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Keeping in touch.

Improved communications was an important factor in the city's growth. In 1858 came the mail on the Butterfield Overland Stage. Then, in 1860, a telegraph line running from Jefferson City to Fort Smith came through the city to be joined during the Civil War by a line to St. Louis.

Newspapers have been a communication link since the city's first paper, the "Ozark Standard," appeared in 1837. Several that developed during the intervening years have been consolidated to form the present day Springfield Newspapers, Inc.

A Springfield druggist is reported to have had the first telephone in Missouri used for business and opened an exchange in his home in 1878. By 1896, there were 250 telephone customers. Today, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company services 130,000 customers in the city.

Then came radio. An experimental station . . . WAIA . . . operated from Heer's store from 1922 to 1925 and several others operated later, but the city's first full-time radio station was KGBX which relocated here in 1932 from St. Joseph. KWTO was started a short time later by the same firm. Today, there are six AM and five FM stations.

Television came to Springfield in 1953 when KTTS (now KOLR) went on the air, followed by KYTV later that same year. Two other stations, KMTC and KOZK, a public, educational one, have been added since. The use of television will soon be further expanded with the construction of a cable system.

The "Missouri Weekly Patriot", an early Springfield newspaper.
Dewey Short, well-known local politician, on KGBX and NBC in the 1940's.
One of the earliest and longest running programs telecast by KTTS-TV was "Television Classroom" which lasted for over 20 years.
The earliest mechanical means of communication, the telegraph, has remained important over the years, especially during the wars.
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