Over the Years
By Kaitlyn McConnell
The Ozarks has greatly changed since the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce's inception 100 years ago. Here are just a few historical highlights and chamber initiatives that helped shape, and bring growth, to Springfield.
Since its start, Springfield’s story has been one of progress, growth and change. It's of converging cultures, and of evolution to meet the needs of the greater community.
From a frontier town to city of corporate headquarters, the Queen City of the Ozarks has been continually recreated by those who have called her home.
"The key word in all of Springfield's history has been crossroads," says John Sellars, executive director of History Museum on the Square. "We have always been at the center of travel and activities in the southwest corner of Missouri. From the very first Native American trails to the highways and rail tracks crossing this great country, they always seem to pass through Springfield."
In the grand scheme of things, one of the first people to do that was John Polk Campbell. In the early 1820s, Campbell came west from Tennessee in search of land.
Campbell’s trek was only months after famed explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft made his journey across Missouri and Arkansas. Schoolcraft’s account provides the earliest written description of what is known today as the Ozarks.
The namesake of Campbell Avenue followed in Schoolcraft's footsteps to the wide and grassy Kickapoo Prairie. After claiming a spot near a water source by marking his name on a tree near today’s Founder’s Park, Campbell headed back to Tennessee for his family.
"As the settlement grew, the opportunity to become the county seat of a new county established in southwest Missouri presented itself," says Sellars. "Campbell seized the opportunity and, with the donation of 50 acres of his land, the center of a new city was established. Forty acres of the land was sold to new settlers and the remainder was designed as the public square. Revenue from the land sale was used to design and build a new courthouse in the square for what would become Greene County."
In 1838, the town was officially incorporated, with a population of around 250 people.
"Campbell, in retrospect, was Springfield's earliest real estate agent, luring people from Tennessee purely by word-of-mouth advertising," observed a 1999 Springfield News-Leader story. "Legend has it that Campbell built 13 log cabins in his first year here to give new settlers a place to park their belongings and begin again."
That small village, soon with a few trading posts, was a Springfield that residents now can only imagine. But Springfield today has developed into a city that residents of the past could never have imagined.
For nearly 200 years, the city has grown and changed. It's been a hub and headquarters of international industries. It is the result of the joining of two towns -- Springfield and North Springfield -- whose residents put aside their differences in the spirit of collaboration. It's the birthplace of Route 66, arguably the most well-known road in the world. It was home to a nationally-known TV show that made Springfield one of the country's top three originators of live television.
And for nearly half of the city's existence, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce has been part of guiding that growth and development.
Start of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
The year was 1919 when the first iteration of today's Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce came to be.
It wasn't the first time a collaborative business organization began in Springfield. One of its predecessors was the Springfield Club, an organization that's "dominating purpose (was) the betterment and upbuilding of the Queen City," stated a 1910 Springfield newspaper article. The organization helped bring many industries to town, including the Frisco Railway and the State Normal School (today's Missouri State University).
None of the early organizations had the staying power to last more than a few years. However, for whatever reasons -- and undoubtedly thanks to a lot of hard work -- the time finally was right when local business leaders joined forces 100 years ago.
The time is significant in not only Springfield's history but also that of the country. World War I had just ended, bringing home soldiers and waves of change. That same year, the suffrage movement prevailed and women won the right to vote. It was also when the 18th amendment -- Prohibition -- was signed, banning alcoholic beverages. According to "Springfield of the Ozarks," a book about the city's history, it was also when Springfield was dubbed the largest horse and mule market in the world.
Such a bustling, busy time was the perfect opportunity for business -- and the start of today's Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Springfield's new Chamber of Commerce is expected to render a good account of itself, and of course it will do that very thing," the Springfield Republican newspaper predicted on its editorial page in February 1919. "It can't afford to do any less."
The Chamber hit the ground running. Soon the Republican also reported that the organization had a home in the Springfield Clubhouse, a building located near Jefferson Avenue and Walnut Street. Just weeks later, a representative from the Chamber attended a national "Good Roads" meeting.
