Monthly Archives: August 2016

Downtown business map, 1913

The Oct. 7 and 8, 1913, editions of the Illinois State Register, published during the Illinois State Fair (then held in the fall) included a map of the area surrounding Springfield’s courthouse square that showed many of the city’s downtown … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Illustrations, Maps | 2 Comments

Olympics gold-medal winners from Sangamon County  

Olympics gold-medal winners from Sangamon County through 2016, as listed on Wikpedia, were: Ryan Held, Springfield: Men’s 4×100 freestyle relay (swimming), 2016. Graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School. Andre Iguodala, Springfield: Basketball, 2012. Graduate of Lanphier High School, MVP of … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Prominent figures, Sports and recreation | 4 Comments

Alice Gilliland (Royal Neighbors of America)

Alice Gilliland helped found the Royal Neighbors of America, the first “fraternal” benefit society to offer life insurance to women, and rose to become the group’s Supreme Oracle, its top post. Gilliland, who was among the first 500 members necessary … Continue reading

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‘The Badlands’

For a brief description of “the Badlands,” a residential and commercial neighborhood northeast of downtown Springfield that housed a number of saloons and bawdy houses at the turn of the 20th century, see “Cocaine Alley.” 

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‘The Levee’

For a brief description of “the Levee,” Springfield’s historic downtown vice district, see “Cocaine Alley.” 

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‘Shinbone Alley’

“Shinbone Alley” was the nickname for the 900 blocks of East Mason and East Monroe streets around the turn of the 20th century. See “Cocaine Alley.”

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‘Cocaine Alley’ (1899-1903)

Note: This entry is based on research done by Floyd Mansberger and Christopher Stratton of Fever River Research for the city of Springfield and Federal Railroad Administration in connection with the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. Their full 358-page report, published … Continue reading

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Charles Dawson, gambler

Scottish immigrant Charles Dawson was Springfield’s most notorious gambler for much of the 1920s. He was shot to death gangland-style in December 1931. See Gambling rivalry, 1931. 

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Wentworth Club

The Wentworth Club was a social and political club that challenged Sangamon County’s regular Republican organization from 1925 to 1933. The club’s name came from the middle name of one of its founders, Dr. Charles Compton. See Gambling rivalry, 1931.

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Dr. Charles Compton (surgeon, politician)

Dr. Charles Compton was the guiding spirit behind the Wentworth Club, a social and political organization that challenged Sangamon County’s regular Republican organization from 1925 until 1933. See Gambling rivalry, 1931.

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