Category Archives: State government

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

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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Ku Klux Klan, 1920s

The high point of Ku Klux Klan activity in Sangamon County probably was a parade from the Statehouse to the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Oct. 11, 1924. About 2,000 Klan members participated in the march, the Illinois State Journal reported … Continue reading

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Destruction of the Lincoln Tomb sarcophagus

How did the marble sarcophagus that covered the coffin of Abraham Lincoln in the early years of the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site come to be broken?  Was it a workmen’s accident? Or was it done on purpose by souvenir … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Museums, State government | 2 Comments

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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Women’s suffrage in Illinois

A carefully calibrated legislative strategy in Springfield led to Illinois becoming, in 1913, the first state east of the Mississippi to grant women the right to vote. On June 10, 1919, the state then became the first in the nation … Continue reading

Posted in Illinois capital, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts, State government, Women | 5 Comments

Hall of Flags

Memorial Hall — still better known as the Hall of Flags, even though the flags have been gone for more than a decade — is the grand vestibule of the State of Illinois’ Michael J. Howlett Building, itself originally called … Continue reading

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Archer Herndon (1828 pioneers)

Archer G. Herndon Sr. (1795-1867) was one of the “Long Nine,” including Abraham Lincoln, who are credited with persuading the Illinois legislature to move the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield in 1837. Archer Herndon also was the father of William … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, Hotels & taverns, Illinois capital, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Maps, Politics, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Illinois Capitol Complex

Nine major buildings make up the heart of what is known as the Capitol Complex – the Statehouse and surrounding state government structures. Included are: *The Capitol itself *The Michael J. Howlett Building (formerly the Centennial Building), south of the … Continue reading

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Illinois Capitol

Today’s Illinois Capitol is the sixth building to have been so designated. The state rented the first, a two-story brick building in Kaskaskia, the first capital, for $4 a day. The next three capitols were in Vandalia, where the capital … Continue reading

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