Monthly Archives: June 2017

‘The rink,’ 1868-71

This entry has been revised — ed. Springfield’s first ice rink hosted skating contests, floral exhibits, masked balls and the “Knights of the Skate” during its brief existence at Walnut and Monroe streets. “The rink,” as it was simply known, … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Buildings, Social life, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Fisher ‘murder’ hysteria, 1841

The case of a “murdered” man who later turned up alive is one of 19th-century Springfield’s best-known legal controversies. That’s mainly because Abraham Lincoln wrote about it, but also because of the roles played by circumstantial evidence, a false confession … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Early residents, Law enforcement, Lincoln, Abraham, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

The whipping post, 1828-37

A whipping post stood permanently on the northeast corner of Springfield’s public square from 1828 to 1837. It apparently was used infrequently, but often enough that whippings stuck in the minds of those who saw them. The post – which … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Early residents, Illinois capital, Law enforcement, Local government, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

John S. Condell memoir, 1840s

John S. Condell Sr. (1818-1907), born in Ireland, arrived in Springfield by way of Philadelphia and Carrollton in 1841. Condell was one of Springfield’s pioneer merchants, operating stores on the downtown square for more than 40 years. One of his … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, Historic Sites, Histories, Prominent figures, Social life | 2 Comments

Sangamon College (Pleasant Plains)

Sangamon College was a short-lived venture created in Pleasant Plains by educators John L. Scott and Hugh M. Curry with the help of a dozen local investors. Most of the financial backers were from the Pleasant Plains area, but they … Continue reading

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Springfield park names

Parks in the Springfield Park District have taken their names from U.S. presidents, local pioneers, subdivisions, donors and others. Here is a list of parks and their name derivations as of summer 2017. Bergen. 2900 Clear Lake Ave. The Springfield … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Amusements, Early residents, Parks, Prominent figures, Sports and recreation | Leave a comment

First auto-related fatality, 1906

Raymond Livingston, age 6, was trying to dodge an oncoming automobile when he was run over by a Springfield street car on April 29, 1906. See Springfield traffic rules, 1903.

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Springfield traffic rules, 1903

Springfield officials enacted the city’s first ordinance regulating automobiles in 1903, only three years after motorcars were introduced to the city. The rules went into effect on Dec. 3, 1903. The ordinance set a speed limit of 12 miles per … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Springfield, Transportation | Leave a comment