Category Archives: Buildings

The Elks Club Group (1952)

Adlai Stevenson II’s 1952 presidential campaign attracted the most talented, eloquent political team ever assembled in Springfield (well, except for Abraham Lincoln working by himself). Stevenson’s team of speechwriters and idea men (there apparently were no women) was known as … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Hotels & taverns, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, Social life | Leave a comment

Hotel Abraham Lincoln opens (1925)

The Hotel Abraham Lincoln opened in 1925 with 300 rooms, a five-piece house band, its own radio station, and lavish décor. And, it turned out, with lousy timing. “The Abe,” which was on the southwest corner of Fifth Street and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Business, Hotels & taverns, Prominent figures, Social life | Leave a comment

The Lincoln Home after the Lincolns (1861-1953)

For nearly a century after Abraham and Mary Lincoln left it, other people lived in and managed their former home at Eighth and Jackson streets. Among the eclectic group were a railroad executive, a couple of politicians, a physician, an … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Historic Sites, John T. Stuart, Lincoln Home, Museums, Prominent figures, State government | Leave a comment

John Schnepp, mayor & embezzler

John S. Schnepp (1866-1954) was a lawyer, real estate developer and two-time mayor of Springfield. He also was an embezzler and philanderer. With his thefts on the verge of exposure in January 1932, Schnepp disappeared. Discovered three years later selling … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Crime and vice, Local government, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Springfield fire protection, 1850s-’70s

Fires that demolished swaths of the downtown square in the 1850s led – eventually – to Springfield creating a full-time fire department. But city fathers first had to remedy another problem that plagued local firefighting efforts: a water shortage. An “incendiary” – … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Disasters, Local government, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Fallout shelters in Sangamon County

On April 5, 1964, about 150 people moved into the sleek, white-tiled tunnels below the State Office Building. They were to remain there for 25 hours, drinking purified water and munching biscuits, while loudspeakers blared warnings and audio recordings simulated … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Communications, Illinois capital, Local government, Maps, Public health | 9 Comments

Twelve Mile House

Twelve Mile House was an inn, stagecoach stop and post office in the early 19th century. It later became one of the landmarks used when Illinois officials designed the highway that became Route 66 and then Interstate 55. Where, exactly, … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Historic Sites, Hotels & taverns, Maps, Transportation | 3 Comments

Carrie Post King’s Daughters Home for Women

The Carrie Post King’s Daughters Home for Women opened on Oct. 7, 1895 with five women already in residence, room for four more, and a cow. It also had the support of hundreds of local church women, a unique force … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Prominent figures, Social services, Women | 4 Comments

The first Lincoln home (214 S. Fourth St.)

Immediately after their marriage on Nov. 4, 1842, Abraham and Mary Lincoln rented a single room at the Globe Tavern, 315 E. Adams St. In the fall of 1843, following the birth at the Globe of their son Robert, the … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Hotels & taverns, Illustrations, Lincoln, Abraham, Markers | 3 Comments

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