Category Archives: Military

Ted Curtis (African-American history interviews)

Ted Curtis, a Springfield native and U.S. Air Force veteran, became a real estate agent and later assistant real estate commissioner for the state of Illinois.  He served on the Springfield School Board for 10 years and was active in … Continue reading

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Adelaide O’Brien Rentschler (aviator)

Adelaide O’Brien (1915-99) of Springfield was the first licensed woman pilot in downstate Illinois. During World War II, O’Brien was a local ground instructor for U.S. Army Air Corps flight cadets. O’Brien also was widely known in central Illinois for … Continue reading

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Clear Lake

When most Sangamon County residents hear the name “Clear Lake,” they think of the avenue or township. However, the body of water that gave these places their names has a rich history all its own. Clear Lake itself is about … Continue reading

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John J.H. Kelly (Medal of Honor)

John J.H. Kelly (1851-1907) received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a five-day fight with Indian warriors on the Upper Washita River, Texas, in September 1874. Kelly was among about 50 soldiers — a combined infantry and cavalry … Continue reading

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Arthur “Jingle” Wilson (Medal of Honor)

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Arthur H. “Jingle” Wilson (1881-1953), a native of Springfield, was awarded the Medal of Honor for service on Patian Island in the Philippines on July 4, 1909. Wilson, who spent  nearly 40 years as a cavalry … Continue reading

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John H. Catherwood (Medal of Honor, 1911)

Springfield native John Hugh Catherwood (1888-1930), a seaman on the U.S. Navy gunboat USS Pampanga during what is called the “Action against Philippine Outlaws” in 1911, received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a firefight with Moro rebels. … Continue reading

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114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of men from Sangamon Cass and Menard counties, was known as the “Sangamo,” “Sangamon” or even “Lincoln’s Home” regiment during its Civil War service. The 114th was formed in the summer of … Continue reading

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Meredith Rhule

Meredith Rhule (1910-74), a Springfield native, led Burmese and Chinese guerrillas, often behind Japanese lines, during World War II. He won election as Sangamon County sheriff in 1946, but served only one term after newspaper investigations found he had ignored … Continue reading

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Under the Gas-Light: Or Lights and Shadows in the State Capital of Illinois

Under the Gas-Light: Or Lights and Shadows in the State Capital of Illinois (1879) is a collection of 31 essays originallywritten as “Rambles” in the Sangamo Monitor, a Springfield newspaper published from the 1870s into the 1890s. The writer of the … Continue reading

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Armbruster Manufacturing Co.

Armbruster Manufacturing Co., which bills itself as “America’s oldest tent maker,” got its start when Rudolph Armbruster (1852-1922) opened an upholstery business on South Fifth Street in 1875. In its early years, the company also sold “foot rests, folding rockers, … Continue reading

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