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1850s: 1840s 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860s

  • It is not known exactly when Elias Briggs took over the ferry enterprise, but he did receive an official license to operate in 1854 (Clarke 1938:25).
  • In 1854, Springfield School District No. 19 was formed, and the first teacher, Agnes Stewart, was appointed. A small schoolhouse was built near the corner of South Seventh and B Streets, and although considered to be a “crude building,” the school served the community until the 1880s (Graham 1978a).
  • A study of agricultural development in the region by Richard Highsmith, Jr. (1950:55-58) states that the foremost goals of the first farmers was to build up large herds of stock, so as to take advantage of the open prairies. Small fenced plots of 20 to 40 acres were cultivated for wheat, oats, and vegetables for private use. The agricultural census of 1854 confirms this conclusion, as most of the farmers listed in the Springfield area had some stock – cattle, oxen, horses, mules, sheep and hogs. Felix Scott reportedly made a trip back to Missouri in about 1849 to get livestock for his Oregon “ranch.” In 1854 his herds numbered 76 cows, 53 young cattle, 37 horses, two stallions, and 18 hogs (Corning 1958:218-219; Stahl:n.d).
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