SPRINGFIELD DAY — History
— The City of Springfield was founded in 1872 by John Burns, who worked for the Winona and St. Peter Railroad.
— Springfield is located in Brown County on the banks of the Cottonwood River. US Highway 14 runs through town.
— The Burns Brothers, John and Dan, were among the area’s earliest settlers in 1869. John settled just south of the current location of Springfield, while Dan settled to the west where Walnut Grove is now located.
— The 1st real wave of settlers to the Springfield area came in 1869, following the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862.
— Among the 1st families to settle the area were the Brown and Altermatt families. The Brown Family were all killed in the Sioux uprising of 1862, and a monument in the Springfield City Cemetery commemorates them. The children of the Altermatt family became well-known businesses and farmers in the community.
— Early land speculators in the Springfield area included: Sherburn Sanborn, William S. Mellen, George W. Van Dusen, and Walter L. Brackenridge.
— The credit for naming Springfield goes to Mike Gamble, the village’s 1st merchant and postmaster. Gamble was appointed Post Master in 1873 and named the village “Burns Station” after the town founder, John. He later found out that a post office by the name of Burns already existed in Anoka County, so he chose the name “Springfield” because there was a spring in a field on the southwest side of town.
— The 1st settlers in Springfield did their trading in New Ulm. Groceries and supplies were purchased in New Ulm, which was the nearest town. It was a day’s trip down and a day’s trip back in a lumber wagon. There was a sawmill in Iberia where lumber could be purchased as well.
— The railroad was built through Springfield to Tracy in 1872.
— A plat of the village that would become Springfield was filed in 1877, and 2 years later the community had 250 inhabitants, 4 stores, over a dozen other businesses, a school, 2 churches, and a doctor. The village was incorporated in 1881. In 1923, the village officially became a city.
SPRINGFIELD DAY — History
— A weekly newspaper printed entirely in German appeared in Springfield in 1889. The Springfield Adler, or Eagle, was established by JB Velikanje and a man named Manderfield as a silent partner. The paper only lasted about 2 years before it folded.
— Springfield supported a cigar factory in the old days. William Mueller was the main supplier of “stogies” to area saloons. The factory was closed when Mueller was appointed Post Master.
— Springfield’s 1st big fire was in 1900 when the State Bank-Bendixen Building was destroyed. The next big one occurred in 1908 and totally destroyed the 8-room schoolhouse on the hill. This fire prompted the city council to take action. A water tower was erected, and water mains with hydrants were laid all over town.
SPRINGFIELD DAY– PEOPLE
–The Mayor of Springfield is Lowell Helget. It is his 1st term as mayor after serving 7 terms as councilor. The City Council consists of Dr. Theresa Beckman, John Mueller, Mike Rothmeier, and Samantha Hesse.
–The Springfield Fire Chief is Charlie Baumann. The Police Chief is John Nicholson. Nicholson began working for the Springfield Police Department in 1989. From 1996-2002 he was the Police Sergeant. He was promoted to Chief on December 7th, 2002. Chief Nicholson serves as our training officer in numerous areas. He on the Brown County TRIAD board, serves on the Brown County Victims Service Board, and is also part of the Salvation Army Board. John is also a member of the Springfield Ambulance Service and is a Reserve for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.
–The Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools is Mr. Keith Kottke. Over the years, Springfield Public Schools educational programs has earned a reputation for excellence and innovation.
–Former Minority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives and two time gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert was born in Springfield.
–Springfield was the home of NFL player Tyler Marz. Marz is an offensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans. In 2018, Marz made his first career start against the Houston Texans.
–Springfield KNUJ Farm Families include: Mr and Mrs. Ed Pautzke Jr. (1987), Dennis and Jean Youngerberg (1989), Gary and Diane Veenstra (2000), Dennis and Lucy Potter (2003), Mike and Cheri Thomschin (2006), John and Pat Ryan (2009), Glenn and Anita Jensen (2015), and Paul and Colleen Meidl (2018).