Tag Archives: Richard Hart

William Fleurville (Florville)

William Fleurville (1807-1868) was a Haitian-born barber and businessman whose shop on Adams Street between Fifth and Sixth streets became a regular meeting place for Springfieldians, including Abraham Lincoln. The spelling of Fleurville’s last name is inconsistent; he often used … Continue reading

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‘Jack,’ age 5: First black resident

Local researcher Richard Hart discovered evidence in early county records that the Kelly family, generally considered Springfield’s earliest settlers, were accompanied by several African-American slaves. In particular, Hart found, Henry and Mary Kelly, the parents of 1818-19 settlers Elisha and … Continue reading

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The Kelley (Kelly) family

The Kelleys – Elisha, John, Henry and their relatives – are usually considered the first Europeans to live in the boundaries of what is now Springfield. (An 1817 settler, Levi Ellis, may actually deserve that designation, but the Kelley family’s cabins … Continue reading

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Westminster Presbyterian Church

See Second Presbyterian Church.

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Second Presbyterian Church

Springfield’s Second Presbyterian Church (now known as Westminster Presbyterian Church), was founded in May 1835, when 30 members of First Presbyterian Church split from the parent congregation. Although some researchers ascribe the split to a dispute over slavery, with Second … Continue reading

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Mack, Frank and Mary “Polly” Shelby

Mack and Frank Shelby, ages 27 and 29, respectively, bought a lot at the southwest corner of Third and Washington streets in 1826, according to the Early African American Population of Springfield Illinois by Richard E. Hart (2008). Mack was … Continue reading

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