Monthly Archives: September 2017

St. Joseph Parish and School

St. Joseph Parish on Springfield’s north end was the third Catholic parish established in the city. Its original elementary school existed from the 1870s until 1912, and the parish continued educating students until 2012. See Patrick Henry statue, St. Joseph … Continue reading

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Rev. Patrick O’Reilly (Catholic pastor)

Rev. Patrick O’Reilly, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, was the guiding force behind the statue of Patrick Henry that stood above the school entrance for more than 50 years.

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Patrick Henry statue, St. Joseph School

The mystery of what happened to St. Joseph School’s statue of Patrick Henry may never be solved. But the question of how a life-sized marble sculpture of a Protestant patriot happened to stand above the entrance of a Catholic school … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Buildings, Churches, Education, Schools and school districts | 1 Comment

Rainfall records, 1926

Two massive rainstorms made Springfield a virtual island on Sept. 8, 1926, flooding streets and basements, stranding autos, trains and streetcars, and leading to the electrocution of an Illinois Watch Co. worker. Even people using the Knights of Columbus swimming … Continue reading

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The Sternaman brothers (football pioneers)

This article has been expanded twice. Added were: more information about Joey Sternaman; William Barry Furlong’s account of how Dutch Sternaman bowed out as co-owner of the Chicago Bears; Jeff  Davis’ account of the deterioration of the relationship between Dutch … Continue reading

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Farm machinery, 1870s-1950s

Sangamon County farms switched from man- and horsepower to fully mechanized operations in fits and starts over more than 80 years. But the key impetus may have been six disastrous weeks of rain in the fall of 1926. Traction engines … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Business, Farming, Industry | 4 Comments

Whig Party rally, 1840 (letter)

The Whig Party of Illinois held a giant rally in Springfield from June 2 to June 4, 1840, in support of their presidential candidate, William Henry Harrison. (Harrison and vice-president candidate John Tyler were known by their slogan “Tippecanoe and … Continue reading

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