Author Archives: editor

V.Y. Dallman, newspaperman

Vincent Young “V.Y.” Dallman (1873-1964) was the epitome of an old-school newsman. Though he didn’t have a college degree, Dallman worked for the Illinois State Register for almost 70 years, rising through the ranks from newsboy (a job he got … Continue reading

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“The Gay ’90s” in Springfield

In 1943, V.Y. Dallman, longtime editor and columnist for the Illinois State Register, published a three-part reminiscence of the “Gay ‘90s” – at least, as they were experienced by Springfield’s upper crust. The series was written by a certified member … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Celebrations, Histories, Military, Prominent figures, Social life, Sports and recreation, Women | Leave a comment

Springfield hotels turn away Black singing group, 1881

Springfield hotels refused to house America’s best-known Black choral group in 1881. The result was nationwide condemnation, a rebuke from President James A. Garfield, and a scramble by embarrassed local residents to repair the city’s reputation. The group was the … Continue reading

Posted in Abolitionism, African Americans, Amusements, Arts and letters, Hotels & taverns, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, Social life | 3 Comments

‘A Palatial Barroom’ (1898)

When Harry Lane opened his new saloon at 415 E. Washington St. in 1898, he wanted you to know: It was no bucket of blood. Rough-and-tumble tipplers patronized the workingmen’s bars (and worse) that lined the streets of “the Levee” … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Buildings, Business, Crime and vice, Hotels & taverns, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Firefighter deaths on duty

At least 13* Springfield firefighters have died in the line of duty since the city created a professional fire department in the late 1860s. In order, they were: George Schevers (1860-Jan. 11, 1905). Schevers, fire chief at the time, was … Continue reading

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Elevator Milling Co. fire, 1927

As many as 5,000 people stood in pouring rain the evening of April 8, 1927, watching as a historic grain mill and elevator went up in flames across from the Third Street railroad station. The massive blaze destroyed 45,000 bushels … Continue reading

Posted in Auto dealers, Buildings, Business, Disasters, Fires, Industry, Mills, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Piggly Wiggly/Eisner grocery stores

“The Pig” sold its last pork chop on Nov. 11, 1951. That was the date when Springfield’s 11 Piggly Wiggly stores became Eisner Food Stores. “Frankly, we shall feel a measure of relief in being no longer referred to as … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Prominent figures | 3 Comments

Coney Island restaurant

On a sunny April day in 1989, hungry Springfieldians lined up to savor a hot dog from the Coney Island Restaurant at 114 N. Sixth St.  The line, which wrapped around the block, included citizens from all walks of life, … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Celebrations, Ethnic groups, Greeks, Prominent figures, Restaurants | 2 Comments

Sangamo Club

The very first Sangamo Club boasted a technological marvel: a telephone that could be raised and lowered between the first and second floors. The Sangamo Club, founded in 1890, closed, apparently permanently, in June 2023. Over 133 years in existence, … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Buildings, Prominent figures, Social life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Grunendike delivery prank, 1936

The deliveries began at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1936. One after another, merchants, tradesmen, delivery people and cab drivers, even a veterinarian,  knocked on the door of the Grunendike home at 500 S. Sixth St. They brought cakes, … Continue reading

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