Author Archives: editor

A&P supermarkets

A&P was the first grocery chain to label its Springfield stores “supermarkets.” One A&P on South Grand Avenue was converted to the supermarket concept in April 1940. A second A&P at Fifth and Mason streets was the first local store … Continue reading

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Moran Market

Moran Market (also known as Moran’s Market) was the first self-service grocery store in Springfield. More here.

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First self-service grocery (1918), first supermarket (1940)

The opening of Springfield’s first self-service grocery in March 1918 meant lower prices – thanks to the layoffs of three clerks. The innovator was Moran Market on the northwest corner of Eighth and Washington streets, whose manager, Clyde McElroy, announced … Continue reading

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William Ide (Bear Flag Rebellion)

William Ide, who lived in Sangamon County for six years, traveled on to California in 1845 and became the leader of Americans who challenged Mexican rule in what was called the Bear Flag Rebellion. More information.

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William Todd (Bear Flag Rebellion)

William Todd of Springfield emigrated to California in 1845 and later designed the flag of the short-lived California Republic. More information. 

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William Ide, William Todd and California’s Bear Flag rebellion

Two former Sangamon County residents played key roles in the rebellion that overturned Mexican rule in California in  1846. William B. Ide (1796-1852), was the rebellion’s leader and military commander. William L. Todd (1818-1876), one of Ide’s soldiers, helped create … Continue reading

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World War I memorial (new)

An obelisk bearing the names of 113 Sangamon Countians who died of wounds or disease in World War I was created in the early 2000s by John Kerasotes, a member of Springfield’s pioneering movie theater family. Kerasotes, however, remained anonymous, … Continue reading

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William Fetzer & Co.

William Fetzer & Co. was a farm equipment manufacturer in Springfield from 1908 to 1918. The firm’s move to Springfield from Ohio was a major boost for development of the Harvard Park subdivision. See Harvard Park.

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Harvard Park

The person who named Harvard Park, one of Springfield’s largest early subdivisions, won $100 in a contest sponsored by the Springfield Improvement Association. He or she – the winner, one of 570 entrants, asked to remain anonymous – promptly donated … Continue reading

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Fred R. Coats Co.

This entry has been updated and expanded. Fred R. Coats deserves to be ranked with Robert Lanphier, John W. Hobbs and the Weaver brothers among Springfield’s top industrialists and innovators. Coats (1865-1951), born in Bennington, N.Y., came to Springfield with … Continue reading

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