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Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s first board of directors, 1956
Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s first board of directors, 1956

In November 1955, a group of five local businessmen joined together to form the Springfield Chamber of Commerce (renamed the Springfield-Washington County Chamber of Commerce in 1984). Their goal was to promote the area as a group in a way no one person could do by himself. The five men who signed their names to the original Articles of Incorporation were John V. Newby, J.R. Montgomery, Orrie McClure, H.M. Grigsby, and Clifton Cunningham.

The Chamber started functioning officially on January 1, 1956 and during its first year had 106 members. The first project undertaken was an industrial survey to gather facts on local churches, schools, factories, and recreational facilities. Other activities supported or sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce were Dungaree Day, Clean Up Week, and Farm City Week. The first annual all member dinner meeting was held on January 17, 1957 at Springfield High School.

In 1965, at the annual banquet the first Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor a man or woman who had shown outstanding dedication and service to the Springfield-Washington County area. In 1990, the Chamber added another award, Citizen of the Year, to be awarded to the person who contributed greatly to his/her community during the previous year. Over the years four other awards were added.

Throughout the years, the Chamber has occupied offices in the Women’s Club Building, West Main Street, North Cross Main, and Springfield Tax Service.  The office has recently moved to the Springfield Opera House which is located at 124 West Main Street.  Our new phone number is 859-302-5412, Ext 5.

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