The community located in Greene County was named after the local Hazeltine family. The community is located west of Springfield on US Route 266, adjacent to Interstate 44.
The family was an old Colonial family of Scottish descent who were early settlers of New Hampshire and Vermont. The family patriarch was Ira Sherwin Haseltine, born in 1821 in Vermont. They produced nine children between 1849 and 1870. Ira was a farmer and merchant who also became involved in politics. He was elected to Congress after moving to Missouri.
They came to Missouri in 1871 and owned the largest orchard in Greene County, Haseltine Orchards. After the Atlantic and Pacific Railway (Frisco) was built through Springfield, MO, Ira bought 80 acres five miles west of the Springfield Public Square. It was just north of Dorchester Station, later named Haseltine Station. The orchard had over 7,000 apple trees. They started to produce in 1888 and created a crop of 300 barrels of sellable apples. The following year, 500 barrels were produced, and in 1889, 2,400 barrels were produced. They used Haseltine Station to ship out thousands and thousands of barrels of apples. Ira was known as the first orchardist and was thought to have the largest one in the world at 1600 acres.
His son, Spurgheim Haseltine, ran the business after his father’s death in 1899. Because of aging and lack of care, the trees hit a decline during World War 1, along with the drop in commodity prices. The final decline came during the Depression and drought, ending Haseltine Orchards. The Haseltine family was one of the many families arriving in the Ozarks after the Civil War to prove to be leaders in social development and economics.
The buildings constructed in the Haseltine Orchards were built between 1871 and 1919. It included mansions, storage barns, water towers, and cider distilleries. The first structure was the house belonging to Ira and Augusta Haseltine. It was demolished to make way for Interstate 44. The last structure was the house at Cloer Dell Farm, built in 1919 for Kirk Graber Haseltine. This was Ira’s grandson. But the most impressive structure was the Haseltine-Dreyfus House. The house was completed and called the Hazelcrest. It was described as a Late Queen Anne style with classical revival overtones and clothed in jagged limestone. The Hazelcrest had four levels and 8500 square feet, along with balconies and covered porches. It was unique because of its size, style, fashion, and cost to build.
In 1937, it was passed to Dr. Francis H’Doubler. A Springfield physician who lived in the house for 48 years with his family. Then, it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Francis from 1985 to 1995. It was bought in 2002 by Carter Bryant and fully restored.
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