Category Archives: Coal mines and mining

Divernon school photos, 1920s

The above photos of Divernon school students were provided by John Faber. Students’ identifications (except for a few relatives of Mr. Faber) are not available. Divernon opened its first school in 1887, but school enrollment began to jump after the … Continue reading

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The Coal Palace

Sangamon County showed off its most valuable mineral by building a “grand coal palace” for the 1889 county fair. The idea for the palace apparently originated with an unidentified Illinois State Journal staff member only two weeks before the scheduled … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Architecture, Buildings, Business, Coal mines and mining, Industry, Labor unions, Spectacles | Leave a comment

The Political Rise of the Adamitis & Yacubasky Families

From Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois The story goes that for decades, Republican Party leader Don “Doc” Adams (Lith. Adomaitis) of Springfield exercised significant patronage power in both the public and private sectors. When Doc died in 2011 at age 75, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | 2 Comments

Sangamon County Lithuanians in World War I

More than 50,000 Lithuanian-Americans fought for the United States in World War I. This remarkable number was later leveraged to lobby U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the newly independent Lithuanian state that emerged from the War’s aftermath. The vast … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Ethnic groups, Lithuanians, Military | 3 Comments

Duncan McDonald

Duncan McDonald (1873-1965), while not as well-known as John L. Lewis, was almost certainly more principled as both a United Mine Workers leader and a politician. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s Chronicling Illinois collection characterizes McDonald’s labor career this way: … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Business, Coal mines and mining, Lincoln, Abraham, Politics, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, Springfield Survey | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Spaulding (village)

The village of Spaulding, off Illinois 54 east of Springfield, got its name from a mammoth nursery and orchard. In central Illinois, the name Spaulding today is synonymous with Lake Springfield and City Water, Light and Power. But before Willis … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Business, Coal mines and mining, Communities, Farming, Prominent figures | 6 Comments

St. Vincent de Paul Church

The story of Lithuanians in Springfield began with young Lithuanian men who first sought work in the coal mines, then returned home and bought land, started families and hoped for a better future. Other Lithuanian miners, however, remained transients for … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Coal mines and mining, Communities, Ethnic groups, Lithuanians | 1 Comment

The Cara-Sel Lounge

One of the more colorful Lithuanian-American businesses in Springfield was the Cara-Sel Lounge, Seventh Street and North Grand Ave, operated for 17 years by Tony and Carol Yuscius. Tony (1923-2009) was the son of Lithuanian-born Joseph and Marcella (Radavich) Yuscius. … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Business, Coal mines and mining, Ethnic groups, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Restaurants | Leave a comment

Progressive Mine Workers Auxiliary march, 1933

One of the signal events of the struggle between the United Mine Workers of American and the insurgent Progressive Miners of America union was a march by the PMA Women’s Auxiliary to the Statehouse on Jan. 25, 1933. See Coal … Continue reading

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Andrew train bombing, 1933

The bombing of a Chicago & Illinois Midland railroad train at Andrew on Feb. 24, 1933, was one of the most serious of the bombings aimed at coal haulers during the central Illinois mine union war of the early 1930s. … Continue reading

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