Author Archives: editor

The Lemon Jelly Cake (Madeline Babcock Smith)

Madeline Babcock Smith earned her spot in the literary limelight. But she never got to enjoy it. Smith’s first novel, The Lemon Jelly Cake, published Aug. 4, 1952, “enjoyed an immediate and astounding success,” Dan Guillory wrote in his introduction … Continue reading

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Homer Ellis, photographer (Springfield Survey)

Research by SangamonLink may have solved a minor historical mystery: the name of the photographer whose images illustrate the 1914 Springfield Survey. The survey was a massive study of the city’s economic, cultural, charitable and municipal institutions, an effort so … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Illustrations, Media, Photos and photosets, Springfield Survey | Leave a comment

Lithuanian-American war casualties (WW I&II)

A long-vanished plaque inside a demolished Catholic church once memorialized eight Lithuanian-American soldiers who died in uniform during World Wars I and II. The plaque hung in St. Vincent de Paul Church, the last “national church” – churches that predominantly … Continue reading

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Springfield postal service/postmasters

Receiving mail was a hit-or-miss proposition before Springfield got its first post office, and it wasn’t a picnic afterwards, either. The Springfield post office will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2023. The first postmaster was pioneer storekeeper Elijah Iles. The … Continue reading

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Mazeppa (vanished town)

Long before there was any Ukrainian presence to speak of in Sangamon County, there was a town with a Ukrainian name. The town of Mazeppa stood for a few years after 1837 in what is now Ball Township, on the … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Early residents, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Carl T. Meyer, architect

In 1927, the Illinois State Register called Springfield architect Carl Theodore Meyer “one of the younger-and progressive-generation of architects, a man who has carved a credible niche for himself in local construction.” Meyer, just 32, had already completed several commissions. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Local government, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Theaters | Leave a comment

Bando (a railroad story)

The only place in the United States named “Bando” is in Sangamon County. If you want to visit it from Springfield, you won’t have to go far. From Stuart Park on the city’s northwest edge, follow the trail that curves … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Maps, Railroads, Transportation | Leave a comment

Moose Club ‘athletic show,’ 1914 (Springfield Survey)

In March 1914, a couple of social survey experts attended a so-called “athletic show” put on by the Springfield Moose Club. The two – apparently Lee F. Hanmer and Clarence Arthur Perry of the New York-based Russell Sage Foundation – … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Social life, Spectacles, Sports and recreation, Springfield Survey | Leave a comment

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame members, Sangamon County

The Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame includes plaques for a dozen – or so, depending on how you count them – inductees from Williamsville to Divernon in Sangamon County. U.S. Route 66, “the Mother Road,” probably the most famous … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Hotels & taverns, Maps, Markers, Museums, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Route 66, State government, Transportation | Leave a comment

Dick Sullivan, political ‘boss’

Dick Sullivan, reputed to be Sangamon County’s behind-the-scenes political master for the first two decades of the 20th century, died in a violent train collision in New York state in 1923. Richard M. Sullivan (1874-1923), his wife Clara (1875-1923), their … Continue reading

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