Historical Organizations
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  Courthouse Courthouse Greene County Historical Society    
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Located in the Missouri Ozarks  

For more information, contact:

Greene County
Historical Society
P.O. Box 3466 GS
Springfield, MO 65808

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This site was last
updated on
April 17, 2004


Midtown Neighborhood Association....

A brief history of the midtown area is below. The Association's website contains more information about the organization.

The development of the area comprising the midtown neighborhood is directly related to the location of the railroad in Springfield. When it arrived in 1870, the rail line ran one mile north of the Springfield public square. At the time of the railroad's arrival, the land north of Springfield was farm land and large estates of some prominent people of the community. E. T. Robberson was a physician and active in establishing public education in Springfield. His estate was at the northeast corner of Central and Jefferson. S. H. "Pony" Boyd was a lawyer and politician. Boyd's public service included two terms as U.S. Congressman from this district, U.S. Consul to Siam, and two terms as mayor of Springfield. His estate was on the east side of Washington where Chestnut Expressway is now located. Charles Harwood was a lawyer, real estate broker and the first president of Drury College. His estate was at the southwest corner of Benton and Brower.

These three community leaders were influential in the railroad locating north of Springfield. They organized the Ozark Land Company and purchased 500 acres of land that bisected the railroad's original survey. They offered incentives to the railroad to follow the recommended route. These included the platting of a new town of North Springfield, a 200 foot railroad right-of-way, 40 acres for railroad shops, and one-half ownership of the new town. Consequently the town of North Springfield was platted in 1869, and the first train arrived in 1870. Midtown began to change from farm land to new residential subdivisions.

Some of the older structures have been demolished, but many still remain. The larger homes of the upper class were built along Benton and Washington Avenues. The growing middle class of professionals and merchants built larger homes on Jefferson and Washington with some development dispersed on Robberson, Summit and Clay Avenues. Smaller homes were concentrated along Summit, Clay, and Sherman Avenues to serve the railroad workers and merchants.


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