Category Archives: State government

Willard Ice, ‘Mr. Revenue’

Willard Ice (1915-80) was an attorney and public servant at the Illinois Department of Revenue for more than 30 years, including a brief period as revenue director.  The Revenue Department’s headquarters in Springfield is named after Ice, commemorating his contributions … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Illinois capital, Prominent figures, State government | 3 Comments

Stephen A. Douglas’ missing finger

Before he was Abraham Lincoln’s foil in the 1858 contest for U.S. Senate in Illinois and then for the presidency in 1860, Stephen A. Douglas was a regular presence and sometime resident in Springfield. Douglas also was, briefly, Lincoln’s rival … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Lincoln, Abraham, Politics, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

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 | 8 Comments

Executive Mansion demolition plan, 1963

Postponed maintenance, repair crises and general dilapidation have been recurring problems at the Illinois Executive Mansion – most recently in 2014 and 2015, when a leaky roof and mold in the basement helped create a need for more than $5 … Continue reading

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Suicide of Secretary of State Harry Woods, 1914

Springfield and Illinois as a whole were shocked when the news broke Oct. 12, 1914 that Secretary of State Harry Woods had shot himself in the garage of his home at 628 S. Walnut St. Woods, 51, had been dead … Continue reading

Posted in Law enforcement, Politics, Prominent figures, State government | 2 Comments

Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum began, unlikely as it seems, in New Harmony, Ind. Former museum director R. Bruce McMillan described the quandary that faced Illinois’ first state geologist in his article on the museum’s centennial , “The First Century,” published … Continue reading

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The Payne Stone Age Collection

Edward W. Payne (1857-1932), a Springfield banker and property investor, amassed a huge collection of stone relics — most, though not all, from pre-Columbian America — with the intention of building a museum to house them. At his death, however, … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum controversies

Design and construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum took years and involved a variety of political squabbles and maneuvering. If politics could have been put aside, the facility would have been completed much sooner. Of course, since … Continue reading

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U.S. Senators with Sangamon County links

Note: The following list of U.S. senators with connections to Sangamon County does not include those who lived here solely because of their involvement in state government or politics.  *Ninian Edwards (senator from 1818 to 1824): Edwards, who was territorial … Continue reading

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