Category Archives: Springfield

Nelson Howarth (Springfield mayor)

Nelson Howarth (1911-91) was the colorful, combative mayor of Springfield for three terms between 1955 and 1971. During his administrations, Springfield was named an All American city, city boundaries were greatly expanded, and the city initiated construction of a new … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Lincoln Home, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Springfield | 4 Comments

Sangamon County/Springfield timeline, 1818-1840

The following timeline is taken from a handout distributed by Melinda Garvert for a talk she presented at the Iles House on Feb. 17, 2015. Reprinted with permission. 1818 —  Illinois becomes the 21st state in the union due to … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, Illinois capital, Local government, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Springfield, State government | 14 Comments

The Historic Preservation Association of Springfield

Note: This post has been revised by the author. By the middle 1980s, the preservation of historically and architecturally significant buildings had become the subject of growing attention in Springfield. This attention reflected national trends, as well as regret over … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Historic Sites, Local government, National Register, Springfield | 3 Comments

A.J. Liebling on Lincoln’s presence in Springfield (1950)

A.J. Liebling (1904-63), noted essayist and press critic for The New Yorker magazine, visited Springfield in 1950 for the first article in a New Yorker series on the Lincoln tradition. Among those Liebling interviewed were George “Gib” Bunn Jr., Gertrude … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Lincoln, Abraham, Prominent figures, Springfield | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Hawthorne Place

The developers of the Hawthorne Place subdivision were ahead of their time. Its construction, starting in 1902, triggered Springfield’s suburban growth and created new ways of living for residents of the city. Hawthorne Place, which takes in Whittier, Lowell and … Continue reading

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Population changes, 1830-2010

Below are U.S. Census population figures for Sangamon County as a whole beginning in 1830 and for the city of Springfield alone beginning in 1840. (The 1830 Census did not separate out figures for individual communities.) Racial designations below are … Continue reading

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Springfield mayors

Springfield was incorporated as a village on April 2,, 1832. For the next eight years, it was governed by a village president and board of trustees. (Dates below refer to election or appointment dates.) Village presidents Charles R. Matheny, 1832-39 … Continue reading

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1850s Springfield, in four mysterious paintings

The four paintings below show all four sides of the Springfield square in the late 1840s or early 1850s. They are unusual in two ways: their perspective, presumably from the cupola of what now is the Old State Capitol; and … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Historic Sites, Histories, Hotels & taverns, Illustrations, Maps, Photos and photosets, Prominent figures, Springfield, State government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Early Springfield (Barringer map)

The map at right was created for Dr. Floyd Barringer’s 1971 booklet Tour of Historic Springfield. Fever River Research, in its  Aristocracy Hill  and Enos Park surveys, along with its archaeological survey prior to construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Fever River, Historic Sites, Histories, Maps, Native Americans, Springfield, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Andrew Elliott (1828 pioneers)

Andrew Elliott (1792-1864) kept what John Carroll Power called the first hotel in Springfield. However, his main claim to (probably apocryphal) fame was as the guide who secured the county seat for Springfield. According to Power, Elliott, originally from North … Continue reading

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