Category Archives: Media

Victory Loan Flying Circus, 1919

The Victory Loan Flying Circus, a barnstorming group of World War I pilots using WWI combat aircraft, put on a show for thousands of central Illinoisans in front of the Illinois State Fairgrounds Grandstand on April 15, 1919. An unbilled … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Magie (‘Monopoly’ precursor)

Elizabeth Magie, who designed the heart of what later became the board game Monopoly, spent much of her youth in Springfield. Magie (1866-1948) moved with her family to Springfield in the late 1870s, after her father, formerly a newspaper editor … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Media, Politics, Prominent figures, State government | 2 Comments

‘Poor House Rules’ — the drawings of Alfred S. Harkness

Alfred S. Harkness (1866-1941) was an artist, illustrator and engraver whose specialty — at least for part of the time he lived in Springfield — was public health illustration. Harkness had been a member of the artist staff of the … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Illustrations, Media, Medicine, Prominent figures, Public health, Social services, Springfield Survey | Leave a comment

Sheriff’s ouster, 1933

Sangamon County Sheriff Samuel T. Metcalf (1867-1945) was ousted from office in 1933 on the grounds of insanity, a condition apparently brought on by a head injury Metcalf suffered in a fistfight with an Illinois State Journal police reporter. The … Continue reading

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National Lincoln Monument Association directors, 1865

The National Lincoln Monument Association, officially organized on May 11, 1865, oversaw fundraising for and construction of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb. Although members originally planned to build the structure on land that now is the site of the Illinois Statehouse, the … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Illinois capital, John T. Stuart, Journalism, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Media, Politics, Prominent figures | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Springfield in 1912 (‘General Facts’)

Above is a page from Springfield: The Capital of the State of Illinois (1912), published by the Springfield Commercial Association, a forerunner of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps the most illuminating “general fact” to the modern reader is … Continue reading

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Police news, 1883

The following cases were all reported on Page 4 of the Oct. 7, 1883 Illinois State Journal. They give a sense of how both law enforcement and newspapers dealt with crime and court cases 130 years ago. NIGHT PROWLERS. A … Continue reading

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William Washington (African-American history interviews)

Born in Springfield, William Washington graduated from Lanphier High School and Springfield Junior College.  He held various jobs until he started the Springfield’s Voice newspaper in 1972.  In an interview for the Springfield African-American History Foundation series, Washington talked about … Continue reading

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Gambling and the Sangamon County underworld,1948

The 1948 slaying of a dice game “stickman” helped expose a Sangamon County underworld that featured wide-open gambling and, allegedly, systematic bribery of state, county and city officials. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the time had a team of reporters … Continue reading

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Guy Mathis

Guy Mathis (1866-1932) was a ground-breaking photographer and automobile entrepreneur in Springfield. Mathis is best remembered today for his photography.  In addition to opening the city’s first camera shop in the late 18990s, Mathis took hundreds of photos himself, with … Continue reading

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