Excelsior Springs is a city in Clay and Ray counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 11,084 at the 2010 census. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of central Kansas City, Missouri.
Excelsior Springs was discovered by accident in 1880 by a farmer, Travis Mellion, when his daughter Opal fell ill with a form oftuberculosis. He asked for advice from nearby campers, and they suggested the spring that oozed from the bank of theFishing River. Water was collected and brought to his daughter to drink. Over the course of a few weeks, there was noticeable improvement to her health, and she was eventually cured. John Van Buren Flack traveled here in 1880 after hearing about the medicinal values of the spring water. The spring belonged to land owner Anthony W. Wyman. After Flack investigated the water sources, he advised Wyman to have the land platted, water analyzed, and to begin advertising the cures the water held. Flack built a home on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) tract that Wyman had platted and opened the town's first dry goods store as well as the first church. The spring was named "Excelsior", which later changed to Siloam.On August 17, 1880, Flack and Wyman partnered together to form the community of Excelsior. The post office at the time denied the original town name of "Excelsior", as there was already a town in southern Missouri with that name, therefore the town was named originally Vigniti. The city kept the name until 1882, when it was renamed Excelsior Springs.Within one year, nearly two hundred households had built in the valley and the nearby hillsides. The springs proved successful and brought many new people to the area, who camped out in tents or in covered wagons. On February 7, 1881, the town received the designation of village. On July 12, 1881, the community was incorporated as a fourth class city, bringing several hotels, boarding houses, churches, schools, an opera house, livery stables, and stores.