T 29W,
R 22W, Springfield Quad.
First school in Greene
County. Marker located on high banked lawn on south side of Mt.
Vernon Street, just west of the crossing of the Missouri Pacific
Text: "225 feet
south of this spot, the first school house in Greene County was
built by pioneers, 1831. Small cabin, logs cut out for window and
door openings. No shutter, door or chimney. Dirt floor, three-legged
benches. First teacher, Joseph Rountree. Pupils from Rountree, Miller,
Fulbright and Weaver families. Marker erected, 1921, by Springfield
# 7. First Store in Southwest Missouri
Legal description: NW 1/4, NW 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec.
24, T 29N, R 22W, Springfield Quad.
First store in Southwest
Missouri. Set at southwest corner of Frisco Office Building (Landmark
Building) on north side of Olive Street about halfway between Jefferson
& Robberson Streets.
Text: "Site of
first store in Southwest Greene County, a little log cabin, supplied
with goods from Boonville, Missouri, 1831, and conducted by Junius
Campbell, brother of John Polk Campbell, founder of Springfield.
Marker erected 1921 by Reps Dry Goods Company."
# 8. First Classical Academy in the Southwest.
Legal description: NE 1/4, NE 1/4, NE 1/4, Sec.
24, R 29N, R 22W, Springfield Quad.
First classical academy
in the Southwest. Originally located on southeast corner of Short
Benton and Trafficway opposite NW corner of the old Thompson House
(now razed) and now located in the wall on west side of the NW corner
of the new TraveLodge Motel.
Text: "Just east
of this point in a black walnut grove, was the first classical academy
in Greene County. Established in 1845, 15 years after the founding
of Springfield. Prof. J. A. Stephens Principal. Marker erected,
1921, by the Southwest Missouri State Teachers College."
# 9. First Church in Greene County.
Legal description: SW 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec. 18, T 29N,
R 21 W, Springfield Quad.
Site of the first church
in Greene County. Located on National Avenue, just east of Crystal
(Silver) Springs Park.
Text: "450 feet
due west First Methodist Episcopal in Southwest Missouri was located
in 1833. Size 18 X 20 feet, built of logs, puncheon floor and seats
cost 18 dollars. Rev. Jas. H. Slavens, M.D., first pastor over White
River and St. Francis Districts, 100 x 200 miles in extent. Marker
erected by the Springfield Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal
Churches South, 1921"
# 10 First Baptist Church in Springfield.
description: NE 1/4, NE 1/4, Sec. 23, T 29W, R 22W, Springfield
First Baptist Church
in Springfield. Marker located on the north side of College Street
about halfway between Campbell and Market Streets. Marker is broken
at base and has been toppled over. (Marker relocated to the SW corner
of church property at Mt Vernon and what used to be Patton).
Text: "In 1827
Rev. Wm. Mooney held first religious services in Southwest Missouri
in a cabin in Taylor Township. First Baptist church organized in
Greene County at Mount Pleasant near Willard, 1828, Rev. Wm. Tatum
Pastor, 345 ft. due north of the First Baptist Church in Springfield,
Rev. B. McCord Roberts, Pastor. Marker erected by Baptist churches
of Springfield, 1921."
# 11. The Kickapoo Indian Village Site.
Legal Description: SE 1/4, Sec. 24, T 29N, R 22
W, Springfield Quad.
The Kickapoo Indian Village
site (thought by some to be Osage due to dates given) located on
west side of South Avenue in the 800 block. The marker is now on
the lawn of the Fred Holt home.
Text: "1812 (?)-1832
A Kickapoo Indian village occupied the site bounded approximately
North by Madison, West by Campbell, South by Grand Ave. and East
by Jefferson St. 100 wigwams clustered around a spring formerly
situated 150 feet West of this point. The Indians are believed to
have planted on this site the first orchard of the Indian Peach
in the Southwest. Marker erected by Springfield University Club
# 12. Memorial To The Men Who Died In Service
(This is not an historical
marker site, but a memorial marker to the soldiers of Springfield
and Greene County who died in the World War I. It is located in
Grant Beach Park and was unveiled on November 11, 1924. On the reverse
of the monument shaft appear the names of 66 soldiers, each numbered
to correspond with trees also bearing numbers and planted with the
purpose of forming a memorial grove. It was hoped that the group
of hard maple trees surrounding the monument would be a lasting
tribute to the lives of those who compose this roll of honor. The
flag and flagstaff accompanying the monument was the gift of the
Women's University Club).