That summer, the Chamber reached for the stars, urging then-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to make a stop in Springfield on a speech-making tour. The Republican printed the telegram the group sent to the country's commander-in-chief:
"The Chamber of Commerce extends a most cordial invitation to you to visit Springfield on your western trip. Stop. Our location in the heart of Missouri and our accessibility as a railroad center make Springfield stand pre-eminently as a logical stop for you in this state. Stop. If your itinerary is not made up will you please indicate whether any inducements can be offered to have this city included for an address. Stop. Springfield has a fireproof Convention Hall with a capacity of seventy-five hundred. We are anxiously awaiting a favorable reply."
While President Wilson didn't make a stop in Springfield, the Chamber did help plan a welcome for some other esteemed arrivals: Soldiers returning from World War I. The Chamber helped them search for employment.
By the end of the year, the Chamber's work proved and provided enough enthusiasm that leaders saw the potential for even greater value with more support. But they were also spurred by something else: A desire to compete with Joplin, Springfield's longtime rival, where there recently had been announced formation of the Ozark Playgrounds Association -- a tourism campaign to which Springfield was not invited to participate.
However, Springfield leaders still saw opportunity. Part of the response was to greatly increase its membership -- even coordinating relationships throughout the area -- and construct a 10-story building that would house all Chamber activities, and generate revenue through office and entertainment space.
"Yes, this is a pipe dream. But so was Joplin's Ozark Playgrounds a pipe dream until their chamber of commerce got back of it," noted the Republican in January 1920. "Now it's a reality, and you will soon see glowing ads in national publications telling of the wonderful 'Ozarks Playgrounds' of which Joplin is the 'gateway.'
"That pipe dream, likewise, can all come true if the 1,200 members of the chamber of commerce get back of it. But will they?"
Growing dreams and opportunities
While the 10-story office building didn't come to be, the pipe dream behind it inspired great dreams -- and defining impact -- for Springfield over the next several decades.
Springfield Park and Airport
In 1928, the Chamber led an initiative to start a municipal airport. Springfield Park and Airport opened on May 14, 1928, under the jurisdiction of the Springfield Park Board. The collaboration quickly paid off: By 1929, commercial air passenger service was underway on a regular basis.
"Will Rogers and Wiley Post often landed in Springfield, and before his death in 1935, Rogers gave several speeches at the old airport," according to "Springfield of the Ozarks." "Whenever he (Rogers) came to town on his way to his home in Oklahoma, everyone turned out to hear him talk."
U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners
In the 1930s, despite the depths of the Great Depression, the Chamber helped bring the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners to Springfield.
The oldest of seven federal prison medical centers, Springfield was chosen as the site after the city offered free land for its construction. Two of the leaders in this initiative were Louis Reps, future leader of the Chamber, and John T. Woodruff, longtime local business leader. The two chaired the committee that raised the funds necessary to purchase the property.
The facility benefited the community in multiple ways: Of course there was the long-term prospect for steady jobs - just as there is now - but it also gave opportunities for work while it was under construction.
"This work could be undertaken immediately after your authorization and would be the means of employing local labor, which at this time stands in sore need of employment," wrote W.C. Smith, then-secretary of the Chamber, in a letter to the government regarding the start of work on the facility. "J.P. Ramsey, commissioner of streets, would have this work in hand and we believe he could be depended upon to do the work well and as cheaply as it could be done by others. We commend this proposition to your favorable consideration."
The prison hospital opened in September 1933 with a staff of 150. In recent years, that figure has grown to around 650.
Ozark Empire District Free Fair
Not all was work and no play. In 1937, another long-held dream came to reality with the launch of the Ozark Empire District Free Fair. The initiative was propelled to fruition by a variety of people, two of which again were longtime Chamber advocates John T. Woodruff and Louis Reps.
"That idea was to provide a place where the products of the Ozarks Empire might be displayed, where the counties of the district might compare notes, and where the younger folk might get education and inspiration which would enable them to produce better farm products and better livestock," reported the Sunday News and Leader in 1937.
