Monthly Archives: July 2014

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

Posted in Arts and letters, Buildings, Illinois capital, Museums, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding customs before the Civil War

Pre-Civil War weddings in Sangamon County had their peculiarities, often including macaroon pyramids and very early starting times, as Caroline Owsley Brown remembered in 1914. Here are Brown’s descriptions of some of those weddings. Barret/Johnson Miss Eliza Barret’s wedding at … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Celebrations, Early residents, Family life, Histories, Prominent figures, Women | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Slot machine hijacker reforms

From Sandy’s Blog, News and Profiles, a section of Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois: According to Wally Surgis Jr., bootlegging during Prohibition provided the perfect pathway to illegal activity for Lithuanians and other immigrants for whom alcohol consumption and production was … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Lithuanians | Leave a comment

A blended immigrant family: Treinis/Nevada/Zakar

From Sandy’s Blog, News and Profiles, a section of Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois: Lithuanian coal-mining families in Springfield at the turn of the 20th Century had many hardships — and virtues — in common. Hard work, faith and determination were … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Communities, Family life, Lithuanians | 3 Comments

The Payne Stone Age Collection

Edward W. Payne (1857-1932), a Springfield banker and property investor, amassed a huge collection of stone relics — most, though not all, from pre-Columbian America — with the intention of building a museum to house them. At his death, however, … Continue reading

Posted in Depression, Historic Sites, Museums, Native Americans, Prehistory, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Anti-Rust Club

See Women’s literary clubs.

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The Sunnyside Circle

See Women’s literary clubs.

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The Shakespeare Club

See Women’s literary clubs. 

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Women’s literary clubs

The literary club movement began early in the 19th century as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. The first recorded occurrence was a lecture series started in Milbury, Mass., in 1826. By 1834, 3,000 groups had been organized to listen … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Arts and letters, Lindsay, Vachel, Prominent figures, Social services, Springfield Survey, Women | 3 Comments

Lora Hieronymus Robie (educator and book lover)

Lora Hieronymus Robie, one-half of the couple who had Frank Lloyd Wright design Chicago’s famed Robie House, spent far more time as a Springfield resident than she did in the house named after her and her husband. Lora Robie (1878-1947) … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Business, Education, Prominent figures, Women | Tagged , | 7 Comments