University 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.
Marker # 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."
Marker # 2 - Campbell's Settlement At The Natural Well
Legal description: NW 1/4, Sec. 24, T 29N, R 21W
Campbell's settlement 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."
Marker # 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.
Text: "Henry 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."
Marker # 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.
Marker # 5 - First School In Springfield
Legal 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. V."
Marker # 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 Railroad tracks.
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 University Club."
Marker # 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."
Marker # 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."
Marker # 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"
Marker # 10 - First Baptist Church in Springfield
Legal description: NE 1/4, NE 1/4, Sec. 23, T 29W, R 22W, Springfield Quad. 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."
Marker # 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 1925."
Marker # 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."
Marker # 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.
Text: "These 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.)
Marker # 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."
Marker # 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.
Text: "About 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 June, 1929."
Marker # 16 - Fort Ancient in Lawrence County
Source: Lee 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."
Marker # 17 - Zagonyi's Charge
Legal 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 interest.
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.)
Marker # 18 - Butterfield Overland Stage
Legal Description: NW 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec. 24, T 29N, R 22W, Springfield Quad. Butterfield Overland 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 Square.
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."
Marker # 19 - First Post Office
Legal 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.
Text: "University 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, John Polk, 1834
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
Marker # 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 present time.
Text: "Baptist 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."