Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sangamon County boundary maps

When formed in 1821, Sangamon County took in all of what now are Sangamon, Menard, Logan, Cass, Mason and Tazewell counties, parts of McLean, Woodford, Marshall, Putnam, Macon and Christian counties, plus a sliver of northern Morgan County. Cass was … 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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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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Suicide of Secretary of State Harry Woods, 1914

Springfield and Illinois as a whole were shocked when the news broke Oct. 12, 1914 that Secretary of State Harry Woods had shot himself in the garage of his home at 628 S. Walnut St. Woods, 51, had been dead … Continue reading

Posted in Law enforcement, Politics, Prominent figures, State government | 2 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.

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Lincoln Tomb ‘Battle of the Gravesite’

Today, we take for granted that Lincoln is buried here. But we must remember that the journey from that terrible April day when Lincoln died to the day when he was placed in Oak Ridge’s receiving tomb was a tumultuous … Continue reading

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Mary Lincoln letters about Lincoln Tomb site

Below is the text of letters written by Mary Lincoln during a dispute in June 1865 with the National Lincoln Monument Association. The NLMA wanted to build Springfield’s monument to President Abraham Lincoln (and his tomb) on what was called the Mather … Continue reading

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Chicago & Alton railroad

See Chatham railroad history.

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