Text: "In Memory
of the men of Springfield who died in service in the World War for
the cause of liberty. Erected by Business Women's Club, Kiwanis
Club, Knights of Columbus, Lions Club, Rotary Club, University Club."
# 13. Indian Mounds.
Legal Description: SW 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec. 13, T 29N,
R 22W, Springfield Quad.
The first marker on the
Drury University campus was erected by Drury on the site of the
old St. Louis Road where it crossed the campus. This marker was
carried away by vandals. Another marker was placed to mark the location
of possible Mounds located on the Drury campus.
mounds mark the site of pre-historic Indian homes. They are believed
to represent the remains of thatch-roofed circular adobe huts, similar
to those built by the Mandan Indians. Thousands of similar mounds
are widely scattered in groups throughout the Ozarks, but are being
rapidly destroyed by agricultural agencies. Their builders antedated
the Osages. Meager evidence indicated a non-warlike and agricultural
race, probably effaced either by pestilence or by warlike enemy
tribes. Erected by Drury College Oct. 19__." (Date effaced
by vandalism, but probably 1926 or 1927.)
# 14. Nathaniel Lyon Marker, Wilson's Creek Battlefield.
Legal Description: SE 1/4, NE 1/4, Sec. 26, T 28N,
R 23W, Republic Quad.
A monument and marker
to Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and the Battle of Wilson's Creek, and situated
on the crest of Bloody Hill at or near the spot where Gen. Lyon
was killed. The area where most of the battle action took place
is included in this area.
Text: "At or
near this spot fell Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon. Born Ashford,
Conn. 1818. Graduated U. S. Military Academy, 1841. Commander of
the Federal forces in the Battle of Wilson Creek August 10, 1861.
This marker is erected by the University Club of Springfield, MO.
In honor of General Lyon and the hundreds of brave men, north and
south, who, on this field died for the right as God gave them to
see the right. 1928."
# 15. First Cabin in Springfield.
Legal Description: NE 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec. 23, T 29W,
R 22W, Springfield Quad.
The first cabin in what
is now Springfield. Marker is set in the retaining wall on the south
side of College Street in the 1100 block. It is of granite, well
preserved and well situated for accessibility.
February 1830, William Fulbright erected, near this spot, the first
cabin built on the site of the resent city of Springfield. At the
same time, A.J. Burnett built a pole cabin near the natural well,
and John Fulbright another near Jones' Spring. The first church
service was held and the first church (Methodist) organized in the
cabin of William Fulbright and the settlement was called Campbell
and Fulbright Springs. University Club Historical Marker No. 15
# 16. Fort Ancient in Lawrence County.
M. Adams, Missouri Archaeologist, Vol. 20, 1958. "Fort
Ancient, a mound builders fort, located near Hoberg on the Spanish
Fort School grounds."
Text: "Fort Ancient,
believed to have been constructed by a group of Eastward migrating
Mound Builders, a band of Indians probably long antedating the Osages,
on their way to what is now Ohio, where this prehistoric group reached
its greatest culmination. This tribe, probably had its village in
the valley and used these fortifications for defense. First Pioneers
describe the walls as originally about 5 ft. high, and the moat
2 ft. deep. Springfield University Club Historical Marker No. 16,
erected Oct., 1930."
# 17. Zagonyi's Charge.
Description: Sec. 22, 23, T 29N, R 22W, Springfield Quad.
