Category Archives: Illinois capital

Statehouse dome lighting

Christmas lights bedecked the Statehouse dome for the first time in 1924, but it took another four decades before the lights became a tradition. A.B. McCall (1887-1955), a mechanical drawing teacher at Springfield High School, had the idea to make … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Buildings, Celebrations, Illinois capital, Prominent figures | 4 Comments

Paul Powell shoebox scandal

The discovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars stuffed in suitcases, an attache case, loose envelopes and, of course, a shoebox within days after the October 1970 death of Illinois Secretary of State Paul Powell remains clouded by confusion and … Continue reading

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Willard Ice, ‘Mr. Revenue’

Willard Ice (1915-80) was an attorney and public servant at the Illinois Department of Revenue for more than 30 years, including a brief period as revenue director.  The Revenue Department’s headquarters in Springfield is named after Ice, commemorating his contributions … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Illinois capital, Prominent figures, State government | 3 Comments

Stephen A. Douglas’ missing finger

Before he was Abraham Lincoln’s foil in the 1858 contest for U.S. Senate in Illinois and then for the presidency in 1860, Stephen A. Douglas was a regular presence and sometime resident in Springfield. Douglas also was, briefly, Lincoln’s rival … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Lincoln, Abraham, Politics, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Executive Mansion demolition plan, 1963

Postponed maintenance, repair crises and general dilapidation have been recurring problems at the Illinois Executive Mansion – most recently in 2014 and 2015, when a leaky roof and mold in the basement helped create a need for more than $5 … Continue reading

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National Lincoln Monument Association directors, 1865

The National Lincoln Monument Association, officially organized on May 11, 1865, oversaw fundraising for and construction of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb. Although members originally planned to build the structure on land that now is the site of the Illinois Statehouse, the … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Illinois capital, John T. Stuart, Journalism, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Media, Politics, Prominent figures | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sharon Tyndale murder mystery, 1871

Sharon Tyndale, Illinois secretary of state from 1865 to 1869, was shot to death the morning of April 29, 1871, in what became Springfield’s most enduring murder mystery of the 19th century. Tyndale was walking on Adams Street to the … Continue reading

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The Pasfield family (1830s to 1930)

Three men named George Pasfield — father, son and grandson, usually distinguished as “the first George Pasfield,” “Dr. George Pasfield” and “George Pasfield Jr.” — played major roles in the growth of Springfield over nearly a century. 1830s George Pasfield … Continue reading

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Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum began, unlikely as it seems, in New Harmony, Ind. Former museum director R. Bruce McMillan described the quandary that faced Illinois’ first state geologist in his article on the museum’s centennial , “The First Century,” published … Continue reading

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