The Springfield School District’s mascot is the Tigers. Their varsity football team was the Class-A State Champion in 2005.
Some of Springfield’s major employers include: Tesk Manufacturing, which makes trailers; Harvestland Co-Op; The Springfield Medical Center, a member of the Mayo Health Systems since 1998; St. John’s Lutheran Home, a large nursing home and assisted living facility; Acme-Ochs Brick; and the Powermate Corporation, a nation-wide distributor of air compressors and generators.
Harvestland Co-Op and Powermate both underwent major expansions in 2005.
The Springfield Medical Center completed major expansions in 2006. The $7.7 million project included new radiology and surgical suites, 12 private in-patient rooms, a doctor’s lounge, a new nurses station, and new obstetrical rooms.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2010 at the Sanborn Manufacturing plant in Springfield. The company constructed a 40,000 square foot addition to its existing warehouse to provide additional storage space.
Festivals & Events
Springfield’s big summer festival is called “Riverside Days.” The annual event is always held on the last full weekend of June. The good times include things like a carnival, barbeque in the park, a kiddie parade, and much more.
Springfield’s annual Nativity Pageant traditionally takes place during the 2nd weekend of December. The Christmas Story is told under the stars by more than 200 Springfield residents who volunteer their talent for the event. There are live animals in the manger, and a Springfield-area infant plays Baby Jesus. The admission is free, the community’s Christmas gift to area residents.
The Springfield Theater holds an annual play every summer.
The City of Springfield’s population is approximately 2,200 people. The City’s Mayor is Mark Brown.
A new addition to the Springfield Area Community Center was officially completed in 2010. The project cost a total of just over $259,000. It was totally supported by gifts and donations, including a large gift from the Helen Fleischmann Estate.
Expansion of the campground at the City of Springfield’s Riverside Park was completed in 2010. Work included upgrading the electricity to all campsites at the park, adding 5 new campsites, and enlarging several other sites. The work was funded by a $242,000 donation from the estate of Helen Fleischmann.
The construction of a new flood levee along the Big Cottonwood River in Springfield took place in 2012. It’s located from just east of the Springfield Community Center to the western edge of Brown County Road 5. The cost of the more-than $724,000 levee was split between Springfield and the state.
One of the open seats on the Springfield School Board was filled with the flip of a coin in November of 2012. Doug Robertson and Mandy Rasset each received a total of 712 votes on Election Day, so the seat was decided with a coin flip, with Rasset calling “Heads” and the coin coming up tails, giving the seat to Robertson. He has served as a special education teacher and coach at Springfield Public Schools for the past 35 years.
A new food shelf opened in Springfield in January of 2013. The United Methodist Church sponsors the facility, which is located in the Schwanke Engines building on Highway 14. It also serves the communities of Sanborn, Comfrey, Clements and Cobden.
St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield reached its goal of raising more than $95,000 for an upgrade at the nursing home in 2013. The capital campaign to raise the funds took only about 7 months. The money was used to replace the Nurse Call System, making it easier for the facility’s nursing staff to work as efficiently as possible.
Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Keth Kottke was named an “Administrator Of Excellence” by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators in 2013. Kottke was honored for his leadership, concern for students, and active involvement in professional and community affairs. He has served as Springfield Superintendent since 2007.
The Springfield School District Teacher Of The Year for 2013 was 5th-grade teacher Sharon Stern. She has been teaching in Springfield since 1992, and has also coached academic triathlon, and has been the Springfield science fair coordinator for 17 years.
The winner of the Pre-Teen Division of the annual Amateur Talent Show at the Brown County Free Fair in 2013 was Grace Pingeon of Springfield. She sang the Carrie Underwood song “Jesus Take The Wheel” and says that she really enjoys performing.
Springfield High School crowned new Homecoming royalty in October of 2013. Crowned Homecoming Queen was Heidi Veenstra, and the King was Nick Runck.
Springfield Elementary School was among the local area schools that received high rankings on the state’s “Multiple Measurement Ratings” in October of 2013.
A Springfield teacher was honored during the 15th Annual WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Brunch in October of 2013. There were three different categories of awards handed out, and Springfield High School Teacher Amanda Meyer was presented the Academic Challenge Coach of the Year Award. Meyer has been teaching and coaching for over 10 years, and teaches biology, ecology and anatomy, and coaches Envirothon, Junior FIRST LEGO League, Knowledge Bowl, Science Bowl and Youth Energy Summit.
A Springfield man won $5,000 playing a Minnesota Lottery scratch game in 2013. Drake Jenzen won playing the Big Cash Crossword game. He purchased the winning ticket in Le Center.
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.
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.