Monthly Archives: September 2015

‘First flash of lightning’: Telegraph reaches Springfield

Edited to add Hat Tip (see below) In 1848, only four years after Samuel F.B. Morse famously sent the message “What hath God wrought!,” Springfield became linked to the rest of the world via telegraph. The Illinois State Journal’s story … Continue reading

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Nude swimming banned, 1921

Springfield Park District officials resorted to a police guard and at least one arrest to keep boys from swimming nude in a Lincoln Park pond in 1921. Officials warned the pond would be closed and drained if swimmers didn’t wear … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Children, Law enforcement, Local government | 1 Comment

Miss Nellie Hughes (librarian)

Miss Nellie Hughes was librarian at Lincoln Library’s North Branch from its founding in 1926 until her retirement in 1972. See North Side State Bank collapse, 1927.

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Lincoln Library North Branch

Lincoln Library’s North Branch was in a former bank building at 719-21 North Grand Ave. E. from 1931 until 2005. See North Side State Bank collapse, 1927.

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North Side State Bank collapse, 1927

The North Side State Bank operated from 1920 to 1927, when state auditors ordered it closed in the wake of a complicated financial scandal involving two banks, three insurance companies, and a former Springfield resident who may have absconded with … Continue reading

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Downtown arches

The steel arches that once dominated the four corners of Springfield’s downtown square went from being a graceful addition to an eyesore in barely 20 years. Actually, Springfield erected two sets of arches on the square in the late 1800s. … Continue reading

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E. Carl Lundgren

Music educator E. Carl Lundgren was the main force behind creation of the Springfield Muni Opera. See that entry.

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Tom Shrewsbury (Muni Opera)

Tom Shrewsbury was among a group of civic and arts leaders who revived the Springfield Muni Opera in the 1960s. See Springfield Muni Opera.

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Springfield Muni Opera

The Springfield Muni Opera’s earliest ancestor was a play named “Good News,” performed by the Springfield Municipal Choir at Lanphier Park on July 28, 1938. But today’s outdoor community musical theater more accurately dates from a presentation of “Bye Bye … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Arts and letters, Local government, Prominent figures, Social life, Theaters | 8 Comments

Lauterbach Cottage Hardware ax attacks (1981)

No one was ever charged with the 1981 ax attacks at Lauterbach’s Cottage Hardware Store, but the case did lead to a change in Illinois’ mental-health privacy law. The attacks took place inside the family-owned hardware store at 15th Street … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Crime and vice, Law enforcement | 20 Comments