SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In the past two centuries, Springfield’s transformation has been remarkable, evolving from a quaint hamlet into the third-largest city in Missouri. Springfield has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s, and numerous significant events have shaped its development since its inception.

Here’s a timeline of significant events that have happened in the month of September since 1835:

1835U. S. Land Office was established with Joel H. Haden first registrar. He later organized and was pastor of First Christian church on College St.
1858First west-bound stage of Butterfield Overland Mail reached Springfield at about 3:15 p.m. from Tipton with John Butterfield among the passengers and son, John, Jr., the driver. The mail arrived in San Francisco, on Oct. 10.
1867First public schools here opened in three rented buildings.
1871The Metropolitan Hotel on College Street opened with a grand ball. It closed in 1952 and was razed in 1954 for a parking lot.
1873New Springfield College opened with 39 students, of whom seven were American Indians. The faculty of three male instructors was headed by Nathan J. Morrison, former president of Olivet college, Olivet, Michigan, who had been elected president of Springfield College. Later, Springfield College was renamed Drury College in honor of a recently deceased son of philanthropist Samuel Drury, also of Olivet, who had become a generous contributor to the college founded by the Congregational Church here.
1878Loretto Academy, “a school of distinction and scholastic excellence” began operations here when five nuns of the Loretto Order opened an academy for girls at Campbell and Pine (now Tampa). The first buildings were a three-room frame cottage and a two-story brick building. Later, a three-story, 60-room red brick building was erected to accommodate 200 pupils. After a long run, the academy closed its doors on November 17, 1919.
1883P. B. Perkins, from Fort Scott, Kan., exercised the franchise given by City Council and organized the Springfield Water Company under the laws of Missouri
1900Cornerstone laid for Springfield Carnegie Public Library, Central and Jefferson. It was built with a $50,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie. First patrons were served on March 12. 1905.
1909Landers Theater, 311 East Walnut, opened. Built by John D. Landers, the theater presented many great artists and entertainers as well as roadshow motion pictures. In the early 1920s, it became Landers-Orpheum Theater, then the first theater with sound motion picture equipment in Springfield. The Springfield Little Theater, organized in 1935 and incorporated in 1947, purchased and restored the theater and opened there with its 1970-71 season.
1926Sports fans began gathering at the corner of Jefferson and McDaniel outside the offices of the Springfield Republican on the night of a boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney as play-by-play results began coming over the Associated Press wire service.
1928The opening of the $200,000 Grant Avenue viaduct brought on “the greatest municipal celebration in the history of Springfield” Horns blared, bombs and rockets exploded, and a crowd of 25,000 gathered to hear dedicatory speeches–including one by congressional candidate Dewey Short.
1928This date marked the final reunion of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry at Wilson’s Creek battlefield. Reunions of soldiers from the battle had become popular annual events, but this year only five members of the cavalry unit answered the roll call, and the Republican reported “the veterans are old and tottering, and they plan no future gatherings.”
1930The Fox Theater, on the square, is the renovated Electric Theater. It has a new sound system, seats, rugs and lighting system.
1950The Ozarks Open Gold Tournament is held here. It was to feature Lloyd Mangram, Herman Keiser, and Johnny Palmer. It was first held here in 1947. It lost $1500 this year. Jim Ferrier quit after the first round because he said he was ill, although he didn’t play too well either.
1955Nine million dollars in sewer bonds were approved by voters. The approval was declared the “dawn of a new era.” The first sewer bonds in the city were issued in 1891.
1955Evangel College opened on 55 acres of the former O’Reilly Hospital site.
1957City celebrates being named All-American City.
1964Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater visits the city.
1972A formal establishment program for Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield was held Sept. 22, 1972, following 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.
1985Comedian Bob Hope performed at a gala to honor John Q. Hammons and at an SMSU basketball game.
1985New Ramada Hotel-Hawthorn Park opens at Glenstone and Kearney.
1992Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts opens.
1993During the month, Springfield had 17.46 inches of rain. Flash flooding happened throughout the city.
2015Springfield staple Aunt Martha’s Pancake House closes its doors after 55 years in the business.
2017Bass Pro’s Wonders of Wildlife opens.
Courtesy: History Museum on the Square