Category Archives: Prominent figures

First hunting license (1903)

The first hunting license ever issued in Sangamon County went to the father of Illinois’ hunting license law, railroad executive Horace S. Rearden. Illinois had regulated hunting since 1853, when the state made it unlawful “for any person to kill … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Animals, Prominent figures, Sports and recreation | 1 Comment

Boyhood during the Deep Snow

Zimri Enos was nine years old when the Deep Snow hit Sangamon County on Dec. 30, 1830. Snowstorms continued almost constantly for eight weeks. At its height, average snow depth was four to five feet, and the snow was accompanied … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Disasters, Early residents, Family life, Histories, Prominent figures, Social life, Uncategorized, Weather | 1 Comment

Bluford Wilson (lawyer, corruption fighter)

In his later years, Maj. Bluford Wilson was a railroad lawyer in Springfield. His spare time was consumed with church work, politics and, apparently, cultivating a luxuriant mustache. But as a young man, Wilson helped break up the Whiskey Ring, … Continue reading

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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

Shadid’s Book Mart

Shadid’s Book Mart began business at 322 S. Sixth St. on Aug. 4, 1958, after Mitchell, Woodrow and Phillip Shadid bought out the stock of a defunct book store downtown. The brothers at first called their shop the “Mag & … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Prominent figures | 6 Comments

Dismantled statues, Illinois Statehouse lawn

The statue of Pierre Menard that formerly stood on the Illinois Statehouse grounds was a gift from a citizen of Missouri. Was it a good likeness of Illinois’ first lieutenant governor? Nobody knows. The Menard statue, along with that of … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Markers, Politics, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, State government, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loomis Observatory

For 15 years early in the 20th century, one of the United States’ most sophisticated private telescope systems operated from a modest house on North First Street in Springfield. The Loomis Observatory eventually housed four telescopes – two larger scopes … Continue reading

Posted in Prominent figures, Science | 5 Comments

William Dodd Chenery, impresario

The dedication of Lake Springfield on July 12, 1935 featured an elaborate pageant involving more than 100 participants – among them city fathers who portrayed themselves in a drama depicting the planning and construction of the lake. The Illinois State … Continue reading

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Rev. Charles Dresser (Lincoln marriage, Lincoln Home)

The man who built the cottage that became the Lincoln Home also officiated the marriage of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. His life’s work, however, was formation of the church that became Springfield’s Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Rev. Charles Dresser … Continue reading

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Albert Booth family, wagon makers

The A. Booth and Son Wagon Factory once dominated the northeast corner of Eighth and Washington Streets in Springfield. The factory was built by Albert Booth (1813-1873), who moved his family from Menard to Sangamon County around 1840. He first … Continue reading

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