Monthly Archives: January 2015

‘Mary Todd Lincoln’ misnomer

In a Jan. 29, 2015, talk introducing her new book, Mary Lincoln: Southern Girl, Northern Woman, Stacy Pratt McDermott, assistant director/associate editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, listed 10 things she wanted her audience to know about Mary. No. … Continue reading

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Mary Lou Schneider (Smokey’s Den)

Mary Lou “Smokey” Schneider operated Smokey’s Den, Springfield’s first bar openly catering to the gay community, from 1966 to 2003. See Smokey’s Den.

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Smokey’s Den

Smokey’s Den, originally at 127 N. Fifth St., was the first bar in Springfield that openly catered to gay men and women. When Smokey’s closed in 2003, after nearly four decades in business, it was thought to be the oldest … Continue reading

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Early farming changes (William Herndon description)

On Aug. 31, 1876, William Herndon, Abraham Lincoln’s last law partner and biographer, spoke to the ninth annual meeting of the Old Settlers of Sangamon County. Here is part of his speech that recounted the changes seen in farming techniques … Continue reading

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Lincoln Library origins

For the origins of Lincoln Library, Springfield’s public library, see Springfield Library Association.

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Springfield Library Association

The forerunner of today’s Lincoln Library was the Springfield Library Association, a private library supported by membership dues and donation. (Lincoln Library, Springfield’s public library, should not be confused with the state-operated Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.) But even its creation, … Continue reading

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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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R. Wells Leib (Lincoln College of Law)

R. Wells Leib (1895-1959) was president of Springfield’s Lincoln College of Law from 1920 until the school closed in 1953.

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Jerome Finkle (Lincoln College of Law)

Jerome Finkle (1891-1982) was the third and final dean of Springfield’s Lincoln College of Law.

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William Carey (Lincoln College of Law)

William Carey (1880-1947) was the second dean of Springfield’s Lincoln College of Law.

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