George and Kerri Ferris in Springfield, MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsGeorge and Kerri Ferris have found the perfect mix of things to do in Springfield, Missouri. Purchase Photo

Springfield is the largest city in 417-land. As of July 2022, Springfield has just over 170,000 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau. Less than two years ago, David Argueta—President of Mercy Springfield Communities—along with his wife and two daughters, added to these numbers by making the move from Oklahoma City to Springfield. From his first visit to Springfield, Argueta was immediately drawn to everything available from an outdoors perspective. “It’s a beautiful part of the country,” he says. Even their home provides a quiet oasis thanks to the neighborhood being spread out. “It’s really peaceful,” he says. “It’s coming home to a sense of solace.”

In their free time, the Argueta family loves to explore 417-land by trying new restaurants, going to Springfield’s museums and catching shows at the theaters. Being vegan, Argueta has discovered excellent vegan-friendly spots in Springfield, such as Harvest Restaurant, Rama Thai and The Wheelhouse. When it comes to a good cup of Joe, Coffee Ethic is his top choice.

Argueta’s favorite aspect of living in Springfield is its close-knit community. “The kindness of the people in Springfield and the way we rally together really engenders this feeling of community as a noun,” he says. “Like you’re part of something bigger than yourself.”

George Ferris relocated from New York City almost 10 years ago alongside his business partner—they were starting a new company, and his business partner is from the area, “so it just made sense,” Ferris says. He’s the co-owner of Starboard & Port, a photography studio specializing in commercial advertising nationwide. Owning a small business in Springfield has proved financially beneficial when competing against other photography studios based in larger cities in the United States.

His business has also led him to Springfield Creatives—a networking group for individuals in the creative space. They meet once a month to listen to speakers and interact to help bolster young talent and encourage them to continue creating in Springfield. “It feels really cool to see all these businesses reinvesting in the younger talent,” Ferris says.

Having experienced life in Denver and New York, Ferris appreciates the sense of community that Springfield offers. “It’s got that small town feel but those big city amenities,” he says. “I like that you can run into people, but you can also get lost in the crowd or meet new people.” Ferris and his wife, Kerri, have made their home in Springfield’s Brentwood neighborhood. “We absolutely love it because it’s very walkable,” he says. “There’s shopping and dining you can walk to. We’ve gotten to meet a lot of the neighbors.” The Ferrises often take advantage of all Springfield has to offer. They love to see Springfield Little Theatre shows, enjoy the outdoors at Springfield Conservation Nature Center and keep active at Rage Fitness.

Looking ahead, George says the future of Springfield feels really bright. “It always feels like there are new businesses popping up, and I’m meeting new people with such diverse talents,” he says. “It’s exciting.”

Springfield Art Museum, Springfield MO

The Springfield Art Museum is just one of Springfield, Missouri's cultural hot spots.

Purchase Photo
Tea Bar & Bites, Springfield, MO

“There’s shopping and dining you can walk to. We’ve gotten to meet a lot of the neighbors," says George Ferris.

Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon Alms

Why Residents Love Springfield, Missouri