SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Over the last 200 years, Springfield has grown from a small town to Missouri’s third-largest city. Springfield has been around since the early 1800s, and many significant events have occurred since its founding.

Here’s a timeline of significant events that have happened in the month of August since 1831:

1831The first marriage in the settlement was Junius Rountree, son of Joseph Rountree and Martha Miller, daughter of Joseph Miller.
1833Judge Charles “Hoss” Allen held the first term of the circuit court in this district. John D. Shannon was the first sheriff.
1833Results finally came in from the first election in Greene County which began August 5 and concluded August 8. The first judges elected were Joseph Rountree, Alex Younger and D.B. Miller. Clerks were J.M. Rountree and Thomas F. Wright.
1835John Polk Campbell and his wife, Louise T., made a deed giving 50 acres for the town site, including two acres for Public Square.
1854The first legal execution in Greene County was the hanging of Willis Washam of Taney County for murder, one month after his conviction on circumstantial evidence. Many believed Washam was innocent. This was one of two legal hangings in the entire history of Greene County.
1858Greene County appropriated $40,000 for a new courthouse and jail at the northwest corner of College Street and the Public Square.
1861The Battle of Wilson’s Creek was fought. General Nathaniel Lyon was killed. The Federal Army and sympathizers retreated to Rolla. The battle was considered a Confederate victory on the field, but it set forces in motion that won the war for the nation.
1861Gen. Ben McCulloch and Gen. Sterling Price marched their Southern troops into Springfield at about noon.
1867First Springfield street lights were turned on–four coal oil lamps on Square, with one at each street entrance. Soon five more gleamed on Boonville Ave. from the Square to Jordan Creek.
1883A monument to Gen. Nathaniel Lyon was dedicated on the Public Square. It was moved to National Cemetery in 1885.
1900A metal footbridge over Frisco tracks north of Commercial Street opened. It extended from Jefferson and Commercial, north to Chase. The cost was $8200.
1901The United Confederate Veterans of Missouri and Daughters of the Confederacy erected the large monument honoring Confederate General Sterling Price in the center of the Confederate Cemetery.
1922The Springfield Public Library has announced it soon will offer patrons rolls for their player pianos. A Springfieldian gave 22 player rolls to start the new department.
1927Springfield began the operation of a municipal tourist park near the Federal Building (now Springfield City Hall). Campers were furnished with water and cooking space, and during the peak of the tourist season, a total of 67 automobiles were registered to say overnight at the tourist park.
1937The last electric trolley operates
1950A blast, believed from gas buildup, destroyed three 2-story buildings in the vicinity of Boonville and Water.
1953A hooded Indian cobra was killed in shrubbery in the 1400 block of East Olive, not far from a pet shop. This began excitement that ended after nine or ten cobras were killed, and — on Oct. 25 — one captured. A City Hall artist unofficially redrew a snake circling the shield on the city seal to resemble a cobra ready to strike and it was used for decals. It was later revealed a teen released the cobras from the pet shop in retaliation for buying a fish that died shortly after its purchase.
1954The city was rocked by a series of explosions when a carload of 105-millimeter shells exploded in the Frisco Railroad’s west yards. There was a five-hour bombardment of that part of time with one person injured by shrapnel.
1960Royal-McBee (later Royal) Typewriter Company began the manufacture of portable typewriters in the new building at 2401 East Sunshine. The plant closed in 1969 after a bitter strike, with about 1000 employees affected.
1961Lester E. Cox was named general chairman of the Wilson’s Creek centennial observance, including a dedication at the Battlefield, on Aug. 10. In two appropriations, during administrations of Governors John Dalton and Warren E. Hearnes, the Missouri General Assembly gave $701,800 for purchase of 1734 acres of Battlefield.
1968The final presentation of deeds to the U.S. government of Wilson’s Creek land purchased by the state was on Aug. 10, 1968. A formal establishment program, Sept. 22, 1972, followed the success of U.S. Rep. Durward G. Hall and Senators Stuart Symington and Thomas Eagleton in obtaining authorization (but not appropriation) of $2,285,000 for the development of the battlefield.
1970Springfield got the state’s fourth largest mall with the opening of Battlefield Mall in August.
1985Three thousand southwest Springfieldians left their homes when a faulty valve at Solid State Circuits leaked chlorine gas.
1987Hammons Tower opens. It was built at a cost of $15 million and has 22 stories with 234,800 square feet.
Courtesy: History Museum on the Square