Monthly Archives: October 2016

Windstorm hits Auburn mine, 1911

A violent windstorm demolished the headworks of the Solomon Mine south of Auburn on July 11, 1911, killing one man and injuring several more. The Illinois State Register covered the devastation: The storm approached Auburn from the northeast and all … Continue reading

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Chatham mine cave-in, 1910

The cave-in of an abandoned coal mine on Oct. 15, 1910, caused some nervous moments in Chatham, but turned out not to be a serious danger. The mine, originally opened by the Chatham-Virden Coal Co. about 1900, was closed a … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Coal mines and mining, Disasters, Industry | 2 Comments

Springfield High School explosions, 1932

Two firefighters and a janitor were killed when mystery explosions wrecked a storeroom at Springfield High School on March 20, 1932. A total of 13 people were injured by the blasts, which were never fully explained. The school’s night watchman … Continue reading

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Augusta Kellogg

Augusta Kellogg was the real name of the woman known as “Jessie Brownie” and “Madame Brownie” when she operated one of Springfield’s best-known houses of prostitution. See “Madame Brownie.” 

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‘Madame Brownie’ (bordello operator)

“Madame Brownie” (real name Augusta Kellogg) operated one of Springfield’s best-known houses of prostitution for more than 35 years. She was 80 years old when she died in 1915, possibly following an altercation with an intoxicated customer. Her Illinois State … Continue reading

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First automobile in Springfield

The first automobile in Springfield was a Duryea purchased by shoe shop owners J.F. Miller and E.E. Staley. It hit Springfield streets in the spring of 1900. The Illinois State Register published a brief item on April 16, 1900: J.F. … Continue reading

Posted in Transportation | 2 Comments

Tramping in Springfield, 1882

On March 12, 1882, “a rather dull day for the gatherer of items,” an anonymous Illinois State Journal reporter visited the Sangamon County Jail seeking news. He was directed to “an old thoroughbred tramp being entertained at present in our … Continue reading

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Dr. Dominic Sterbini (vice consul)

Dr. Dominic Sterbini served as Italian vice consul (also referred to as “consular agent”) in Springfield from 1938 to 1941. See Italian immigration.

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Arturo Granata (Italian vice consul)

Arturo Granata served as Italian vice consul (also known as “consular agent”) in Springfield from 1907 to 1912. See Italian immigration.

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Italian immigration

More than 1,000 people paraded through downtown Springfield on Oct. 12, 1920, to celebrate Columbus Day. Floats depicted the Statue of Liberty, Christopher Columbus himself and Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria. Italian fraternal societies from Springfield, Virden and Decatur turned … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Coal mines and mining, Communities, Prominent figures | 7 Comments