Our Stories

Museum Hours
It’s Monday 1:22 am — Sorry, we’re closed
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Rabbi Karl Richter

Rabbi Karl Richter was born and grew up in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his higher education at the University and Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. He was ordained in 1935 and served two major congregations in Germany until the destruction of his temple in Mannheim during the infamous “Kristallnacht” in November, 1938.   As the Nazis…

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The Sarah Gorham Graham Case

Springfield, Missouri has a history of sensational true crime cases, but one of the oldest is the tale of Sarah Gorham Graham.  Sarah was born in December of 1851, and little is known about her until her marriage to George Graham in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1871.  George spent most of the first years of…

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Betty Love, Photojournalist

Betty Love graduated from Drury University in the early 1930’s and almost immediately began her teaching career.  She taught art to elementary and junior high school students for almost a decade before finding work at the Springfield Daily News and Leader-Press in 1941.  She was meant to be a temporary replacement for their cartoonist, but…

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“The Unsinkable” Molly Brown

Born in 1867 and raised in Hannibal, Missouri, Margaret “Molly” Brown would go on to live a life of wealth, adventure, and activism.  The daughter of Irish immigrants, Molly Tobin went to school until she was 13 when she dropped out to work in a tobacco factory and help support her family.  Once adults, she…

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New Springfield, Missouri Flag

March 1st, 2022, at 2 pm, the new Springfield flag will be raised on the flagpole on the Square for the first time. While the new city flag has been a hot topic of conversation in the last few months, the new design was actually first proposed back in 2017. After multiple presentations before City…

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Andy Payne, Winner of the Transcontinental Footrace

The Transcontinental Footrace of 1928 was a daring event, putting hundreds of men to the test of endurance, speed, and determination.  This race was organized by the nation’s first sports agent, Charles C. Pyle.  It was set to begin on March 4th, 1928 in Los Angeles and finish some time in May in New York…

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The Story of Fred Coker, Horace Duncan, and Will Allen – 1906 Lynching

Current Setting Just as there is with every town, Springfield has both great and unsavory aspects of its history.  On Saturday, April 14, 1906, three innocent men, Fred Coker, Horace Duncan, and Will Allen were brutally murdered and hanged in Springfield’s public square.  This is the same public square that the History Museum on the…

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Homer Fellows Kept The City Rolling with Springfield Wagon Company

Moving isn’t an easy task, but we’re lucky to have plenty of ways to make it a little simpler: moving vans, trucks, dollies and plenty more. In 1873, however, this wasn’t the case. Wagons were the most efficient manner of transporting materials so our communities could grow and expand further than previous boundaries. The Springfield Wagon…

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Homer Boyd: Keeping up with Springfield History and Singing with The Philharmonics

Homer Boyd was never someone who could be measured with a single title. Not only was he known for his vocal talents and being part of a famed vocal group, he was also one of the key figures in retaining the history of the black community in Springfield, Missouri. His life in Springfield was a…

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John T. Woodruff: Linking Springfield to the Main Street of America

John T. Woodruff is a name that’s well known around Springfield, Missouri for a variety of reasons, but his contributions to Route 66 have been underestimated for years. While Cyrus Avery has received the title of “Father of Route 66,” Woodruff’s contributions to the creation of Route 66 are far less known. We know Springfield…

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