Category Archives: Sangamon River

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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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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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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Camp Glen Olive

Camp Glen Olive was a seven-acre campground on the banks of the Sangamon River in Riverton that was donated to the Springfield YWCA by Olive Black Wheeland, a YWCA supporter and philanthropist who also created Wheeland Haven, an estate east … Continue reading

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Sangamon County poets

For a time in the early 20th century, central Illinois was famed across the country as the home of important poets, writers who were inventing new forms of verse that spoke in the voices of a new age. If it … Continue reading

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William and Margaret Carpenter

Carpenter Park and Carpenter Street are among legacies of the family of William (1787-1859) and Margaret Carpenter (1803-33), who moved to Sangamon County from Virginia in 1820. The family first built a cabin north of the Sangamon River and eventually … Continue reading

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Sangamo Town

Sangamo Town was a settlement on the Sangamon River that for a time rivaled Springfield as a commercial center, but after only 20 years or so was abandoned and all but forgotten. The man behind Sangamo Town was Moses Broadwell¬†(1764-1827).¬†Born … Continue reading

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The Sangamon country, 1819 (Ferdinand Ernst)

Ferdinand Ernst (1784?-1822) was a wealthy German farmer who led more than 100 Germans to the United States and founded a short-lived colony in Vandalia. He ventured to the Sangamon country in 1819. This excerpt comes from the Transactions of … Continue reading

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1925 Springfield City Plan (The West Plan)

The 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago inspired the so-called City Beautiful movement that dominated urban planning in the U.S. and abroad until well into the 1920s. One of the more successful City Beautiful planners in the Midwest was Myron … Continue reading

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Talisman steamboat

The Talisman, a “splendid upper cabin steamer,” left Cincinnati on Feb. 2, 1832, bound for Springfield via the Ohio, Mississippi, Illinois and — most importantly to central Illinoisans — the Sangamon rivers. The venture raised hopes that the Sangamon could … Continue reading

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