Monthly Archives: October 2017

Marguerite Beechler Soma, teacher

Marguerite Beechler Soma (1894-1997) recounted some of her experiences teaching at Ridgely School from 1914 to 1926 to Ridgely students who were researching the school’s history in 1997. See Ridgely Elementary School, 1914-1926.

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Springfield Improvement League

The Springfield Improvement League, an all-women’s organization founded as a result of the 1914 Springfield Survey, took on a number of initiatives until folding in about 1935. See Newsboys vs. the mayor, 1921.

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Newsboys vs. the mayor, 1921

When a newsboy stiffed Mayor Charles Baumann out of 2 cents change, Baumann ordered city police to dismantle every news stand in downtown Springfield. But the newsboys had allies of their own, including an influential group of civic-minded women. The … Continue reading

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Ridgely Elementary School, 1914-1926 (Marguerite Soma memories)

In 1997, students at Ridgely Elementary School, 2040 N. Eighth St., interviewed former Ridgely teacher Marguerite Beechler Soma (1894-1997). Her reminiscences were compiled and published on the school’s Alumni Day web site (in fact, the site was dedicated to her). … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Education, Histories, Schools and school districts, Women | 2 Comments

Capt. John Inman (GAR national commander)

John B. Inman was the only Sangamon County resident elected (1925-26) national grand commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. See Commemorative plaques, South Old Capitol Plaza.

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Commemorative plaques, South Old Capitol Plaza

Eighteen commemorative plaques adorn the parking ramp entrance kiosk on the south Old Capitol Plaza in Springfield. Most date from when today’s Old Capitol State Historic Site served as the Sangamon County Courthouse, and most are in their third location … Continue reading

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Last Civil War veteran

Hiram Shumate of Riverton, the last living Sangamon County resident to have served in the Civil War, died on Jan. 1, 1948.

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Hiram Shumate (last Civil War veteran)

Sangamon County’s last Civil War veteran, Hiram Shumate of Riverton, died, at age 98, on New Year’s Day 1948. At the time of his death, Shumate had been state commander of the dwindling Grand Army of the Republic since 1940 … Continue reading

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Vincent T. Wasilewski (National Association of Broadcasters)

Vincent T. Wasilewski, who grew up in Cantrall, went on to play a role in some of the 20th century’s most controversial debates over broadcasting rights and responsibilities. Wasilewski (1922-99) was president of the National Association of Broadcasters from 1965 to … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Prominent figures | 2 Comments

Geneva Casstevens (World War I fatality)

Geneva Casstevens is considered the only woman from Sangamon County to die as the result of service in World War I. Her connection to Sangamon County, however is tenuous. See World War I memorial, First Street and North Grand Avenue, … Continue reading

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