Category Archives: Local government

Lincoln Library’s grandfather clock

The nine-foot-tall grandfather clock that sits on the first floor of Lincoln Library was given to the library in 1936 by the widow of former Springfield School Superintendent J.H. Collins. Collins, according to a bookmark available at the library that … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | 4 Comments

Lincoln Land Community College founded, 1967

Lincoln Land Community College held its first classes on Sept. 23, 1968, in temporary buildings on a temporary site. Even the name was temporary. LLCC – officially known as Lincoln Land Junior College until two weeks after classes began –was … Continue reading

Posted in Education, First Citizens, Higher education, Local government, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment

Women’s bathing suit controversy, 1916

Springfield women’s rights activist Harriett Reid made fun of the Springfield Park Board’s 1916 directive that women’s swimsuits at the new Bunn Park Beach include skirts. The park board had voted 5-1 to impose the restriction, which was sponsored by … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Amusements, Local government, Parks, Women | Leave a comment

‘Madame Brownie’ (bordello operator)

“Madame Brownie” (real name Augusta Kellogg) operated one of Springfield’s best-known houses of prostitution for more than 35 years. She was 80 years old when she died in 1915, possibly following an altercation with an intoxicated customer. Her Illinois State … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Local government, Prominent figures, Women | Leave a comment

Springfield street name changes

One might think that names chosen for streets would remain the same indefinitely unless the name causes confusion or the street was physically removed.  Both circumstances have occurred over the years in Springfield. While the city of Springfield generally discouraged … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Springfield, Transportation | 2 Comments

‘Cocaine Alley’ (1899-1903)

Note: This entry is based on research done by Floyd Mansberger and Christopher Stratton of Fever River Research for the city of Springfield and Federal Railroad Administration in connection with the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. Their full 358-page report, published … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Amusements, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Local government, Public health, Race riot of 1908, Social life | Leave a comment

Gambling rivalry, 1931

Threats to bomb one of Springfield’s most visible mansions illuminated the murky connections between city fathers and the local underworld in 1931. Machine-gun toting police officers took up guard posts at 1303 Wiggins Ave. in May 1931, in the midst … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Oak Ridge Abbey (mausoleum)

When Springfield’s first mausoleum was built, its builders played on people’s fears of disease, grave robbery, decomposition and neglect. What’s more, they promised, interment in the Oak Ridge Abbey would protect against the possibility of premature burial. The interior of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Local government | Leave a comment

Late-night Springfield, 1935

J. Emil Smith wrote a daily column, “Making Conversation,” for more than 28 years, starting when he became editor of the Illinois State Journal in 1930. Much of the column was made up of briefs, jokes, poems and birthday notices for friends … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Hotels & taverns, Journalism, Local government, Media, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | Leave a comment

Daylight Saving Time, 1918

What now is known as Daylight Saving Time was first instituted on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1918, as a way to save fuel to support U.S. soldiers in World War I. In Sangamon County, the main inconvenience was to churches, … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Science | Leave a comment