Category Archives: Uncategorized

Carnegie library pillars

The five limestone columns that face the courtyard of the Washington Park Horticulture Center make up the last exterior remains of Springfield’s old Carnegie library. Andrew Carnegie paid part of the construction cost of the old library, which opened in … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Parks, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

‘The Big Tent Theatre’, 1936

The Big Tent Theatre, one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Depression-relief programs, played to packed houses at West Grand Avenue (today’s MacArthur Boulevard) and Outer Park Drive in 1936. The Big Tent was formally part of the Federal Theatre Project, which … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Arts and letters, Depression, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A.L. Bowen, newspaperman & social service leader

A.L. (the initials stood for Archibald Leonard) Bowen traded careers between newspapering and social services, and he reached the top in both endeavors. Read about him in SangamonLink’s entry about the Palace Hotel.

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The Palace Hotel

In the late 1800s, Springfield’s Palace Hotel had a great location at Fourth and Washington streets, a half-block from the Chicago & Alton railroad station (today’s Amtrak station). For a while, the Palace was one of the city’s premier hostelries. … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Hotels & taverns, Illinois capital, Prominent figures, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

John Hancock, early poet

In at least one scholar’s opinion, Springfield storekeeper John Hancock was “the finest poet of the frontier, in not only Illinois but the entire Midwest.” See “Huyler’s Ghost,” a poem by “H.”, 1832. 

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Col. Henry Davis

Col. Henry Davis built the 18-room mansion that housed the Mary Bryant Home for 23 years. See Mary Bryant Home.

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Mary Bryant Home

The genesis of Springfield’s Mary Bryant Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired was the meager life savings of a blind woman who understood the need for a safe home. Mary Bryant, born in Chicago in 1854, lost her sight … Continue reading

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The Kohlrus family

Josef Kohlrus and his sons operated Kohlrus & Sons grocery, later succeeded by Kohlrus Catering, at 1512 N. 15th St. from the 1930s until 1968. See Danube Swabians in Sangamon County.

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Elijah E. Myers, architect

Elijah E. Myers, who began his career in Springfield, was one of America’s foremost architects of the late 19th century. He also was one of the least reputable. See Brinkerhoff Home. 

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Illinois High School Association state champions (individual)

The first Sangamon County youth to be named state champion in any sport was Springfield High School student Frank Bogardus (1874-1931), who won the “drop foot ball kick” at Illinois’ first statewide track meet in May 1893. His kick traveled … Continue reading

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