Monthly Archives: August 2017

George S. Connelly (grocer)

George S. Connelly (1849-1918) built a retail and wholesale grocery company from a one-room store on East Monroe Street. See Butternut Bakery.

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Butternut bakery, Jefferson Street

George S. Connelly & Co. began baking bread in an L-shaped building surrounding the corner of Second and Jefferson streets in 1913 or 1914. The Springfield area would eat Butternut bread baked there for almost 60 years. George S. Connelly … Continue reading

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Coal mines in Sangamon County (maps)

The map above is a small-scale reproduction of an Illinois State Geological Survey map showing the extent of underground coal mining in the two Springfield quadrangles, Springfield East and Springfield West. The original map can be found at the survey’s … Continue reading

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Melanie Bryant, first woman firefighter

Melanie Bryant, hired in 1994, was Springfield’s first woman firefighter. See Harry Taylor, first black firefighter, police detective.

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Harry Taylor, first black firefighter, police detective

Harry Taylor (1861-1928) was Springfield’s first African-American firefighter, but became better known as a Springfield police officer and detective. Positions on both the police and fire departments were patronage appointments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Taylor was … Continue reading

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Sangamon County’s Confederate memorial

Note:  Camp Butler itself (see link below) describes its Confederate obelisk as a “monument.” However, it probably is more accurate to call it a “memorial,” because the obelisk was erected, as its inscription says, in memory of  Confederate soldiers buried … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Markers, Military | 3 Comments

Bel-Aire Manor Motel

The Bel-Aire Manor Motel, 2636 S. Sixth St., opened about 1953 and was demolished in 2015. See Carl Rinnus, popular sculpture.

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Lincoln sculpture, Illinois State Fairgrounds

The 30-foot-tall fiberglass statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Main Gate of the Illinois State Fairgrounds was created in 1967 by department store window designer Carl Rinnus. See Carl Rinnus, popular sculpture.

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Carl Rinnus, popular sculpture

Carl Rinnus (1912-93) is best known as the sculptor/fabricator of the giant fiberglass statue of Abraham Lincoln that stands just inside the Main Gate at the Illinois State Fair. He also created another locally famous piece of Springfield sculpture, the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Department stores, Lincoln, Abraham, Prominent figures | 4 Comments

Stephen T. Logan (Lincoln law partner)

Springfield had more than its share of star lawyers – Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and others – in the 1830s and ‘40s. But everybody agreed the best trial lawyer on the circuit was a short, cranky Kentucky native named … Continue reading

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