Category Archives: Sangamon County

Dick Sullivan, political ‘boss’

Dick Sullivan, reputed to be Sangamon County’s behind-the-scenes political master for the first two decades of the 20th century, died in a violent train collision in New York state in 1923. Richard M. Sullivan (1874-1923), his wife Clara (1875-1923), their … Continue reading

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Illinois State Fair crisis, 1922-23

The big question after the 1922 Illinois State Fair was whether there would be another one in 1923. On one level, the problem involved ownership of the fairgrounds. When Sangamon County turned the former site of the county fair over … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Historic Sites, Illinois State Fair, Local government, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, State government | Leave a comment

Sangamon County Detention Home, 1916

The Sangamon County Detention Home was created with two goals: to be both an alternative to jail for the county’s youngest delinquents and a refuge for neglected or abandoned children. It wasn’t a perfect solution to either problem, but it … Continue reading

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Sangamon County and Springfield, 1847 (J.H. Buckingham)

In the summer of 1847, writer J.H. Buckingham traveled by stagecoach between Peoria and Springfield in the company of “two members of Congress from the state of Illinois, one Whig and one Locofoco.” The Whig was Abraham Lincoln. Here is … Continue reading

Posted in Histories, Sangamon County, Springfield | 1 Comment

Old Capitol restoration, 1960s

Before the Old State Capitol was restored to the way it looked in the 1850s, the building housed Springfield’s public restrooms. You could tell by the odor. Earl “Wally” Henderson (1931-2016), co-founder with Don Ferry of the Ferry & Henderson … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, First Citizens, Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Local government, Museums, National Register, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, State government | Leave a comment

World War I memorial (new)

An obelisk bearing the names of 113 Sangamon Countians who died of wounds or disease in World War I was created in the early 2000s by John Kerasotes, a member of Springfield’s pioneering movie theater family. Kerasotes, however, remained anonymous, … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Local government, Markers, Military, Sangamon County, Women | Leave a comment

Family life at the Sangamon County Poor Farm

My grandparents on my mother’s side, Charles and Amy Reed, were superintendent and matron of the Sangamon County Poor Farm from 1915 to 1927. They had eight children, and my mother was the youngest. They moved into the poor farm … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Family life, Sangamon County | 4 Comments

Hangings in Sangamon County, 1826-1927

  Sangamon County put to death seven men, all convicted of murder, between 1826, five years after the county was established, and 1927, when a new state law required executions to be carried out in state prisons. Those hanged were: … Continue reading

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The whipping post, 1828-37

A whipping post stood permanently on the northeast corner of Springfield’s public square from 1828 to 1837. It apparently was used infrequently, but often enough that whippings stuck in the minds of those who saw them. The post – which … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Early residents, Illinois capital, Law enforcement, Local government, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Women’s vote history, Sangamon County

Following the Civil War, Illinoisans decided their state constitution needed updating. Delegates met in Springfield from December 1869 until May 1870, and one of the issues they debated was whether to allow universal suffrage. The 15th amendment to the U.S. … Continue reading

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