Category Archives: State government

Illinois Executive Mansion, 1860 (lithograph)

The Illinois Executive Mansion is one of the three oldest continuously occupied governor’s mansions in the U.S. Since the lithograph above was done, the mansion has lost the cupola, the columns on the entrance portico and the balconies. (Reprinted in The … Continue reading

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Illinois governors (list)

Bruce Rauner, a Republican, is the 42nd governor of Illinois. Brief biographical information on the 41 previous governors is available on the website of the National Governors Association. Previous governors, with party affiliation and years in office (reverse order) Patrick … Continue reading

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Illinois State Arsenal (1903)

President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the new Illinois State Arsenal  at Second and Monroe streets on June 4, 1903. The structure, designed by Bullard & Bullard architects and built at a cost of $150,000 by the Culver Stone and Marble Co., … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Amusements, Buildings, Celebrations, Disasters, Lincoln, Abraham, Military, Museums, Race riot of 1908, Sports and recreation, State government | 4 Comments

Illinois State Library, circa 1900 (photo)

The Illinois State Library was founded in 1839 by then-Secretary of State Stephen Douglas, who reserved space for it next to his new office in what is now the Old Capitol State Historic Site. Abraham Lincoln, who used the library … Continue reading

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Gov. Joel Matteson mansion

Springfield’s most elaborate early dwelling was that of former governor Joel Matteson (1808-73; governor, 1853-57). Matteson had moved into the then-new Executive Mansion during his gubernatorial term, but found it to be “dull and unfashionable.” So, Paul Angle reported in … Continue reading

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Northern Cross Railroad

The Northern Cross Railroad, the first railroad in Illinois, briefly operated from Springfield to Meredosia, giving central Illinois long-coveted access to the Illinois River and then the Mississippi. The line was one of eight railroads called for in the state’s … Continue reading

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Margaret Cross Norton

Margaret Cross Norton (1891-1984) was a groundbreaking archivist of public records, both as a woman and as an innovator and visionary. A graduate of the University of Chicago (bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history) and the New York Library School, … Continue reading

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Barack Obama in Springfield

President Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator, representing a Chicago district in Springfield, from 1997 to 2004. As a U.S. senator from 2005 to 2009, he also visited Springfield several times. Notably, he was one of the speakers, with … Continue reading

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Adlai Stevenson II in Springfield

As Robert Howard pointed out in his Illinois: History of the Prairie State, most biographers of Adlai Stevenson II (1900-65) “concentrate on the presidential campaigns and United Nations career,” not Stevenson’s single term as Illinois governor. Stevenson, who grew up … Continue reading

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House

The Dana-Thomas House, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was built at 301 E. Lawrence Ave. for Springfield hostess Susan Lawrence Dana. Dana gave Wright his first “open checkbook” commission, and the result, as described by the Springfield Historic Sites … Continue reading

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