1953 - S.S. Kresge Company upgraded its store, which was directly west of Newberry's. Unlike Newberry's, Kresge remodeled its building, including a modern new facade and canopy. Kresge had been working on expansions and improvements for several years.

1951 - J.J. Newberry variety store demolished a row of 19th century buildings on the southeast quadrant of the square and constructed a large new building. It had been operating on the square at least twenty years by that time.


1953 May 9 - Thieves raid Savage-Juliette Shop, make off with between $5,000 and $6,000 worth of lingerie, jewelry, dresses.

1952 June 7 - A parade through the square honored President Harry Truman, in Springfield for a reunion of his WW1 35th Infantry Division. Truman watched the parade from a covered viewing box on the square. Riding in a convertible in the parade were Nancy and Ronald Reagan, here for the premiere of his movie, "The Winning Team," at the Fox Theatre.

1951 June 1 - Students in a ninth grade social studies class at Jarrett Junior High School replace a long-missing plaque on the public square side of Heer's. The plaque marked the site of the Greene County Courthouse that stood in that location from 1859 until 1913. The missing plaque was discovered under material dismantled during Heer's improvements.

1948 and 1949 - Heer’s acquires property for expansion and parking. Two old mule barns torn down on the northeast and northwest corners of Olive and Campbell for parking lots. Also acquired for parking was the southwest corner of Olive and Campbell and buildings on the south side of Olive. The Baker Building to the north of Heer's was razed and Heer's two-story extension built there. Heer's added escalators and air conditioning to its entire facility.

1947 - January 17. The Pie is removed from the square. New traffic pattern enables vehicles to move through crossroads in the center and around perimeter. Each quadrant has eleven parking places.

1947 - The evening of September 27, an estimated 5,000 persons packed the square to send off a caravan of Missouri WWII veterans headed to Jefferson City. The caravan had 63 vehicles carrying 263 veterans whose goal was to persuade the legislature to approve a $400 bonus to all Missouri WWII veterans. The legislature never did.

1943 - Citizens defeat bonds for $50,000 square design by Harland Bartholomew.

1940 - Urban planner Harland Bartholomew of St. Louis was commissioned to design a fountain and landscaping for the square. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

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1938 - City Utilities went all-bus and retired the trolley system.

Mid-1938 – Last unpaved section of Route 66 completed in Oldham County, Texas. Springfield entrepreneur John Woodruff and Oklahoma state highway official Cryrus Avery mapped out Route 66 in Springfield in 1924. The 2,448 miles of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, passed through Springfield Public Square. The route was known as the Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America, and the Mother Road, and was popularized in a song, a novel, and a television series. Photo: Tin metal replica sign for sale on ebay.

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1934 - Springfield house builders constructed a white bungalow on the square and local decorators furnished it. Visitors counted beans in a jar and registered to win the house in a drawing.

The Young Brothers Massacre, also known as the Brookline Shootout, January 2, 1932, resulted in the deaths of six law enforcement officers, the worst single killing of U.S. police officers in the 20th century. Small-time thieves Harry and Jennings Young shot and killed each other three days later in a pact to avoid capture. Retired Greene County Recorder of Deeds Russell Keller was thirteen years old at the time of the massacre and selling newspapers on the square. He says he earned enough in days after the shootings to buy a winter coat. Photo courtesy

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1932 - Harland Bartholomew of St. Louis created a plan for the square including a fountain and landscaping in the circle, but in 1943 voters defeated the bond to provide financing. Bartholomew was known as the dean of comprehensive city planning in the United States. He was appointed to Federal planning committees by Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photo: Archives, City of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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1929 - For one week in June, the square and city parks filled with picnics, speeches and parades by extended families of early settlers celebrating the 100th anniversary of Springfield's founding. Mary Bryan, great-granddaughter of founder John Polk Campbell, was named Queen of Springfield.