Monthly Archives: December 2017

New Year’s 1918

A lack of liquor meant a quiet New Year’s Eve a century ago in Springfield. City residents had voted in April 1917 to ban saloons and alcohol, and the Illinois State Register reported on the consequences for New Year’s revelry on … Continue reading

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‘The ague’ in early Sangamon County

“The ague” was the common term for malaria, which infested Sangamon County during most of the 19th century. See Malaria in early Sangamon County.

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Malaria in early Sangamon County

The Sangamo Country of the early 1800s was an agricultural paradise in many ways, but it had one major drawback: the anopheles mosquito, which carried the malaria parasite. Virtually every early resident of central Illinois was exposed to malaria – … Continue reading

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First dial telephones (1930s)

Six hundred dial telephones were put into service at the Illinois Statehouse in March 1934, the first use of dial technology anywhere in Sangamon County. However, no one in the Capitol could dial a phone outside the building for nearly … Continue reading

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Camp Butler (Civil War training camp)

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, states scrambled to build training facilities for the influx of raw recruits.  Springfield’s first attempt at a location was Camp Yates, an area bordered today by Washington, Governor, Lincoln and Douglas … Continue reading

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Courthouse square locomotive

Two thousand people filled Adams Street in 1915 to watch a steam locomotive puff its way from Third Street to the courthouse square. The engine – the Chicago & Alton Railroad’s No. 533 – was set up on the south … Continue reading

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Second Christmas parade (1929)

Correction: This entry has been retitled. The first Christmas parade (smaller and less formal) in Springfield was held in 1914. You can read about it here. Embarrasssed apologies from SangamonLink’s editor, who wrote both entries, for forgetting the first one. And … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Celebrations, Children, Department stores, Depression, Spectacles | 1 Comment

Frank Tracy (banker)

Frank W. Tracy (1833-1903) was president of the First National Bank and an investor, alderman, school board member and civic leader. See First electrified home.

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First electrified home

The first Springfield home to be equipped with electric lights reputedly was the palatial residence of Frank and Sarah Jones Tracy. It’s not clear when Frank W. Tracy, a banker and civic leader, had the lights installed. The date probably … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Industry, Local government, Prominent figures, Social life, Springfield | 4 Comments