Category Archives: Public health

Dr. George T. Palmer

Dr. George T. Palmer (1875-1943) was a lifelong advocate for better public health and social services, with a special interest in therapy for tuberculosis. Palmer, the grandson of Gov. John Palmer, began his medical practice in Chicago, but moved to … Continue reading

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Sangamon County poor farm, 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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Charles H. Spaulding

Charles Herbert Spaulding (1888-1968), described at his death as “the nation’s foremost water technologist,” provided the technical innovations that enabled his brother, Willis J. Spaulding, to carry out his vision of a publicly owned Springfield water system. Charles Spaulding designed … Continue reading

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1925 Springfield City Plan (The West Plan)

The 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago inspired the so-called City Beautiful movement that dominated urban planning in the U.S. and abroad until well into the 1920s. One of the more successful City Beautiful planners in the Midwest was Myron … Continue reading

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Springfield Hospital and Training School

A home on the northwest corner of Fifth Street and North Grand Avenue in Springfield was the genesis of today’s Memorial Medical Center. The house was built by T.S. Little, described in 1874 as a “clothier and merchant tailor” with a shop … Continue reading

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St. John’s Hospital

The history of St. John’s Hospital begins in 1875, when a half-dozen nuns, members of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, were assigned to Springfield by Roman Catholic Bishop Peter Baltes of Alton. The nuns, who originally hailed from Muenster, Germany, … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Home

St. Joseph’s Home, a nursing home for the elderly at 3303 S. Sixth Street Road, was opened in 1903. The home is operated by a Catholic order of nuns, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception. The facility … Continue reading

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Wabash Railroad Employees Hospital

Wabash Railroad employees injured on the job were brought to Springfield for treatment from 1884 to 1902 at a hospital dedicated to them. The infirmary was established in the former James Conkling mansion at Sixth Street and Lawrence Avenue.  The … Continue reading

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Springfield Survey, 1914

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. The survey was initiated by a group of Springfield citizens who were … Continue reading

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‘Well and privy menace,’ 1914 (Springfield Survey photo)

This photo is taken from a report done for the Springfield Survey, which 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. … Continue reading

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