More than 80 years later, the fair is still a gathering place for such efforts, as well as visitors and their dollars during fair days.
Table Rock Dam
A key moment for another initiative that would bring even more tourists -- among other benefits -- to the region came in 1941, when local leaders lobbied in Washington D.C. for the construction of Table Rock Dam.
"(Drury College professor) L.E. Meador explained that the group returned home in a roundabout way, passing through the Piedmont district of North Carolina, where he said the outward appearances of prosperity due to the availability of cheap power was astounding," noted an article in the Daily News about the trip.
At the time, leaders were confident that work would "proceed at once" after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill authorizing its creation.
Table Rock Dam obviously was eventually built. But its dedication didn't happen until 1959, and before work could even begin, something else did: World War II, which would ultimately change the world -- and Springfield -- forever.
One way that happened locally was through a place called O'Reilly.
O'Reilly General Army Hospital
On Nov. 8, 1941, the Glenstone Municipal Golf Course officially gave way to O'Reilly General Army Hospital, a leading military treatment center for burn victims and other wartime casualties. It grew by leaps and bounds right from the start; less than a year later, the Army purchased the adjacent Pythian Home to enlarge the hospital for $55,000. In addition to that sum, the Chamber of Commerce paid $12,500 to help purchase the property.
Growth didn't slow for some time.
"O'Reilly General Army Hospital in Springfield has come to be one of the chief governmental units in this part of the country, according to a recent official report, and can now be regarded as a city within a city," noted the Windsor Review newspaper in August 1943. "It has a population of 5,100 persons, more than the average county seat in Missouri, and has its own power and heating plants and police and fire departments. There are 235 buildings on the reservation and the institution has grown in less than two years from one of a capacity of 1,000 beds to 2,200-bed capacity. It has a payroll of $280,000 a month, or $3,360,000 a year."
O'Reilly was open only for a decade, but it would have a lasting impact on the region.
"The staff would both treat the wounded from battlefronts all around the world but would also teach and train specialists in new medical procedures to save the lives of soldiers in the conflict and the ones that followed it," noted Sellars, the history museum director. "Although it was in operation for just over 10 years, it would set the stage for Springfield to become a center of medical treatment for all of southwest Missouri."
Industrial jobs come to Springfield
After the end of World War II, Springfield was filled with economic opportunity. While promise was in the air, so was something else: change.
Part of that came through agriculture, as droughts plagued the region.
"Dollar-wise, L.C. Carpenter, commissioner of agriculture, estimates the drought loss to Missouri farmers at 150 million dollars, about the same as the monetary loss experiences by the state's agriculture in 1934 and 1936," noted the Leader and Press in September 1953.
"'If the drought continues into fall, there's no telling where we'll be,' he said."
Farmers weren’t the only ones forced to make difficult decisions about their livelihoods.
For decades, the Frisco Railway had been headquartered in Springfield and was the city's most significant employer. But times were a-changing, and by the 1940s, so was the Frisco.
By 1950, the railroad dedicated its diesel shops, a move of progress that ultimately changed the nature of the business. For many years, thousands of employees had been necessary to service steam engines. But as those jobs were eliminated with more efficient diesel locomotives, Springfield residents still needed employment.
That realization led Chamber officials into years of helping lead major companies see the benefit of being in Springfield.
"(Louis W.) Reps was determined to lure new industry to town for the second half of the century," wrote Springfield News-Leader columnist Mike O'Brien in 1999. O'Brien listed Reps as one of the most influential Springfieldians of the 20th century for his work in bringing business to town (and John T. Woodruff as most influential of all, primarily for steering Route 66 to Springfield).
One of the starting points for this industrial revolution came in 1950 when Chamber officials helped announce that a major manufacturer was coming to town: Lily-Tulip Corporation, which at the time was the nation's largest producer of paper cups. The company planned to hire between 500 and 600 people.
