Springfield, Missouri

Springfield, the third largest city in the State of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County, is located on the Springfield Plateau of the Ozarks, a low mountainous area in southeastern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas and northeastern Oklahoma. The city is flat with rolling hills and cliffs on its north, south and east.

The Springfield Metropolitan Area with a population of 436,712 covers five other counties to combine and form a unified statistical area for census and other government related measurements. During the course of its development, it has earned several nicknames such as the 'Queen City of the Ozarks', 'Cultural Center of the Ozarks', 'Gateway of the Ozarks' and 'Birthplace of Route 66'.

Learn here about the four distinct seasons of Springfield, its place in Wind Energy Resource Atlas and how it is the city with the most varied weather in the United States. Be a part of Cider Days on Historic Walnut Street or take a 55-minute guided tour of America's only ride-through cave or experience the entertainment and education provided by Wilson Creek's National Battlefield, one of the only two national parks in the state of Missouri.

Springfield MO has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Springfield History

How Springfield, Missouri got its name is not clear because there are varied versions regarding its naming. One story tells of James Wilson, offering free whiskey to anyone who voted in favor of naming it after his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. Another story has it that it got its name from there being a spring under the hill and on the top of the hill where most of the town was located there was a field. Yet another legend has it that some of the earliest settlers handed in their favorite names and one Kindred Rose presented the winning name Springfield, in honor of his earlier hometown of the same name in Tennessee.

Springfield was incorporated in 1838, the same year when Cherokee Native Americans were forcibly removed to the Indian Territory. The route that they took came to be called the Trail of Tears as the dislocation resulted in the death of thousands of Cherokees. The Trail of Tears passed through Springfield via what is commonly known as Old Wire Road. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail auto tour route, marking the event, is along Interstate 44 westward U.S 160 (West By-Pass in Springfield) and westward along U.S 60. The Old Wire Road was then a Military Road but two years later the regions first telegraph line was strung along the road giving rise to the name Telegraph or Wire Road.

1848 was a watershed year in the history of Springfield. The first railroad to cross the Mississippi River, The Missouri Pacific (then Pacific Railroad) reached Springfield and other locations. The St. Louis San Francisco Railroad made its entry later and set up its headquarters in North Springfield. Railroad connectivity brought in its wake commercial and industrial diversification, which strengthened the economy. Seventeen years later, in 1887, the Moon City (actually North Springfield) voted in favor of merger with the City of Springfield.

Missouri being a border state, Springfield was divided in its sentiments when it became evident that Civil War was imminent. August 10, 1861 saw a major conflict between the Union troops and the Confederates in the Battle of Wilson's Creek. However, it was only in March 1862 that Springfield and the State of Missouri came under Union control.

After the end of the Civil War, Springfield gave birth to the Wild West era when the town square saw a shootout between two poker players, Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt Jr. The 'quick draw' duel made national news mostly due to the marksmanship shown by Wild Bill Hickok.

Springfield is officially recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. On April 30, 1926, the name of the Chicago-to- Los Angeles highway was first proposed in Springfield. Twelve years later, Route 66 became America's first paved transcontinental highway stretching from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast.

About Springfield, Missouri

Springfield is the county seat of Greene County and situated on Springfield Plateau of the Ozarks. The Ozarks refer to a physio-graphic and geologic highland region of the central United States that covers much of Southern Missouri, a substantial part of north central Arkansas extended westwards into northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas.

Much of the Springfield Plateau is marked by forest, pastures and shrub-scrub habitats. A number of streams and tributaries flow within and near the city. These include Galloway Creek, James River, and Jordan Creek. A small distance from the city center are lakes and reservoirs like Table Rock Lake, an artificial lake impounded by Table Rock Dam on the White River; Stockton Lake, which is one of the top 10 lakes in the USA for sailing and from which water is drawn to supplement water for the city of Springfield; McDaniel Lake, the main source of water for the city; Fellows Lake, which is developing into one of Missouri's premier fisheries of Muskellunge; and Pomme de Terre Lake, part of series of lakes in the Osage River basin designed and constructed for flood control.

Springfield has four clearly distinguishable seasons. The average surface wind velocity is almost the same as that of Chicago, Illinois and is placed within 'Power Class 3', which signifies an average wind speed in the range of 6.4 to 7 miles per hour. Its humid continental climate results in extreme humidity at times, particularly in late summer. Average temperature in January is 31.7°F (-0.2 °C) and in July it averages 78.5 °F (25.8 °C) and has an annual mean of 56.2 °F (13.4 °C). It is normal for night temperatures to drop below freezing point in winters and summer temperatures can go as high as 90 °F (32 °C) and occasionally 100 °F (38 °C). Average annual precipitation is 45 inches including 20 inches of snow. On the Weather Variety Index, Springfield has the most varied weather in the United States.

The population of Springfield was recorded as 159,498 in the 2010 census with 88.7% White, 4.1% Black or African American, 1.9% Asian, 3.7% Hispanic, 1.6% other races. Much of the city’s economy is based on manufacturing, health care, education, tourism and retail. Top employers include St. John’s Health System, Wal-Mart Stores, Missouri State University and Springfield Public Schools and Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine. The manufacturing sector accounts for 18,000 jobs.

About Greene County, Missouri

Named after General Nathanael Greene, famous during the American Revolutionary War, the Greene County is located in southwestern Missouri. Formed in 1833, its county seat is the City of Springfield. Greene County forms a part of the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area that includes population areas of Nixa, Ozark, Republic, Marshfield, and Bolivar with Springfield, the state's third largest city, as its center.

Some of the other cities and towns in Greene County include Ash Grove, Battlefield, Logan, Strafford, Oak Grove Heights, Republic and Willard. Greene County is also home to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, a national protected area that preserves the Battle of Wilson's Creek fought on August 10, 1861 during the Civil War. This was the first major conflict west of Mississippi River between the Union troops and the Confederates. The site is located near Republic, just southwest of the city of Springfield.

The total area of Greene County is 677.80 square miles all of which comprises of land except for 2.82 square miles that comprise of water. It is surrounded on all sides by other Missouri counties, namely, Polk (north), Dallas (northeast), Webster (east), Christian (south), Lawrence (southwest) and Dade County (northwest).

The population of Greene County was 275,174 in 2010, up from 240,391 in 2000. Population density in 2010 was 408 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the county is predominantly white with 93.54%. The rest is comprised of Black or African American (2.26%), Native Americans (0.66%), Asian (1.13%), Pacific Islander (0.06%) and other races (2.35%). Nearly 1.84% of the population was Hispanic or Latino.

Like most of the counties in South Missouri, the political culture of Greene County is Republican. The last Democratic president to win in Greene County was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. However, most people in Greene County tend to be socially conservative as the county is located in the heart of the Bible Belt. As is the case with most people in the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Green County are traditionally inclined towards conservative principles in regard to social and cultural values.