Category Archives: Uncategorized

Last Civil War veteran

Hiram Shumate of Riverton, the last living Sangamon County resident to have served in the Civil War, died on Jan. 1, 1948.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Geneva Casstevens (World War I fatality)

Geneva Casstevens is considered the only woman from Sangamon County to die as the result of service in World War I. Her connection to Sangamon County, however is tenuous. See World War I memorial, First Street and North Grand Avenue, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Praying Hands’ sculpture, formerly at First Street and North Grand Avenue

The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic sponsored the design and erection of an abstract sculpture depicting praying hands on a small site at First Street and North Grand Avenue in 1966. However, the steel sculpture rusted rapidly … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

St. Joseph Parish and School

St. Joseph Parish on Springfield’s north end was the third Catholic parish established in the city. Its elementary school existed from the 1870s until 1912. See Patrick Henry statue, St. Joseph School. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rev. Patrick O’Reilly (Catholic pastor)

Rev. Patrick O’Reilly, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, was the guiding force behind the statue of Patrick Henry that stood above the school entrance for more than 50 years.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

George S. Connelly (grocer)

George S. Connelly (1849-1918) built a retail and wholesale grocery company from a one-room store on East Monroe Street. See Butternut Bakery.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Melanie Bryant, first woman firefighter

Melanie Bryant, hired in 1994, was Springfield’s first woman firefighter. See Harry Taylor, first black firefighter, police detective.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bel-Aire Manor Motel

The Bel-Aire Manor Motel, 2636 S. Sixth St., opened about 1953 and was demolished in 2015. See Carl Rinnus, popular sculpture.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lincoln sculpture, Illinois State Fairgrounds

The 30-foot-tall fiberglass statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Main Gate of the Illinois State Fairgrounds was created in 1967 by department store window designer Carl Rinnus. See Carl Rinnus, popular sculpture.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sarah Smith Woodruff, first woman bicyclist

Sarah “Sadie” Smith Woodruff is considered the first woman to ride a bicycle, in 1888, in Springfield. See Brainerd Hill (West Lawrence Avenue).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment