The Sangamon County Historical Society welcomes you

SangamonLink was created to put the rich history of Sangamon County — home of Abraham Lincoln and the capital of Illinois — at people’s fingertips.bridge

The Sangamon County Historical Society has worked since 1961 to preserve county history through publications, tours, donations and special projects. (Follow the link above to learn more about Society initiatives and membership.)

At bottom, however, history is always a work in progress, and SangamonLink is designed to recognize that evolution. The Society will be able to correct, amplify and add to this encyclopedia as needed, and people who want more information can follow links from individual entries here to additional sources elsewhere.

To find articles on individual topics, see the alphabetical indices (A-J, K-O and P-Z, above), or use the Search button, For a chronological view of Sangamon County’s development, see the Timeline. To see a list of some of the more important local history resources, both online and not, see Research sources.

We are  constantly adding to SangamonLink, and we welcome additional contributors. You do not have to be a professional historian or writer. Please see Writing for SangamonLink for guidelines and additional information.

Whether you’re curious about a specific topic or simply browsing, we hope you’ll find this archive both useful and illuminating. Comments, suggestions and corrections are encouraged. Thanks for visiting.

Follow SangamonLink: We’re on Twitter and Facebook.

SangamonLink is a production of the Sangamon County Historical Society, and all original content is the property of the Society. However, you are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.

25 Responses to The Sangamon County Historical Society welcomes you

  1. Matt Penning says:

    Congratulations! Great work and interesting stuff here. I look forward to delving more into the existing and future articles.

    I always remember the first day that the local NPR affiliate, then WSSR which became WSSU and is now WUIS, went on the air. All Things Considered featured a story by its newest station, and in the intro to the piece, the announcer said: “And now, from Sangamon State University” using a rather unusual to my ears pronunciation with the emphasis on the “a” in the middle. I still get a chuckle out of that.

  2. Dr Leslie Jack Fyans says:

    You are a blessing to all of us

  3. Nancy Chapin says:


    You’ve really done an incredible job! Congrats, and keep up the good work!!

  4. Chuck Stone says:


  5. editor says:

    Thanks to you all. Please keep reading.

  6. Andrew Trello says:

    Saw your page mentioned in the paper this morning. Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

  7. Debra Thompson says:

    I have really enjoyed the pieces I have read so far and look forward to returning to this site many times. Thank you so much for all of these fascinating glimpses into Springfield and Sangamon County history.

  8. Ray Trello says:

    Great job

  9. Interesting reading. Married to one of Colonel John Williams great,great,great grandsons.

    • editor says:

      Ms. Williams: There are connections to history all over. That’s one of the reasons this project has been so much fun. Thanks for reading.

  10. Fantastic news for the Historical Society. Mike will put Springfield and Sangamon County history on the map.

  11. Jeri Wright says:

    I would very much like it if someone would contact me regarding speaking to the ALL Today’s Topic group at LLCC. Either phone or e-mail is fine. Thank you very much.

  12. You and I have communicated once or twice, but never managed to meet face to face. Your article on Howarth is very informative. I am suprised that no one has ever mentioned him to me, although I do know people who knew Dr. Lee, whom you do quote. Good work.

    • editor says:

      Dr. Holden: Thanks very much for the compliment. Mayor Howarth, the first mayor I remember hearing about as a child, was a complicated, fascinating character. I know I haven’t done him justice. Thanks for reading.

  13. Jerry Jacobson says:

    Congratulations, Mike Kienzler, and all who help & contribute to the online encyclopedia, for winning a Superior Achievement award from the Illinois State Historical Society.

  14. Liz says:

    Are you going to do an entry on the Lauterbach axe murders? I am fascinated by it, but cannot find much information. I live not too far from 15th & So. Grand and pass the building when I’m headed to Dirksen and would love to find out more about what happened.

    • editor says:

      Liz: Yes, it definitely deserves an entry, but I’m not sure when it will get done. I don’t want the encyclopedia to lean too heavily on crime and mayhem, which would be really easy to let happen — especially because I gravitate to those entries too. So I try to blend topics and themes and stay balanced.

      On the other hand, one of the next entries is probably going to be the Paul Powell shoebox scandal; some things you just can’t get away from …

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting. I’ll try to move the Lauterbach killings up higher on the priority list.

  15. Liz says:

    I was an infant when it happened so any information other than the basics would be great. I love Springfield & Sangamon county history and have been surprised to read some entries.

  16. M. Doris {Hysler} McLaughlin says:

    This is a Surprise! Glad I found this site. Will return later.

  17. SFC (Ret) Kevin F. “Doc” Kirk says:

    I have a project that I am beginning. I would like to ask the assistance of your historian for it. Please reach out to me at your convenience. Thank you.


    WOW…this is impressive. Please add more. I hate to see it end with Mayor Davlin’s death. Thank you for doing!!!!
    Its the King’s Daughters Organization 125th Anniversary this year. It was incorporated June 6, 1893 and has been going strong ever since serving senior citizens. one more item you could add.

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