With more than 160,000 people, Springfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri. Established in 1838, Springfield obtained national attention when it became a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail in 1858. During the time of the Civil War, Missouri was known to be a state with both Northern and Southern sympathizers, which led to the Battle of Wilson's Creek that took place just twelve miles from Springfield in August 1861. The town grew quickly after the "Frisco," the first train of the Atlantic-Pacific Railway, made its first Springfield stop in 1870. Today, the city maintains more than 200 churches, nine colleges, more than 50 parks, and an expansive cultural scene.
Springfield is best known as being home to the national Assembly of God headquarters, which helps account for the large number of churches in the area.
Springfield is also home to a T-Mobile customer service center, a Will Fischer (Budweiser) distribution center, Kraft Foods, FASCO Industries, Sweetheart Cup Co., and General Electric.
Agriculture is the dominant industry in Springfield. One of the nation's largest stockyards and feeder cattle facilities is Springfield Regional Stockyards. It is also a shipping and distribution center for milk, poultry and eggs.
Businesses can take advantage of the Springfield Underground, an underground manufacturing, distribution and storage complex. The Underground is a result of Springfield's underground limestone mine and has 2.2 million square feet of space available and still growing.
The Neighborhood Conservation Office works towards sustaining and revitalizing the neighborhoods with an urban population of around 155,000.
The arts and the great outdoors are two main features of Springfield culture. There are more than fifty parks in the greater Springfield area. Many of these parks are connected by the five Greenway trails that extend for more than thirty miles.
Dickerson Park Zoo, while small, is home to various exotic animals and wildlife.
Animal Paradise Family Fun Park, located fifteen miles east of Springfield, has a five-mile drive-through safari adventure with nearly four hundred animals. Patrons can hand-feed camels, rub car fenders with bison, and watch free-roaming wildebeests.
Springfield is home to nine colleges and universities, many of which are religious institutions due to the fact that the Assembly of God is headquartered there. The continuing education schools in Springfield include:
Springfield takes pride in the Springfield Cardinals, a minor-league baseball team that is the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Saint Louis Cardinals. Home games are at Hammons Field, a state-of-the-art baseball field built in 2004, complete with a children's recreational area.
The Springfield Lasers are one of the top teams in the World Team Tennis Association. Home games are held in the summer months at Cooper Tennis Complex.
The local newspaper is the Springfield News-Leader. There are a variety of radio stations with genres ranging from country music to Christian talk radio and music to rock music. Additionally, Springfield is home to the following local television stations: