Category Archives: Journalism

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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Under the Gas-Light: Or Lights and Shadows in the State Capital of Illinois

Under the Gas-Light: Or Lights and Shadows in the State Capital of Illinois (1879) is a collection of 31 essays originallywritten as “Rambles” in the Sangamo Monitor, a Springfield newspaper published from the 1870s into the 1890s. The writer of the … Continue reading

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Road lane striping plan, 1921

The editors of the June 5, 1921, Illinois State Journal endorsed a provocative new idea: Painting a line down the middle of roads — well, at least on the curves — to keep drivers on their own sides. Here is … Continue reading

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Thornton Walker

Thornton Walker* (1912-45) was the Illinois State Journal’s part-time aviation columnist during the 1930s. A Flickr page set up by his son-in-law, Bill Strouse, contains many photos of Southwest Airport, along with reproductions of some of Walker’s columns for the Journal. … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport was dedicated, under its original name of Capital Airport, on Nov. 2, 1947. The ceremony culminated a nearly decade-long effort to build a new airport, an initiative sparked when the two airlines that previously served Springfield … Continue reading

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Desegregation of the Illinois State Armory

Springfield journalist and activist Simeon Osby  (1909-93) was among a group of African Americans who forced indifferent white officials to open all seating areas in the Illinois State Armory to anyone. Previously, blacks had been relegated to upper areas of … Continue reading

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Honor Book of Sangamon County, Illinois, 1917-19

The Honor Book of Sangamon County is reporter Nellie Browne Duff‘s compilation of information on every county resident who, in one fashion or another, overseas or on the home front, contributed to the U.S. effort in World War I. Nearly … Continue reading

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Nellie Browne Duff

Nellie Browne Duff  (1888-1971) was a reporter, screenwriter, veterans’ advocate, aviatrix and provocateur in Springfield from 1917 until the late 1920s. She later moved to the Bellingham, Wash., area, where she apparently continued with some of the same pursuits. Duff … Continue reading

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Funeral of President Lincoln (sketch)

Illustrator William Waud and his brother Alfred, both born in London, covered the Civil War for Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and the New York Illustrated News.  William Waud then followed the Abraham Lincoln funeral train across country. His … Continue reading

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