The marker is located
northeast corner of Frisco Station, Main at Phelps Streets. (Later
relocated at 1724 Mt. Vernon Street.) A Civil War action of considerable
Text: "This marker
commemorates one of the most daring and brilliant cavalry charges
of the Civil War. Late at night, Oct. 24, 1861, Maj. Charles Zagonyi,
commander of Fremont's Bodyguard, with 300 men, including 130 of
Maj. White's Prairie Scouts, left Fremont's camp near Bolivar to
attack a Confederate force at Springfield. On the 25th they detoured
about a mile west of the present Frisco Station t effect a surprise
from the west. The Confederates, probably 1500, encamped on the
hill and in this valley, were warned and ready: But Zagonyi, dividing
his forces, repeatedly charged until the enemy retreated to the
east and south. Zagonyi reorganized the remnant of his force on
the public square and provided care for the wounded before leaving
to rejoin Fremont's command. On this stream, 12 m. s. w. was fought
the Battle of Wilson Creek, where Gen. Lyon was killed. University
Club Historical Marker No. 17. Erected May 6, 1931".
(The Frisco Station was
later razed and the marker moved to Mt. Vernon Street, east of Zagonyi
Park which more accurately locates the action.)
# 18. Butterfield Overland Stage.
Description: NW 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec. 24, T 29N, R 22W, Springfield
State station on the Boonville Trail, located at General Smith's
Hotel (or Tavern) on Boonville Avenue, one-half block north of the
Public Square. The marker is located in the northwest corner of
the building at the north east corner of Boonville and Park Central
Text: "Site of
Gen. Nicholas Smith's Tavern on Boonville Road, earliest outlet
of Springfield, also station of Butterfield Stage route carrying
first overland mail from St. Louis to Pacific Coast. Government
subsidy $600,000 yearly. First mail left St. Louis, Sept. 16, 1858,
by rail, arriving Tipton afternoon of same day, then by stage, reaching
Springfield 5:15 p.m., Sept. 17, and San Francisco 7:30 a.m. Oct.
10. Time 23 days, 23 hours from St. Louis, 2765 miles. Longest mail
stage route ever attempted. Biweekly service Mondays and Thursdays
from St. Louis. 141 (later 167) stations en route. First eastbound
stage left San Francisco early Sept. 15, arriving Springfield, 3:00
p.m., Oct. 8, where hundreds welcomed its arrival as great event..
Banquet: speeches; fireworks. Time eastward trip, 24 days, 18 hours
to St. Louis."
# 19. First Post Office.
Description: NW 1/4, Sec. 24, T 29N, R 22W
Site of first Springfield
post office, located between Walnut and McDaniel Streets on the
west side of Jefferson. The marker is located on Jefferson just
north of Walnut Street on a building on the west side of street.
Club Historical Marker No. 19. Erected Jan. 3, 1934. Near this spot
was located the first Post office in Springfield, in a one story,
hewed log cabin, occupied by John Polk Campbell, who was appointed
Postmaster, Jan. 3, 1834. Mail was brought on horseback twice a
month from Harrison's store on Little Piney, near the present town
of Arlington. The following Postmasters have served Springfield:
Campbell, Junius T., 1836
Shannon, Thomas, 1841
Farmer, William B., 1841
McElhaney, Robert J., 1845
Farmer, William B., 1849
Holland, Colly B.,1852
Ingram, Archibald F., 1853
Jones, William, 1854
Bear, Joseph A., 1855
Burden, Joseph, 1855
Robinson, Nathan, 1855
Kite, Benjamin, 1861
Winger, Jacob B., 1864
Boyd, Marcus, 1866
Stephens, Permilla C., 1867
Shipley, Edward R., 1877
Pipkin, William H., 1885
Abbot, James, 1890
Love, Thomas C., 1894
Fenton, Jeremiah, 1898
Ross, Jesse B., 1902
McJimsey, E. E. E., 1910
Mitchell, Obadiah C., 1914
Hendrickson, George W ., 1921
# 20. First Religious Service.
First religious service
held in Greene County, about 8 miles east of the present city limits
of Springfield, on or near the present Division Street Road, in
Shiloh Baptist Church. There is a church building on the site at
memorial. In 1827 or 28, the Rev. William Mooney, Baptist Minister,
conducted the first religious services in Greene County and, so
far as known, in southwest Missouri, in his and neighboring cabins.
The Mooney home was approximately 5/8 of a mile northwest of this
spot, in SW cor of SE 1/4 or NE 1/4 of S 13, T 29, R 20. Erected
June 1934 by Greene County Baptist Association. University Club
Historical Marker No. 20."