Monthly Archives: May 2017

Last Springfield street car, 1938 (photos)

The last Springfield street car ran on the North Fifth Street route the evening of Jan. 1, 1938, leaving city streets thereafter to automobiles and Springfield Transportation Co. buses. The North Fifth street car went from Fifth and Monroe streets … Continue reading

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Train robbery, 1912

Two robbers stopped the Chicago & Alton “Hummer,” bound for St. Louis, south of Iles Junction on Christmas Eve 1912. After failing to blast open the baggage car safe, they  fled when police arrived. Authorities indicted Elmer Vigas and Jack … Continue reading

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Mail robbery, 1923, ‘most daring ever’

Ten men eventually went to prison for a 1923 mail robbery the Illinois State Journal called “the most daring ever staged in this city.” The gang struck at 1:20 a.m. April 1, 1923, at the Chicago & Alton railway station … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Railroads, Transportation | 9 Comments

Streetcar robberies, 1922

A rash of streetcar stickups culminated in 1922 with the shootings, one fatal, of two car operators. A.D. Mackie, general manager of the Springfield Consolidated Railway Co., responded to the first shooting by offering a reward for apprehension of the … Continue reading

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Seven children die in car/train accident, 1928

Seven young people – six siblings and a cousin – were killed on June 5, 1928, when the car they were in drove in front of a southbound Interurban train near Auburn. The car was traveling west on Divernon Road. … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Disasters, Railroads, Transportation | 1 Comment

‘Deadman’s Crossing,’ 16th Street and Sangamon Avenue

The railroad intersection at 16th Street and Sangamon Avenue earned the nickname “Deadman’s Crossing” in the years before an underpass was built to route traffic below the train tracks. At least 16 people were killed at the crossing between 1903 … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Railroads, Transportation, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Lustron all-steel homes

More than 4,000 people viewed Springfield’s first all-steel Lustron home when it opened for public inspection on June 26, 1949. The demonstration home at 2255 S. College St. was the first of five that eventually were built in Springfield and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings | 13 Comments

Mother’s Day begins, 1910

A proclamation by Gov. Charles Deneen in 1910 made Illinois one of the first eight states to officially designate the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The idea had been first promoted by a Philadelphia woman, Anna Jarvis, in … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Family life, Women | Leave a comment

First African-American alderman

Frank B. Hicklin was the first African-American member of the Springfield City Council, serving from 1895 to 1897. See First African-American to hold public office. This entry has been corrected. 

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Hicklin family (African-American activists, politicians)

Hezkiah Hicklin was the first African-American to hold public office in Sangamon County. His son, Frank Hicklin, was Springfield’s first black alderman. And Martha Hicklin, Hezkiah’s wife, played leading roles in local social and historical groups. See First African-American to … Continue reading

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