Category Archives: Springfield

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

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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, 1830-2020

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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Levi Ellis: First resident of Springfield?

Several accounts suggest that Levi Ellis (c.1791-1857) may have been the first European to set up residence in what is now the city of Springfield, a designation often attributed to Elisha Kelly and his relatives. Ellis, born in South Carolina, … Continue reading

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Enos Park neighborhood (Fever River)

The Enos Park neighborhood, north of downtown, is one of five areas of Springfield that have been exhaustively studied by Fever River Research. The resulting reports  are extraordinarily informative historical and archaeological analyses. (The Enos Park report formerly was available online; … Continue reading

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Federal court opinion on commission government (1987)

U.S. Judge Harold Baker ruled on Jan. 12, 1987, that the effect of commission government in the city of Springfield had been to “submerge” African Americans as a voting minority and had made it practically impossible for a black person … Continue reading

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