Category Archives: Social services

Sangamon County Poor Farm

Sangamon County first created a home to care for the poor, feeble, disabled and mentally ill in 1851, four years after famed social reformer Dorothea Dix wrote a scathing commentary about the county’s practice of keeping paupers and the insane in the … Continue reading

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Springfield Library Association

The forerunner of today’s Lincoln Library was the Springfield Library Association, a private library supported by membership dues and donation. (Lincoln Library, Springfield’s public library, should not be confused with the state-operated Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.) But even its creation, … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Brown Ide

Elizabeth Brown Ide (1873-1978), who was born into money and married more, could have been merely a socialite. Instead, she became Springfield’s most prominent children’s advocate during the early 20th century. Ide’s parents were Christopher Brown and Caroline Owsley Brown, … Continue reading

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Women’s literary clubs

The literary club movement began early in the 19th century as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. The first recorded occurrence was a lecture series started in Milbury, Mass., in 1826. By 1834, 3,000 groups had been organized to listen … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Arts and letters, Lindsay, Vachel, Prominent figures, Social services, Springfield Survey, Women | 4 Comments

Illinois Agricultural Works

The Illinois Agricultural Works, founded in 1882, had a farm implement plant at 10th and South streets for a few years. However, it is most notable because of its status as an early, failed business venture of the later cereal … Continue reading

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Fire escape hazards, 1914 (Springfield Survey photo)

The Springfield Survey was a massive study of local schools, prisons, and other institutions undertaken in 1914 by the Russell Sage Foundation with the help of hundreds of local volunteers. Topics covered included schools, care of “mental defectives, the insane … Continue reading

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Franciscan Life Center (Franciscan motherhouse)

The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, who have served the sick in central Illinois since 1875, have their headquarters on a 300-acre site northeast of Springfield. The order of Roman Catholic nuns purchased the property (then 500 acres) in 1917 … Continue reading

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Child and Family Service of Sangamon County

Child and Family Service was created when the Family Welfare Association and the Springfield Day Nursery merged into the existing Children’s Service League in 1953. The Colored Children’s Service Bureau joined CFS in 1959, and the name was changed to … Continue reading

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Family Service Center

The original progenitor of the Family Service Center, 730 E. Vine St., was the Home for the Friendless, a residential facility for children and destitute women that was created in 1863. The home operated at Seventh Street and South Grand … Continue reading

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Children’s Service Bureau

The Children’s Service League originated as the Children’s Bureau, a subdivision of the Family Welfare Association, in 1925, but soon became an independent entity. In 1928, the Children’s Bureau merged with the Home for the Friendless to become the Children’s … Continue reading

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