Category Archives: Children

Family life at the Sangamon County Poor Farm

My grandparents on my mother’s side, Charles and Amy Reed, were superintendent and matron of the Sangamon County Poor Farm from 1915 to 1927. They had eight children, and my mother was the youngest. They moved into the poor farm … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Family life, Sangamon County | 1 Comment

Douglass Community Center

The Douglass Community Center offered civic, social and educational opportunities to African-American residents of Springfield when most similar organizations were closed to blacks. The Douglass center (apparently named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass) opened in 1926. It was phased out as … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Buildings, Children, Local government, Social life, Social services, Sports and recreation | Leave a comment

‘Toy-pistol tetanus’

Dozens of young Sangamon County residents were injured, and a few killed, by toy pistols during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pistols were a regular feature of the Fourth of July, which is when the vast majority … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Children | Leave a comment

Second Christmas parade (1929)

Correction: This entry has been retitled. The first Christmas parade (smaller and less formal) in Springfield was held in 1914. You can read about it here. Embarrasssed apologies from SangamonLink’s editor, who wrote both entries, for forgetting the first one. And … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Celebrations, Children, Department stores, Depression, Spectacles | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Children, Communications, Journalism, Local government, Media, Prominent figures, Public health, Springfield Survey | Leave a comment

Ridgely Elementary School, 1914-1926 (Marguerite Soma memories)

In 1997, students at Ridgely Elementary School, 2040 N. Eighth St., interviewed former Ridgely teacher Marguerite Beechler Soma (1894-1997). Her reminiscences were compiled and published on the school’s Alumni Day web site (in fact, the site was dedicated to her). … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Education, Histories, Schools and school districts, Women | 2 Comments

Springfield traffic rules, 1903

Springfield officials enacted the city’s first ordinance regulating automobiles in 1903, only three years after motorcars were introduced to the city. The rules went into effect on Dec. 3, 1903. The ordinance set a speed limit of 12 miles per … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Springfield, Transportation | Leave a comment

Seven children die in car/train accident, 1928

Seven young people – six siblings and a cousin – were killed on June 5, 1928, when the car they were in drove in front of a southbound Interurban train near Auburn. The car was traveling west on Divernon Road. … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Disasters, Railroads, Transportation | Leave a comment

Tree-sitting fad, 1930

Endurance tree-sitting – climbing trees and staying in them as long as possible – captivated Springfield youngsters, and amused newspaper readers, for several weeks in mid-1930. The local tree-sitters were part of a brief nationwide craze for the stunt. “Long … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Children, Spectacles | Leave a comment

Edith Martin, teacher & heroine

Teacher Edith Martin may have saved 30 children by forcing them out a second-story window as flames consumed Thayer’s Caldwell School on Feb. 16, 1903. An Illinois State Register special correspondent described the rescues in a highly colored account published … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Children, Education, Fires, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment