Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri. On July 1, 2006, its population was 150,797, of whom 150,790 lived in Greene County and 7 lived in Christian County. It is the county seat of Greene County.GR6
The origin of the name Springfield remains unclear. Writing in 1883 the historian R. I. Holcombe states, “The town took its name from the circumstance of there being a spring under the hill, on the creek, while on top of the hill, where the principal portion of the town lay, there was a field.” He goes on to note, “This version of the origin of the name is disputed by the editor of the Springfield Express, Mr. J. G. Newbill, who, in the issue of his paper, November 11, 1881, says: ‘It has been stated that this city got its name from the fact of a spring and field being near by just west of town. But such is not a correct version. When the authorized persons met and adopted the title of the “Future Great” of the Southwest, several of the earliest settlers had handed in their favorite names, among whom was Kindred Rose, who presented the winning name, “Springfield,” in honor of his former home town, Springfield, Robertson county, Tennessee.’” 
The most common view is that the city was named for Springfield, Massachusetts. One story is that a man named James Wilson, who lived in the then unnamed city, offered free whiskey to everyone who would vote for naming it after his home town of Springfield, Massachusetts.
In 2003, the city council of Springfield prohibited smoking in restaurants except for specific listed exceptions. 
In November 2004, voters turned down a plan to fund a new coal-fired power plant in the city. Many voters who were polled stated concerns about the pollution that a new coal power plant would cause. The power plant bond issue was again placed on the ballot for the residents within the city limits to decide in June, 2006, and was approved.
In August, 2005, Springfield announced plans to annex a large chunk of southeastern Greene County. Plans called, if necessary, to force the area into the city. The annexation was called off after an agreement was reached with Rogersville to the east which also filed to annex the same area. Annexation has become a controversial issue in recent years, causing a lawsuit with neighboring Brookline.
In November 2006, voters established a “bar ban” for anyone under 21. Those under 21 are (according to the bill) not allowed in any bar or restaurant that makes most of their profit by selling alcohol, after 9pm. This caused an uproar with the college students from Missouri State, Drury, and other schools. Aimed at curbing underage drinking in Springfield, the ban has not fully succeeded as planned. While underage drinking was curbed in most public bars, some dispute its level of effect and believe house parties to be the next substitute for students wanting to drink.
Geography and Climate
Springfield is located at 37¡Æ11¡Ç42¡ÈN, 93¡Æ17¡Ç10¡ÈW (37.195098, -93.286213).GR1
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 191.1 km©÷ (73.8 mi©÷). 189.5 km©÷ (73.2 mi©÷) of it is land and 1.7 km©÷ (0.6 mi©÷) of it (0.87%) is water.
|Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures|
|Rec High F||76||81||87||93||93||101||113||106||104||93||81||77|
|Norm High F||41.6||47.7||57.8||67.7||75.9||84.6||89.9||89.5||81.2||70.6||56.4||45.5|
|Norm Low F||21.8||26.4||34.9||43.6||53.4||62.2||67.1||65.6||57.4||46.1||35.3||25.9|
|Rec Low F||-13||-17||-3||18||30||42||44||44||31||18||4||-16|
|Source: USTravelWeather.com |
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 151,580 people, 64,691 households, and 35,709 families residing in the city. The population density was 800.0/km©÷ (2,072.0/mi©÷). There were 69,650 housing units at an average density of 367.6/km©÷ (952.1/mi©÷). The racial makeup of the city was 91.69% White, 3.27% African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.36% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.31% of the population.
There were 64,691 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.8% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the city the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 17.4% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,563, and the median income for a family was $38,114. Males had a median income of $27,778 versus $20,980 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,711. About 9.9% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
High schools in Springfield include Central High School, which was attended by civil rights figure Linda Brown and Price Is Right host Bob Barker, Kickapoo High School (which was attended by actors Brad Pitt and Lucas Grabeel), and Hillcrest High School (which was attended by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft). Other public high schools in Springfield include Glendale High School and Parkview High School. Private schools include Springfield Sudbury School and Greenwood Laboratory School (which was attended by famed golfer Payne Stewart). There are several private, Christian schools in Springfield as well, including New Covenant Academy, Springfield Lutheran School, Springfield Catholic High School, and Christian Schools of Springfield.
Colleges and universities located in Springfield include Missouri State University (attended by actors John Goodman and Kathleen Turner) (until 2005 it was known as Southwest Missouri State University, or SMS), Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Baptist Bible College, Central Bible College, Drury University (known as Drury College until 2000) (which was attended by Bob Barker), Evangel University (until 2000 it was known as Evangel College, or EC), Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, Ozarks Technical Community College, St. John’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences of Southwest Baptist University, Vatterott College, Everest College, Cox College (Nursing School), and Bryan College.
