Monthly Archives: June 2016

Oldest home in Sangamon County

A log cabin built in 1823 by James Walters – now part of a larger farmhouse, but still standing – was identified in 2016 as the oldest home in Sangamon County. See Riddle Hill.

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Riddle Hill

Riddle Hill got its name in 1899, when farmers and other residents west of Springfield expected a proposed Springfield-to-Jacksonville electric railway to boost land prices in the area. The Illinois State Journal announced the creation of a new Riddle Hill … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Prominent figures, Transportation | 9 Comments

Williamsville United Methodist Church

A 2007 church history says Williamsville United Methodist Church can trace its history to “religious exercises” held in the area, probably by the Rev. Stephen England of Cantrall, in 1820. The area’s first Methodist Society was formed near Spaulding in … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin letters, Illinois State Register (1914)

More than 50 years after Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, the Illinois State Register devoted seven full pages over the summer of 1914 to the continued controversy over Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The result was a verbose … Continue reading

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First Chinese residents

Springfield’s first Chinese residents probably were three laundrymen – identified as As-Sing, Sam-Sing and Chun-Lung – hired by John McCreery, proprietor of the St. Nicholas Hotel, in January 1873. The Illinois State Register reported on their arrival in an article … Continue reading

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First Chinese restaurant

The Hong Fong Low, 729½ E. Washington St., dating from 1903,  probably was Springfield’s first Chinese restaurant. For more on early Chinese cafes, see Oriental Cafe.

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Jack Lum (‘hibernation therapy’)

Jack Lum, partner in Springfield’s Oriental Cafe’, underwent five days of “hibernation therapy” in 1939, in which he was rendered unconscious and packed in ice. It was unsuccessful. See Oriental Cafe’.

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Oriental Cafe

The Oriental Café was Springfield’s most popular Chinese restaurant for more than 40 years – and, when it closed in 1955, the only one. The café, on the second floor of the buildings at 424 and 426 E. Monroe St., … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | 1 Comment