Monthly Archives: April 2015

Robert Irwin (Lincoln banker & friend)

On May 18, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase about an “old friend who has served me all my life, and who has never before received or asked anything in return.” The friend, Robert Irwin, … Continue reading

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Bobby Watson (movies’ Hitler)

Bobby Watson (1888-1965), born Robert Kuecher in Springfield, portrayed Adolf Hitler in movies more times (nine) than any other Hollywood actor. The most  colorful account of Watson’s show business career is his IMDB biography, which says Watson got his showbiz start at … Continue reading

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Two days in May: The funeral of Abraham Lincoln

As the funeral train carrying the coffin of President Abraham Lincoln pulled into Springfield’s Chicago & Alton station the morning of May 3, 1865, dozens of special trains had already disgorged visitors from all points of the compass. Thousands more … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Historic Sites, John T. Stuart, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Railroads | 2 Comments

Church bingo controversy, 1949

Regular bingo games held by supporters of the former Cathedral Boys High School became the focus of a dispute between the Springfield Catholic diocese and newly elected Sangamon County State’s Attorney George Coutrakon in 1949. See George P. Coutrakon, prosecutor.

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J. Waldo Ackerman

J. Waldo Ackerman, later a federal judge, played major roles in the investigations of corruption allegations against state officials Orville Hodge in the 1950s and Paul Powell in the 1970s. See George Coutrakon, prosecutor. Also see Ackerman’s comments in the … Continue reading

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George P. Coutrakon, prosecutor

Prosecutor George P. Coutrakon (1906-99) was a strict constructionist when it came to cleaning up vice-ridden Sangamon County following World War II – even when that meant challenging the Catholic church. Nelson Howarth, who was an assistant to Coutrakon in … Continue reading

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Sgt. Joseph M. Hall (World War I)

Sgt. Joseph M. Hall, killed on Armistice Day, 1918, is co-namesake of Hall-Hagler Chapter 15, Disabled American Veterans.

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Kent Dunlap Hagler (World War I)

Kent Dunlap Hagler, who died in 1920, apparently of injuries suffered while an ambulance driver in World War, is a co-namesake of Hall-Hagler Chapter  15, Disabled  American Veterans.

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Hall-Hagler chapter, Disabled American Veterans

Springfield’s Hall-Hagler chapter of the Disabled American Veterans is named in honor of two World War I casualties who hailed from the city. Sgt. Joe Hall (1891-1918) died during the waning hours of the war – at 8:45 a.m. on … Continue reading

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Springfield city charter election, 1840

Springfield officially became a city on April 6, 1840. Springfield already had been incorporated as a town in 1832. As the community grew, however, city officials – including Abraham Lincoln, who became a town board member in 1839 — asked … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Politics, Springfield | 1 Comment