Category Archives: Churches

The Harrison Revival, 1886

Thomas Harrison, “the boy preacher,” was well past boyhood when he arrived in Springfield for a revival series in January 1886. It’s not clear, in fact, that he was ever that boyish in the pulpit – Harrison, born in Boston … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Media, Spectacles | Leave a comment

Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery, Springfield’s Catholic cemetery, operated for almost 70 years as almost two cemeteries – one for Germans and the other for everybody else. Calvary was founded in 1857, when two of the city’s earliest local parishes bought 16 acres … Continue reading

Posted in Churches | 2 Comments

‘Napkin social,’ First Methodist Church (1895)

The napkin above, printed in 1895, is a rare relic of a fundraising technique that was popular among women’s church groups in the late 19th century – “napkin socials.” The idea was that members of a group – in this … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Churches, Women | 1 Comment

Patrick Henry statue, St. Joseph School

The mystery of what happened to St. Joseph School’s statue of Patrick Henry may never be solved. But the question of how a life-sized marble sculpture of a Protestant patriot happened to stand above the entrance of a Catholic school … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Buildings, Churches, Education, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment

Williamsville United Methodist Church

A 2007 church history says Williamsville United Methodist Church can trace its history to “religious exercises” held in the area, probably by the Rev. Stephen England of Cantrall, in 1820. The area’s first Methodist Society was formed near Spaulding in … Continue reading

Posted in Churches | Leave a comment

St. Barbara Slovenian Catholic Church

St. Barbara Church, 15th and Laurel streets, was Springfield’s Slovenian Catholic parish from 1911 until 1947. Thirty-seven Slovenian residents of the Springfield area – many of them coal miners – formed a Slovenian Church Building Association in 1909, each pledging … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Churches, Depression, Labor unions, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | 4 Comments

Rev. Stanley Yunker

Father Stanley Yunker (1894-1975) was pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church for 47 years.

Posted in Churches, Lithuanians, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

St. Vincent de Paul Church

The story of Lithuanians in Springfield began with young Lithuanian men who first sought work in the coal mines, then returned home and bought land, started families and hoped for a better future. Other Lithuanian miners, however, remained transients for … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Coal mines and mining, Communities, Lithuanians | Leave a comment

Rayburn memorial, Oak Ridge Cemetery

One of the most prominent monuments in Oak Ridge Cemetery serves as a reminder of a thoroughly unconventional religious sect that got its start in Williamsville. The monument consists of an eight-foot-tall marble sculpture of a woman atop a 40-foot … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Prominent figures, Women | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

St. James Trade School (closed high schools)

St. James Trade School trained boys, originally orphans, for such jobs as mechanic, baker, the building trades, butcher and others from 1930 until 1972. St. James was a boarding school from 1930 to 1963 and then became a day school. … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Education, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment