Category Archives: Uncategorized

Memorial Pool

On June 16, 1928, a crowd of about 750 people attended the grand opening of Soldiers’ and Sailors Memorial Pool on Springfield’s north end. The pool was named to honor all U.S. service personnel who perished in wars spanning the … Continue reading

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Gov. Len Small arrested, 1921

The Aug. 9, 1921, arrest of Gov. Len Small for alleged corruption created a daylong drama in Springfield. It was performed on three stages: the Capitol, the governor’s mansion and the Sangamon County Courthouse. Stars included Small, county Sheriff Henry … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Illinois capital, Law enforcement, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Spectacles, State government, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lincoln Tomb streetcar line (1880)

The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is a mile-and-a-half from downtown Springfield. That distance isn’t a problem in the 21st century, but it was a considerable obstacle when the tomb was new 150 years earlier. Distance was a big reason … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Germans, Historic Sites, Lincoln Tomb, Prominent figures, Transportation, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Lincoln Tomb statuary (added 1931)

The statuettes inside the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site were supposed to be urns. And the Gutzon Borglum bust just outside the tomb – the one people rub the nose of – was supposed to be indoors. The interior of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Historic Sites, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Museums, National Register, Presidents, Prominent figures, State government, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Strawbridge-Shepherd House

Thomas Strawbridge Jr. (1798-1880) was born in County Donegal, Ireland, one of seven children of Thomas and Jane Mitchell Strawbridge. Thomas’ mother died in May 1809, when Thomas was only 11 years old. The year following her death, the Strawbridge … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Architecture, Buildings, Early residents, Farming, Historic Sites, National Register, Prominent figures, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

First Black U of I trustee

John J. Bird became the first African-American trustee of the University of Illinois more than a decade before the school even had any Black students. Bird’s tombstone in Oak Ridge Cemetery doesn’t mention that distinction, but its text does include … Continue reading

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Making bread, 1819

Even the most necessary tasks were a struggle for the first European residents of Sangamon County. Take baking bread, for instance, as described in the History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County (1876) by John Carroll Power (1819-94); the … Continue reading

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Sherwood subdivision

“A home in Sherwood is an investment in happiness,” Vredenburgh Lumber Co. promised when it marketed its new development in the 1960s. It was an effective pitch: In 2022, Sherwood was the largest single-family-home subdivision in Springfield. Sherwood’s 656 homes … Continue reading

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Edward Baxter (sheriff)

Edward Baxter was Sangamon County sheriff from 1894 to 1898. See Pawnee posse captures burglars, 1899.

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171 Springfield grocery stores, 1917 (list)

In February 1917, Quaker Oats partnered with Pettijohn’s Breakfast Food (Pettijohn’s made a wheat bran cereal that, like oatmeal, needed to be cooked) to offer a deal to Springfield households: anyone who sent in trademarks from the two cereals could … Continue reading

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