Category Archives: Springfield Survey

Newsboys vs. the mayor, 1921

When a newsboy stiffed Mayor Charles Baumann out of 2 cents change, Baumann ordered city police to dismantle every news stand in downtown Springfield. But the newsboys had allies of their own, including an influential group of civic-minded women. The … Continue reading

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‘Poor House Rules’ — the drawings of Alfred S. Harkness

Alfred S. Harkness (1866-1941) was an artist, illustrator and engraver whose specialty — at least for part of the time he lived in Springfield — was public health illustration. Harkness had been a member of the artist staff of the … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Brown Ide

Elizabeth Brown Ide (1873-1978), who was born into money and married more, could have been merely a socialite. Instead, she became Springfield’s most prominent children’s advocate during the early 20th century. Ide’s parents were Christopher Brown and Caroline Owsley Brown, … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Medicine, Prominent figures, Public health, Social services, Springfield Survey, Women | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Duncan McDonald

Duncan McDonald (1873-1965), while not as well-known as John L. Lewis, was almost certainly more principled as both a United Mine Workers leader and a politician. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s Chronicling Illinois collection characterizes McDonald’s labor career this way: … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Business, Coal mines and mining, Lincoln, Abraham, Politics, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, Springfield Survey | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Women’s literary clubs

The literary club movement began early in the 19th century as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. The first recorded occurrence was a lecture series started in Milbury, Mass., in 1826. By 1834, 3,000 groups had been organized to listen … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Arts and letters, Lindsay, Vachel, Prominent figures, Social services, Springfield Survey, Women | 3 Comments

Fire escape hazards, 1914 (Springfield Survey photo)

The Springfield Survey was a massive study of local schools, prisons, and other institutions undertaken in 1914 by the Russell Sage Foundation with the help of hundreds of local volunteers. Topics covered included schools, care of “mental defectives, the insane … Continue reading

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Children’s physical exams, 1914 (Springfield Survey photo)

The Springfield Survey was a massive study of local schools, prisons, and other institutions undertaken in 1914 by the Russell Sage Foundation with the help of hundreds of local volunteers. Topics covered included schools, care of “mental defectives, the insane … Continue reading

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Home for the Friendless

The Home for the Friendless assisted indigent women and children of Springfield from 1863 to 1928, when it was merged into the Children’s Service League. The gradual addition of other social service agencies ultimately led to formation of the Family … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Children, Social services, Springfield Survey, Women | 5 Comments

Housing for African Americans, 1914 (Springfield Survey photo)

The Springfield Survey was a massive study of local schools, prisons, and other institutions undertaken in 1914 by the Russell Sage Foundation with the help of hundreds of local volunteers. Topics covered included schools, care of “mental defectives, the insane and … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Springfield Survey | Leave a comment

The Open Air Colony (Palmer Tuberculosis Sanatorium)

The Springfield Open Air Colony was a private sanatorium for people suffering from tuberculosis that operated at Chatham Road and Lawrence Avenue from 1913 until the 1940s. The Colony eventually was renamed the Palmer Tuberculosis Sanatorium, after Dr. George T. Palmer, … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Public health, Social services, Springfield Survey | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments