Category Archives: Lithuanians

Joe Yucas (‘King of the Lithuanians’)

This entry has been retitled and greatly expanded. Joe Yucas (1874-1926) was a Springfield bar owner and political operative who the Illinois State Register once called “the King of the Lithuanians.” According to his obituary, Yucas immigrated to the U.S. … Continue reading

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Alby’s Tavern & the Stasukinas family

Alby (Albinas) Stasukinas, son of Lithuanian immigrants Joseph and Rose (Poskevicius) Stasukinas, opened his storied tavern at 14th and Carpenter streets in 1944. Alby quit coal mining in 1940 to work at the Illiopolis munitions plant, but by 1944 he … Continue reading

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‘Hunkie John’ Buskiewich murder trial (1926)

“Hunkie John” Buskiewich (1903?-69) was the defendant in 1926 in one of Sangamon County’s most sensational murder trials. “Hunkie,” a slang term for immigrants from Eastern Europe — Buskiewich was of Lithuanian descent – was an expression that could be … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Lithuanians | 2 Comments

Lithuanian radicals in Sangamon County

Excerpted from the introduction to “Leftist Lithuanians,” an entry  on the blog Lithuanians in Springfield, lllinois, written by Sandy Baksys: From the beginning of 1930s through the late 1950s, Springfield seems to have been home to the “Lithuanian Lodge,” the local … Continue reading

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The Political Rise of the Adamitis & Yacubasky Families

From Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois The story goes that for decades, Republican Party leader Don “Doc” Adams (Lith. Adomaitis) of Springfield exercised significant patronage power in both the public and private sectors. When Doc died in 2011 at age 75, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | 2 Comments

Joey Mack, dance man

Perhaps the most famous Lithuanian-American in Springfield in the 1940s was in show business: Joey Yanaitis (Janaitis or Jonaitis) Mack. Famous in Boston, Rockford, Cleveland, Augusta, Ga., and dozens of places in between from the late 1930s through the 1940s, … Continue reading

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Sangamon County Lithuanians in World War I

More than 50,000 Lithuanian-Americans fought for the United States in World War I. This remarkable number was later leveraged to lobby U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the newly independent Lithuanian state that emerged from the War’s aftermath. The vast … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Lithuanians, Military | 3 Comments

Isidor Yacktis (lawyer, spokesman for Lithuanians)

As a lawyer to his fellow Lithuanian immigrants in Springfield, Isidor Yacktis (1883-1953) leveraged his higher education and social status to serve as a mediator between his own people and mainstream Americans, to whom the immigrant “hordes” seemed unruly, threatening–and … Continue reading

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‘Riverton riot’ of 1906

In the early years of the 20th century, local newspapers reported Lithuanian ethnicity in crimes of violence, much as media later in the century reported race. However, it’s easy to see why a “Lithuanian” brawl could have seemed relevant to … Continue reading

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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