"When you get right down to it, we chose Springfield because of the type of people we found here. We believe we will be in the middle of real Americans," noted Walter Bergman, president of Lily-Tulip, in the Springfield Daily News. The newspaper continued:
"While Bergman was high in his praise of Springfield and its people, the Springfield business and civic folk who dealt with Lily-Tulip during the long period of negotiation returned the compliment -- with interest.
"Louis Reps, managing director of the Chamber of Commerce, observed that it was 'once in a lifetime' a company the caliber of Lily-Tulip approaches a city and inquires about building a plant there.
"'Lily-Tulip didn't ask Springfield for a thing,' Reps said, 'except fair treatment. They didn't ask for a subsidy. They said they'd pay a fair price for everything they needed.'"
Another major development came when Kraft announced plans to expand its milk processing plant and to "erect one of America's finest cheese plants" in Springfield in 1953.
"At full operation the plant will be manned by several hundred employees," said Frank Calhoun, former manager of the site, in a newspaper article telling of Kraft’s intent. However, he also noted that the economic impact would go much farther than Springfield's city limits.
"He emphasized that the effect of the Springfield payroll on the economy of the area will be small compared to the milk checks which will funnel out from the plant throughout the Ozarks."
Royal McBee Corporation
In 1957 another major employer announced intent to write history (no pun intended). That year, representatives from Royal McBee proclaimed plans to build a "1,000-man" portable typewriter plant in Springfield.
A newspaper photograph accompanying the announcement in August showed smiling company representatives alongside Chamber and city officials.
Collaboration with the Chamber was clear. The next February, the Daily News noted that local Chamber representatives were to tour a plant while out east. A few weeks later, Fortune P. Ryan, executive vice president of the Royal McBee Corporation, was the keynote speaker at the annual Chamber banquet.
"After his speech, Ryan was made an honorary hillbilly, it being the 51st time the Chamber of Commerce has conferred this honor," noted the newspaper.
Ryan stated through the article that there were various reasons for choosing Springfield as a site.
"Ryan felt it was significant that Springfield has survived alternate occupations during the Civil War by the Union and Confederate armies and that the National Cemetery has Union and Confederate lots side by side.
"Also, he felt that it was significant that the people of this area for generations have enjoyed 'float fishing; and that this community, through good times and bad, has grown and prospered for 129 years.
"'You have made me believe Springfield is an up and coming town,' he declared."
Chamber manager Bill Dauer (who later led the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce) gave a few additional reasons as to why Springfield was selected:
"Of the four cities considered, we were the only one with an organized industrial committee that could answer all of the questions they had to ask. Also, they said, the appearance of the Chamber office here gave them the impression we were a functioning organization and we were neat."
The Royal McBee plant opened in 1959, bringing hundreds of jobs -- and people to fill them -- to town.
Dayton Rubber Company
Another boon came along about that same time: A Dayton Rubber Company plant, which was announced in May 1958.
"Today's announcement culminates months of effort by the CC's industry committee, city officials and others to secure the firm for Springfield," the Leader & Press noted.
Five months later, ground was broken for the new plant -- and reaffirmed that perhaps one of the Chamber's selling points was the area's natural resources and recreation.
"C. Harold Gurley, president of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, presided this morning at the ground-breaking ceremony. He revealed that (Dayton President) Christie, 'who commutes between the Pacific Coast and Dayton, Ohio,' might easily be persuaded to have a central residence in Springfield, 'and maybe a permanent resident.'
"Christie laughingly told the crowd that the telling argument used in influencing him to consider residence here was the description he received of float fishing."
Zenith Radio Corporation
As the 1960s progressed, more change was on the way for Springfield.
The biggest industrial development came in 1966 when Zenith Radio Corporation executives, alongside Chamber representatives, announced plans to quickly break ground on a $10 million new plant on east Kearney Street that would employ 4,000 people.
"Zenith's exhaustive studies of the labor market covered a radius of from 40 to 50 miles around Springfield, and the supply was found to be 'adequate, and more desirable than any of the other locations considered,'" said a Zenith official in the Leader & Press.
It was also noted that "an important factor" in the decision was Springfield's vo-tech school.
It was a time of out with the old and in with the new. Less than a year after Zenith's plans were announced, the Frisco’s last passenger train left the Springfield station, signaling the end of an era for the city's formerly largest employer.
By the end of the decade, the city grew in industry, people and physical presence. The city was pushing southward all the time, shifting its center and spreading out its more than 120,000 residents.
The time was right for one of the Chamber's biggest projects. In the early 1970s, towns across the Ozarks were creating industrial parks to lure employers to their areas, and Springfield was no exception.
R.T. French Company
Near the northeast edge of Springfield, however, another major manufacturer came to the Ozarks in 1972. That was the year that the R.T. French Company announced plans to build a $12.7 million plant to employ 350. It was to be located near the then-new Highway 65 and Interstate 44 interchange.
The Chamber and its means of promoting the city were growing, too. In 1979, Springfield saw the formation of the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) as the hospitality arm of the Chamber.
The next year, the Chamber’s growth led to a new home of its own. On July 15, 1980, the Chamber moved into its new facilities -- the first building specifically built for the organization -- on North Jefferson Avenue.
But by the early 1980s, manufacturing jobs weren't coming as easily to Springfield as they had in the past. In response, the Chamber led the launch of an economic development program to lure new development to the city and create new jobs.
In 1983, the Chamber officials led the start of the Springfield Business Development Corporation (SBDC). A subsidiary of the Chamber, SBDC was created to "conduct research, develop literature, carry out advertising promotion and recruit new industry," as noted in a Leader & Press article.
"We realize there are parts of the Springfield economy that are going great guns," said Chris Nattinger in the Leader & Press. As chairman of the program, he spoke of the efforts and his role on the committee leading them. "We also determined that there probably were areas that were lacking, notably industrial."
Under the new program, interest from investments in the program would be used to pay for research identifying Springfield's strengths and weaknesses as well as what types of businesses the Chamber should try to attract or assist in expansion. The program also included the development of literature, and personal visits to prospective businesses.
The effort proved successful: Today, SBDC is still active, leading and leaving a lasting impact on Springfield's economic scene.
New director, new direction
Another change was destined to leave a lasting impact: The hiring of Jim Anderson as president of the Chamber.
"I hope to build on what is an outstanding foundation," Anderson said in a Springfield News-Leader article announcing his selection for the job. "The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is very highly regarded throughout the country."
A native of Ozark, Anderson's hire in 1988 launched more than 25 years of visionary leadership for the Springfield region.
Anderson increased staffing in economic development, adding the Chamber's first director of business/industry attraction. He also soon led the merger of the Chamber's professional development programs for men and women. This change included the aforementioned Women's Division, which had operated separately for 30 years.
Partnership Industrial Center
One of the biggest advances for Springfield came in 1992 with the introduction of the city's first major industrial park.
The innovative project evolved because of need: After gradual decline, Zenith announced in October 1991 that 1,500 jobs would be cut across the company. This change was to gradually result in a 75-percent reduction in the Springfield plant's former workforce. However, it wasn't long before the plant closed for good.
The need for new jobs ultimately helped lead to Partnership Industrial Center.
The public-private partnership was a new concept in Springfield -- and brought some controversy. There were those who did not feel it was appropriate for City Utilities to use public funds in such a manner. Under the plan, the city and CU would acquire and develop the site, SBDC would construct a building shell and the Chamber would recruit manufacturers.
However, after receiving approval from all participating parties, work proceeded. By January 1994, the park had a commitment from its first resident: Contico International, a manufacturing company which promised to bring around 300 jobs to Springfield.
Ultimately, PIC saw success and brought hundreds of jobs to town. It also paved the way for a second industrial park to be built -- PIC-West -- near the airport.
