Category Archives: Coal mines and mining

Edris Mabie shooting, 1935

Edris Mabie (1894-1935) was a Progressive Miners of America activist who was shot to death at Sixth and Washington streets in Springfield on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1935. See Coal mine union war.

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Depression | Tagged | Leave a comment

Coal miner union war, 1932-37

A bitter battle between rival coal mine unions, a battle that began and effectively ended in Springfield, led to strikes, bombings, street riots and at least six killings in Sangamon County in the 1930s. The United Mine Workers of America, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Depression, Law enforcement, Prominent figures | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Lithuanian marker, Enos Park

Drawn by coal mine jobs, several thousand Lithuanians emigrated to Sangamon County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Enough of the immigrants had arrived by 1908 that they laid the cornerstone for  their own national Catholic church, St. … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Coal mines and mining, Ethnic groups, Lithuanians | Tagged | Leave a comment

Harry Loper (1908 race riot)

Harry Loper, a successful white restaurateur, owned one of the few motorcars in Springfield in 1908. So when Sangamon County Sheriff Charles Werner wanted to move two black accused murderers out of the county jail before a white mob stormed … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Coal mines and mining, Disasters, Prominent figures, Race riot of 1908 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sangamon County geology

Dr. A.R. Crook, curator of the Illinois State Museum of Natural History, analyzed the geology of Sangamon County in a 1912 pamphlet. It included the following description of the soil and rock layers underlying the county down to about 1,700 … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Sangamon County, Soil | Leave a comment

Police Officer Porter Williams, 1916 (photo)

Porter Williams held the rank of detective sergeant in the Springfield Police Department when he was shot to death during rioting by coal miners on Sept. 25, 1932. Williams’ killer was never identified. The Springfield Police Department now sponsors the … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Law enforcement, Photos and photosets, Springfield | Tagged | Leave a comment


Pawnee Township saw some of Sangamon County’s earliest European settlers, with Justus Henkle apparently being the first in 1818. He was followed by a number of other settlers from St. Clair County. The new families encountered Kickapoo and Pottawatomie Indians, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Communities, