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He staked his claim by carving his initials in a tree.By 1861, Springfield's population had grown to approximately 2,000 and it had become an important commercial hub.

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He chose the area because of the presence of a natural well that flowed into a small stream.

A plaque on the southeast corner of the square serves as reminder. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 82.31 square miles (213.2 square kilometres), of which 81.72 square miles (211.7 square kilometres) is land and 0.59 square miles (1.5 square kilometres) (0.7%) is water.

The city of Springfield is mainly flat with rolling hills and cliffs surrounding its south, east, and north sections.

On January 8, 1863, Confederate forces under General John S.

Marmaduke advanced to take control of Springfield and an urban fight ensued. This became known as the Second Battle of Springfield.

"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. 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, Tennessee." Prior to 1830s, the native Kickapoo, Delaware, and the Osage tribes had settled in the general area.

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