Like the previous Lost Greetings post, War Dad’s Canteen, Part 1, this card was produced to promote a service members’ place of respite near a major military hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Whereas the previously posted “War Dad’s Canteen Chapter No. 6” image showed the interior of the building, this one features the exterior and notes its location at “Frisco Station,” a significant depot on the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. The postmark “P.O. ST-SF Sta.” stands to indicate this note was also placed in the mail at Frisco station.
The postcard was sent by Sgt Marvin L. Ward to a youngster living at the same residence in Morrisville, North Carolina as previously featured on this blog. Though, this postcard was delayed in reaching that destination.
It seems that mail meant for Morrisville, North Carolina was so often mis-sent to Mooresville, North Carolina that the post office possessed a special stamp for re-routing items to their intended city. The additional Mooresville postmark can be seen on the artwork side of the card.
We finish this 2-parter with one final note regarding military activities and architecture in Springfield, Missouri during the 1940’s. The Pythian Castle, an aptly named communal gathering place, was built of limestone in 1913 by the local chapter of the fraternal club the Knights of Pythias in what was then a pastoral setting. Our sergeant, Marvin Ward, might have visited the distinctive structure, as it had been by that time commandeered for use as an Enlisted Men’s Service club and played host to many morale boosting recreational diversions. In association with nearby O’Reilly General Hospital, the Pythian Castle served to entertain convalescing service members and is also purported to have seen the likes of German and Italian prisoners of war within its walls.
Following the conclusion of World War II, the Pythian Castle housed U.S. Army Reserve operations before being sold in the 1990’s to a private party. In recent years, the proprietors of the structure have opened the facility for private events, tours, and emphasized paranormal myths associated with the site.
Hi Little Lady,
Just how is the young lady tonight. Guess you are studying your lessons. Your mother says you are doing fine at school. Keep it up cause you’ll sure need it someday. How do you like Jitter’s? She is a nice dog.
To: Miss Scott | Morrisville, NC c/o Ralph Scott
From: Sgt. Marvin L. Ward, M.P. Detachment Bks 28,
O’Reilly General Hospital, Springfield, MO
Postmark: Springfield, Missouri – February 3, 1944
Postage: Free franked
Frisco Station in Springfield, Missouri
For more information about the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (aka “Frisco”) visit Frisco.org. The Springfield-Greene County Library also features a dedicated page with photos of the Frisco depot for your perusal.
The Pythian Home of Missouri
The Springfield public library has cataloged some fabulous photos of the World War II era use of the Pythian Castle as a service club. Modern uses of the building are outlined on the Pythian Castle’s website: https://pythiancastle.com/, with tours scheduled for history buffs and those looking for a more spooky visit.
Looking for more?
Check out these other vintage “Lost Greetings” postcards.
Thoughtful comments are welcome!
Let me know you stopped by, or share what you found most interesting about this card.
- Have you lived someplace which is often confused with a similarly spelled or pronounced locale?
- Are there iconic buildings in your region which once served a military function?
2 thoughts on “War Dads Canteen, Part 2 [1944 – Springfield, MO]”
Great post, as always. I love the illustration on the post card. Is that a nurse serving up doughnuts and coffee?!
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That’s a great point about the woman shown behind the counter. She seems to be mostly dressed in a uniform common to drugstores and lunch counters of the time, but for some reason the cartoonist added a cross to her hat. The only thing I can guess is that the artist included it in an attempt to visually reference the nearby hospital. It is a bit odd, though, isn’t it?
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