By 1880, the town had a new two-story
building that was used for the school, church and area meetings. In
1913, a tomato canning factory was built in Conway and trainloads of
tomatoes began to be shipped from the area.
By the time
Route 66 pushed through, the
town boasted several businesses including the Electric Theater, the
Stone Motor Company, and a bank. Today, Conway is not a
town but remains a very small community of just a little more than
About six miles west of
Conway, look for the long defunct Abbylee Modern Court. Surrounded by
vegetation, you can barely see the sign, but the vintage court still
stands, appearing to rent its units as apartments.
A few more miles down the road the tiny town
of Niangua presents itself, which still hangs on with the influence of the
local farmers. Niangua, sometimes pronounced "Niangee” by the locals,
also displays more vintage buildings, most of which are no longer in
business, even though the town still supports over 400 residents. Signs of better times!
As you near
Springfield the highway passes
from steep hills to plains and gently rolling hills and will pass through
the crossroads hamlet of Strafford, which has now become an almost suburb
of the quickly growing city of
Soon, you arrive in
Marshfield, the county seat of Webster County. The town was laid out
in 1856, primarily called home to farmers and ranchers of the area. When the Civil War began, the town was the site of two Civil War
skirmishes. The railroad boom after the war stimulated the community
as a dairy, poultry and livestock producer.
Today, Marshfield is a
rapidly growing community supporting more than 4,500 residents and was the
one-time home of Edwin P. Hubble. The community now proudly displays
a ¼ scale replica of the Hubble Space Telescope on the town square.
of America, updated September, 2016.