Springfield also hosts Missouri’s first Special Education PTA or SEPTA.
Places of interest
National Register of Historic Places
Springfield’s nickname is the “The Queen City of the Ozarks.” It is also known as “The Cultural Center of the Ozarks.” The area formerly known as North Springfield was once known as Moon City. Springfield is also known as “The Birthplace of Route 66,” due to its early connection with the designation of U.S. Route 66. A placard in Park Central Square was dedicated to the city by the Route 66 Association of Missouri for its prominent role in the birth of Route 66.
Springfield is served by Interstate 44 which connects the city with St. Louis and Tulsa, Oklahoma. U.S. Route 60, U.S. Route 65, and U.S. Route 160 pass through the city, and formerly U.S. Route 66 and U.S. Route 166 also passed through the city. Portions of the historic US 66 can still be seen in portions of the city. US 166′s eastern terminus was once located in the northeast section of the city, and US 60 originally ended (westbound) in downtown Springfield. US 60 now goes through town on James River Freeway. Route 13 carries traffic north towards Kansas City.
Major streets include Glenstone Avenue, Sunshine Street, National Avenue, Campbell Avenue, Kansas Expressway, Battlefield Road, Republic Road, West Bypass, Chestnut Expressway, and Kearney Street.
Springfield also has reliable public transportation operated by City Utilities that serves most areas inside the city limits in its fleet of biodiesel-fueled busses.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has a major hub operation in Springfield. Mainlines to and from Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis and Tulsa converge at the railroad’s yard facility in the north part of the city. The Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad also operates several miles of (former Missouri Pacific) industrial trackage within the city.
Springfield was once home to the headquarters and main shops of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad (Frisco). The Frisco was absorbed by the Burlington Northern in 1980. The BN subsequently merged with the Santa Fe in 1994, creating the current Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway.
65-plus freight trains travel to, from, and through the city each day. In October 2006, BNSF announced plans to upgrade its Tulsa and Memphis mainlines into Springfield to handle an additional four to six daily intermodal trains between the West Coast and the Southeast.
Passenger trains have not served Springfield since 1967. However, in 2006 the Missouri Department of Transportation and Amtrak began studying the possibility of restoring service to the city from St. Louis. The proposed service would utilize the current BNSF “Cuba Subdivision” mainline between the two cities via Rolla.
Springfield/Branson National Airport serves the city. It is the principal air gateway to Branson. Nearly 700,000 passengers used the facility in 2005. Construction on a major new passenger terminal has begun.
Famous Natives and Residents
- John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General
- Matt Blunt, Governor of Missouri
- Roy Blunt, U.S. House Minority Whip
- Sempronius H. Boyd, U.S. Representative and Ambassador to Siam
Arts, Literature, Humanities and Entertainment
- Aaron Buerge, “The Bachelor” in 2002
- Kim Crosby, Broadway performer
- William Garwood, actor
- Lucas Grabeel, actor
- Jay Kenneth Johnson, actor
- Robin Luke, musician
- Ozark Mountain Daredevils, musical group
- Brad Pitt, actor
- Tony Tost, poet
- Kathleen Turner, actress
- Robert Westenberg, Broadway performer
- Lou Whitney, musician, record producer
- Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, musical group
- Josh Kinney, First Springfield Cardinal (AA) to make the St. Louis Cardinals major league roster
- Larry Nemmers, NFL referee
- Payne Stewart, professional golfer. Born in Springfield and buried there.
- John Q. Hammons, Hammons Hotels founder
Criminals and Persons of ill Repute
- John Gotti, Mafioso (incarcerated at Springfield United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, died in Springfield in 2002)
- Timothy McVeigh, bomber and antigovernment conspirator (incarcerated at Springfield United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, prior to his 2001 execution)
- Ramzi Yousef, 1993 World Trade Center bomber (incarcerated at Springfield United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners)
- Robert Franklin Stroud, Birdman of Alcatraz (incarcerated at Springfield United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, died in Springfield in 1963)
- Jimmie Angel, aviator, discoverer of Angel Falls, highest free-falling waterfall in the world
- Kristi Capel, Miss Missouri USA 2006 / news anchor
- Janet Kavandi, astronaut
- J. Alan Groves, Biblical Hebrew scholar, editor of Groves-Wheeler Hebrew morphology
- Tours, France
- Tlaquepaque, Mexico
- Isesaki, Japan