Monthly Archives: October 2017

Last Civil War veteran

Hiram Shumate of Riverton, the last living Sangamon County resident to have served in the Civil War, died on Jan. 1, 1948.

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Hiram Shumate (last Civil War veteran)

Sangamon County’s last Civil War veteran, Hiram Shumate of Riverton, died, at age 98, on New Year’s Day 1948. At the time of his death, Shumate had been state commander of the dwindling Grand Army of the Republic since 1940 … Continue reading

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Vincent T. Wasilewski (National Association of Broadcasters)

Vincent T. Wasilewski, who grew up in Cantrall, went on to play a role in some of the 20th century’s most controversial debates over broadcasting rights and responsibilities. Wasilewski (1922-99) was president of the National Association of Broadcasters from 1965 to … Continue reading

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Geneva Casstevens (World War I fatality)

Geneva Casstevens is considered the only woman from Sangamon County to die as the result of service in World War I. Her connection to Sangamon County, however is tenuous. See World War I memorial, First Street and North Grand Avenue, … Continue reading

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‘Praying Hands’ sculpture, formerly at First Street and North Grand Avenue

The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic sponsored the design and erection of an abstract sculpture depicting praying hands on a small site at First Street and North Grand Avenue in 1966. However, the steel sculpture rusted rapidly … Continue reading

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World War I memorial, First Street and North Grand Avenue

Sangamon County’s memorial to those who died in World War I sits, mysteriously, on a tiny lot at the southeast corner of First Street and North Grand Avenue. In a mish-mash of uncoordinated commemorations, however,  the corner as of October … Continue reading

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‘Napkin social,’ First Methodist Church (1895)

The napkin above, printed in 1895, is a rare relic of a fundraising technique that was popular among women’s church groups in the late 19th century – “napkin socials.” The idea was that members of a group – in this … Continue reading

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