Category Archives: Sangamon County

Last execution in Sangamon County

The last person executed in Sangamon County went to the gallows with a new suit, a plucky attitude and one last request – no women were permitted to witness his hanging. James Hayes (1898?-1927) was put to death shortly after … Continue reading

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Sangamon County Jail conditions, 1847 (Dorothea Dix)

Social reformer Dorothea Dix wrote the following letter – Dix characterized similar communications as “memorials” — to the Sangamo Journal and Illinois State Register on Feb. 19, 1847. It was published in the March 4, 1847 edition of the Journal. … Continue reading

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Sangamon County Poor Farm

Sangamon County first created a home to care for the poor, feeble, disabled and mentally ill somewhere between 1847 – when famed social reformer Dorothea Dix wrote a scathing commentary about the county’s practice of keeping paupers and the insane … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Medicine, Public health, Sangamon County, Social services | 2 Comments

Sangamon County/Springfield timeline, 1818-1840

The following timeline is taken from a handout distributed by Melinda Garvert for a talk she presented at the Iles House on Feb. 17, 2015. Reprinted with permission. 1818 —  Illinois becomes the 21st state in the union due to … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, Illinois capital, Local government, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Springfield, State government | 5 Comments

Sangamon County in 1837

The following description of Sangamon County is taken from Illinois in 1837: A Sketch by H.L. Ellsworth (Philadelphia, 1837); spelling and punctuation from the original. Note that, two years after this was written, the Illinois General Assembly reduced Sangamon County … Continue reading

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Sheriffs, 1821-2015 (list)

Here is a list of people – all men – who have served as sheriff of Sangamon County since the county was established on Jan. 30, 1821. Dates indicate when the sheriffs were commissioned unless noted. John Taylor: 1821, ’22, … Continue reading

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Circuit clerks, 1821-2015 (list)

The histories of the 27 people – 25 men and two women – who have held the office of Sangamon County circuit clerk were researched in 2011 by Savannah Little. The resulting brief biographies can be read on the circuit … Continue reading

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Sangamon County boundary maps

When formed in 1821, Sangamon County took in all of what now are Sangamon, Menard, Logan, Cass, Mason and Tazewell counties, parts of McLean, Woodford, Marshall, Putnam, Macon and Christian counties, plus a sliver of northern Morgan County. Cass was … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Maps, Sangamon County | 2 Comments

William Cullen Bryant’s travels in the Sangamon Country, 1832

In 1832, poet William Cullen Bryant (“Thanatopsis”), traveled from his home in Massachusetts to visit  his brothers in Jacksonville. He took the occasion also to travel briefly through Sangamon and what now is western Logan County into Tazewell County, where … Continue reading

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Sangamon County historic landmarks

As of November 2013, five sites had been designated historic landmarks by Sangamon County. They were: *The George Power Courthouse (Cantrall) *The Brunk Farmstead (Rochester) *The Lincoln-Van Buren Trail (between Rochester and Springfield) *Sangamon Ordnance Plant water tower (Illiopolis) *Inn … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Hotels & taverns, Sangamon County | 2 Comments