While work was going on locally for economic development, the Chamber also took to travel in 1994 to learn from other communities across the country. That year, in the first of now-annual Community Leadership Visits, civic and business leaders traveled to South Carolina's Spartanburg. Since then, some of the other destinations include Colorado Springs, Boise, and Charlotte, all of which have offered leaders ideas to implement locally.
As ideas grew, so did the staff of the Chamber. By the mid-1990s, the need for more physical office space was critical. In 1996, the Chamber relocated to the $2 million John Q. Hammons Enterprise Center, where it remains.
As the 2008 recession took hold, the Chamber adopted a "back to basics" approach to help support its members. Through these efforts, a concentrated focus on business retention was a primary goal to help meet members' needs. And the Chamber continued to grow: In 2011 and 2013, the Chamber won national awards for membership drives, bringing in more than 420 new members each year.
Looking to the future
Other initiatives implemented in more recent years have developed ideas and leadership skills at home in Springfield.
One example is Leadership Springfield, which launched in 1984 as a collaboration with the Chamber, the Junior League of Springfield and United Way of the Ozarks. It has educated hundreds in the community about how to become more civically engaged. The organization was a separate entity with its own board but was managed operationally by the Chamber until 2018. At that time, it evolved to full operational independence and hired its own staff.
Another example is The Network for Springfield’s Young Professionals, which was formed by the Chamber in 2007. The networking group of young professionals is a model to help recruit and retain aspiring members of Springfield's workforce.
In 2012, the Chamber's work was recognized on a national level by its selection as Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. It was the first year the Chamber applied for the award.
"There's a lot of communities that have chambers, but there aren't a lot of communities that have a partnership between the chamber, the city, the county and the utility," said former city manager Greg Burris in a News-Leader article about the award. "This award is just another recognition that Springfield is doing things right."
In 2014, the SBDC launched its Talent Attraction Initiative featuring resources that complement employer recruitment of talent to Springfield. The website, LiveInSpringfieldMO.com is one of those resources. In late 2018 and during 2019, the SBDC also initiated a talent attraction active marketing campaign on social media platforms targeting individuals working in high-demand fields as well as those who’ve lived in Springfield in the past. It made more than 7.7 million impressions reaching more than 2.2 million people.
In 2016, the Chamber launched its REACH campaign. This innovative approach includes a volunteer driven outreach that allows members to align marketing goals with Chamber sponsorship opportunities in a more planning-friendly way. Having just completed its fourth year, member participation and the success of the campaign has increased each year.
The Chamber also facilitates many other opportunities for community leaders to interact and foster collaborative efforts and ideas. Each month, the Chamber hosts "Good Morning, Springfield!" a breakfast that features thoughts and insights from local leaders in a variety of venues throughout the city.
In its role as a trusted convener, the Chamber has been an important liaison in strengthening community connections through the years. In 2017, the Chamber successfully mediated contentious lawsuits between the City of Springfield and Greene County over access to jail space for municipal offenders.
As well, in 2017 the Chamber convened business and community leaders to identify a clear, unifying and aligned effort for a growing and robust Springfield. The effort served as a catalyst for the eventual launch of Springfield’s first new comprehensive planning effort in 20 years.
The Chamber continues to play an important role in ensuring accountability through its member-driven committee structure by rigorously reviewing community ballot issues and on occasion, endorsing various proposals. Through affiliate Committee for the Future, in 2019 the 32nd issue campaign was managed successfully with passage of the city’s ¼-cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax.
Now 100 years since the start of Springfield's Chamber, the city has seen significant growth, change, challenges and success. As the city continues to evolve, the Chamber will continue to facilitate leadership, direction and support for the city's continued success.
"Anderson finds new challenge in VP role," Jonathan Shorman, Springfield News-Leader, June 24, 2014
"CC Leaders Confident Table Rock On 'Preferred List'" Springfield Daily News, July 22, 1941
"CC members to visit Royal McBee plant," Springfield Daily News, Feb. 22, 1958
"City lands 4,000-employee $10 million Zenith plant," Springfield Leader & Press, Dec. 15, 1966
"City leaders to meet, discuss I-44 industrial park project," Gloria Sunderman, Springfield News-Leader, May 16, 1993
"Chamber effort aims to build industrial jobs," Gary Sifford, Springfield Leader & Press, Aug. 14, 1983
"Civic affairs group eying full program," Springfield Leader & Press, May 16, 1958
"Commerce chamber will co-operate in making city a musical center," Springfield Republican, Nov. 9, 1919.
"Dayton Rubber firm takes option on acreage here," Springfield Leader & Press, May 2, 1958
"Desegregation movement carried on quietly here," Springfield Leader & Press, Sept. 20, 1960
"Durward Hall is given award," Springfield Daily News, April 2, 1957
"Fair climaxes dream of city's leaders," Sunday News and Leader, Sept. 26, 1937
"French selects city for plant to employ 350," Springfield Leader & Press, July 21, 1971
"Henry Rowe Schoolcraft," Historic Missourians, The State Historical Society of Missouri
"It helped land McBee: Springfield can answer queries," Springfield Daily News, May 5, 1958
"Johnson urges big home for Commerce Chamber to better trade conditions," Springfield Republican, Jan. 1, 1920
"Kraft to erect one of America's finest cheese plants here in '53," Springfield Leader and Press, Feb. 25, 1953
"Legacies of labor, love," Tamlya Kallaos, Springfield News-Leader, Oct. 10, 1999
"May ask city to help build hospital," Springfield Press, Aug. 31, 1931
"Negro group cancels demonstration plans," Springfield Leader & Press, Sept. 21, 1960
"Official start on new plant," Springfield Leader & Press, Oct. 14, 1958
"Officials: Chamber recognition deserved," Kathryn Wall, Springfield News-Leader, Aug. 5, 2012
"O'Reilly General Army Hospital," Windsor Review, Aug. 19, 1943
"Ozark native to direct chamber," Kathleen O'Dell, Springfield News-Leader, Dec. 22, 1987
"Plant's pay 'above average,'" Robert Leger, Springfield News-Leader, Jan. 15, 1994
"President urged to include this city on his itinerary," Springfield Republican, July 27, 1919
"Program would create jobs," Springfield Leader & Press, Aug. 11, 1983
Pythian official confirms sale of Home to Army, Springfield Daily News, April 27, 1942
"Roaring welcome for Nixon," Springfield Leader & Press, Sept. 21, 1960
"Royal McBee executive says he's 'sold' on Springfield, Springfield Daily News, April 22, 1958
"Royal's site only one satisfactory," Springfield Daily News, Aug. 15, 1957
"Springfield awarded $4,000,000 paper cup plant," Springfield Daily News, Dec. 6, 1950
"Springfield's Chamber of Commerce," Springfield Republican, March 12, 1920
"The Springfield Club," Springfield Republican, Feb. 20, 1910
"Springfield conservative; Joplin takes more risks," Kathleen O'Dell, Springfield News-Leader, Sept. 4, 1989
"Springfield council takes boom out of car stereos," Gloria Sunderman, Springfield News-Leader, Nov. 17, 1992
"Springfield of the Ozarks," Harry and Phyllis Dark, 1981
"Three year lease signed for Springfield Clubhouse," Springfield Republican, March 30, 1919
"Two men's actions changed direction of Springfield," Mike O'Brien, Springfield News-Leader, April5, 1999
"Welcome home celebration to be staged at park by Chamber of Commerce," Springfield Republican, Aug. 26, 1919
"What's going to happen to miserable Missouri if rain doesn't come?" Springfield Leader and Press, Sept. 4, 1953
"William Dauer," obituary, Springfield News-Leader, Nov. 26, 2016
"Who was the Campbell behind Campbell Avenue?" John Rutherford, Springfield News-Leader, March 11, 2017
"Zenith to cut 1,500 jobs," Willard Woods, Springfield News-Leader, Oct. 30, 1991
Editorial, Springfield Republican, Feb. 16, 1919
This article is part of the Chamber's special Centennial publication. Click here to return to the main page.