Category Archives: Ethnic groups

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

Posted in Amusements, Business, Crime and vice, Ethnic groups, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Social life | Leave a comment

Illinois State Informer (newspaper)

The Illinois State Informer was a weekly newspaper founded by Dr. Alonzo Kenniebrew, a nationally prominent black physician, in the mid-1930s in Springfield. Kenniebrew (1875-1943), a graduate of Tuskegee Institute and close friend of Tuskegee founder Booker T. Washington, had moved to … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Arts and letters, Ethnic groups, Journalism, Media, Prominent figures | 2 Comments

Leroy Jordan (African-American history interviews)

Leroy Jordan, who moved to Springfield in 1965, was the first black elementary classroom teacher in the Springfield public schools. He later spent 20 years as an administrator at the former Sangamon State University and was the second black to … Continue reading

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Georgia Hale (African-American history interviews)

Georgia Hale, born in rural Missouri, where she attended segregated schools, moved to Springfield in 1942. Hale became the first black teller at the former Central Illinois Light Co. In an interview for the Springfield African-American History Foundation series, Hale … Continue reading

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Robert Goza (African-American history interviews)

Robert Goza, a Missouri native, moved to Springfield in 1952 after marrying Marian Ritchie.  He was an early accounting computer specialist with the state of Illinois and active in Scouting and the NAACP.  In an interview for the Springfield African-American … Continue reading

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Marian Goza (African-American history interviews)

Marian Goza, a Springfield native, spent 38 years as a medical technologist at Memorial Medical Center. In an interview for the Springfield African-American History Foundation series, she discussed her career, her family, and involvement in Scouting and the NAACP.

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Jessie Mae Finley (African-American history interviews)

Born in Springfield, Danville (see below — ed.), Jessie Mae Finley (1906-2006) was a talented musician and founder of the Voices of Love, Joy and Peace. She also worked for the state of Illinois. Finley was named Springfield’s First Citizen in 1976. In … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Arts and letters, Ethnic groups, First Citizens, Prominent figures | 7 Comments

Rudy Davenport (African-American history series)

Born in Georgia in 1928, Rudy Davenport grew up in Chicago, graduated from Roosevelt University, and moved to Springfield in 1966.  He worked for the State of Illinois and was an active volunteer with the NAACP. Davenport was one of … Continue reading

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Ted Curtis (African-American history interviews)

Ted Curtis, a Springfield native and U.S. Air Force veteran, became a real estate agent and later assistant real estate commissioner for the state of Illinois.  He served on the Springfield School Board for 10 years and was active in … Continue reading

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Theresa Faith Cummings (African-American history interviews)

Theresa Faith Cummings, a sixth-generation resident of Springfield, Illinois, was the first director of the Community Action Agency’s Neighborhood Center.   In an interview for the Springfield African-American History Foundation series,  she discussed the services the center provided, as well as … Continue reading

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