February 24, 1919 - born to dairy farmer James O. and Hortense Bass Hammons
Great Depression - family loses farm; mother went to work in tomato factory and was not in good health. Father sold insurance.
1937: graduates from high school class of 12 students; attended Monett Jr College and SW MO State Teacher’s College.. received teaching certificate in 1939; Taught science, history and p.e. to junior high students in Cassville
1942: worked for Lytle-Green Construction of Des Moines, Iowa, as cost accountant for Alaskan-Canadian Highway (Alcan Highway)
1943: Merchant Marines
1946 - 1948: failed business selling a mortarless brick you could put together without spackle; buys 46 acres that would one day become Highland Springs
September 2, 1949 - marries Juanita Kathleen Baxter at Westminster Presbyterian Church ; she taught second grade at McDaniel School. The two met at a dance at Kentwood Arms Hotel.
1949: builds Village Greens No. 1 for veterans returning from war
1950: Village Greens second phase built
early 1950s: becomes known as the Young Turk; builds 7 subdivisions, 3 shopping centers, 3 office buildings including Southern Hills; Hammons proposed widening Battlefield Road to Glenstone so he could develop a shopping center. Head of planning commission Hank Denoble thought too progressive and commission turned him down.
1958: John Q. Hammons enters the hotel business. Partnering with Roy Winegardner,
Hammons purchases 10 Holiday Inn franchises and selects Cincinnati for the first location.
This is the first step in a career that will span five decades, developing 67 Holiday Inn hotels
1959: John Q. Hammons, who owned 1,500 acre in what is now Kimberling City, registered the name with the state and built a Holiday Inn and the tourist and fisherman came.
May 1, 1960: Hammons suffers heart attack. He is 41.
1961: John Q. Hammons co-founds Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. In what many of their associates would describe as an unlikely partnership, Hammons and Winegardner form an official business venture to develop more properties throughout the country. Hammons is responsible for locating sites and handling the financial transactions, while Winegardner oversees construction and operations.
1969: Though maintaining his partnership with Winegardner, Hammons forms his own hotel development company, John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc., The company is based in Springfield, MO. Hammons celebrates his 50th birthday
1970 : The Hammons and Winegardner partnership sold 23 hotels to Holiday Inn for $50 to $60 million, making Hammons and Winegardner among the largest shareholders in Holiday Inn in 1970. Winegardner eventually became the chairman of Holiday Inn. John Q. Hammons Hotels is formed
November 1972: Hammons Heart institute opens.
1974: Pays Jeep driver $425 to take him to top of mountain overlooking Table Rock Lake - conviced he would have hotel there one day. Hammons donates $100,000 to help Ozarks Public Television.
1975: Recognizing a developing opportunity for regional conference and event centers, John Q. Hammons Hotels constructs its first hotel featuring expansive meeting space in 1975. The focus on meeting and event business allows the company to prosper even when leisure travel declines. Most of the company’s properties will be developed into the premier upscale meeting and event facility in their respective markets.
1976-77: Hammons Student Center is built for $5.5 million; Hammons donates in for $1 million for the building.
1979: Hammons opens his 50th hotel between his management and development companies.
1980: Maintaining a focus on upscale lodging, John Q. Hammons Hotels constructs its
first hotel featuring a stunning open atrium design in 1980. From that year to the present, the company focuses on developing properties in this style.
1983: Hammons knocks down 118 buildings in downtown Springfield to construct University Plaza.
September 19, 1985: Bob Hope performs at a gala honoring Hammons
1986: The Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans places Hammons at number 383.
1987: Hammons moves up to #268 on the Forbes list. His fortune is estimated at $300 million.
1988: John Q. Hammons Hotels opens its first Embassy Suites Hotel, which is
now a part of the Hilton family. Over the next several years, the Embassy Suites brand will become a hallmark of the John Q. Hammons portfolio and Hammons becomes one of the largest franchisees in the world. Hammons Towers opens
September 8, 1992: Hammons writes a letter to Kemmons Wilson and his mother Dorothy announcing his retirement date of October 11, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.
October 1992: The Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts opens on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University.
1994: Raising additional capital to continue building his hotels, John Q. Hammons sells six million shares for more than $100 million to the public. Hammons retains 77% ownership of the company. Meanwhile, a board of directors is instated and a senior management team is brought on to help the company meet new challenges. John Q. Hammons Hotels remains a publicly traded company for more than a decade.
1996: Hammons adds the Marriott brand to his portfolio.
1997: John Q. Hammons Hotels develops two resorts in Branson, MO, and St. Augustine, FL.
December 1997: Hammons announces he will build a convention center if voters approve a hotel/motel in February 1998. Voters approve the tax. The convention center is never built.
April 13 - 20, 1998: John Q Hammons Week in Springfield
2000: John Q Hammons Hotels opens the Embassy Suites Hot Springs in Hot Springs, AR, with the company’s first full service spa.
August 24, 2004: Hammons & the St. Louis Cardinals announce a AA minor league baseball franchise will call Hammons Field home.
2005: In a move that will allow the company to focus on hotel operations and development instead of shareholder expectations, John Q. Hammons Hotels returns to private ownership.
September 12, 2006: Hammons announces a $25 million gift for the construction of JQH Arena on the Missouri State University campus.
January 2007: Hammons is recognized for his contributions to the industry and to the community with the prestigious Americas Lodging Investment Summit Lifetime Achievement Award.
October 2007: Hammons announces he'll build a luxury hotel and convention center on vacant land next to Springfield's Expo Center.
2008: Hammons opens his 200th hotel.
November 13, 2008: The Eagles hold the first public event at JQH Arena.
May 2010: Hammons says he's scrapping plans to build a hotel next to the Springfield Expo Center, citing tight credit markets.
May 2013: John Q. Hammons passes away at Springfield's Manor at Elfindale.