Monthly Archives: December 2015

Manufacturers in Springfield, 1953

“Industry is big business in Springfield,” the Illinois State Journal declared in a year’s-end wrapup story published Dec. 30, 1953. Products manufactured in Springfield range from bobby pins to bulldozers; from boilers to lawn mowers; from tractors to precision instruments; … Continue reading

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James Hayes (last person executed in Sangamon County)

James Hayes was hung in the yard of the Sangamon County Jail on Dec. 17, 1927. See Last execution in Sangamon County.

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Last execution in Sangamon County

The last person executed in Sangamon County went to the gallows with a new suit, a plucky attitude and one last request – no women were permitted to witness his hanging. James Hayes (1898?-1927) was put to death shortly after … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Sangamon County | 1 Comment

‘Hunkie John’ Buskiewich murder trial (1926)

“Hunkie John” Buskiewich (1903?-69) was the defendant in 1926 in one of Sangamon County’s most sensational murder trials. “Hunkie,” a slang term for immigrants from Eastern Europe — Buskiewich was of Lithuanian descent – was an expression that could be … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Lithuanians | 2 Comments

Jimmy Doolittle’s near miss (1930s)

Famed aviator Jimmy Doolittle almost crashed his plane into the unlit Statehouse dome in the early 1930s. See Statehouse dome lighting.

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Police alert lights (1912-36)

Flashing red lights on the Statehouse dome once alerted Springfield police to emergencies. See Statehouse dome lighting.

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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

League Park (Lawless Park)

League Park, used in the early 1900s by local baseball and football teams, was built in 1902 and demolished by an arson fire in 1911. Today, the site is again a baseball facility. See Richard Kinsella, baseball scout, team owner.

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Three-I League teams, 1903-1915

Springfield teams in the early Three-I League tended not to last long and to change names frequently. See Richard Kinsella, baseball scout, team owner.

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Richard Kinsella (baseball scout, team owner)

Richard “Sinister Dick” Kinsella (1862-1939) was a semi-pro baseball player, owner of Springfield’s Three-I League team and a well-known local politician. But he was famous nationally as the right-hand man of John J. McGraw, the Hall of Fame manager of … Continue reading

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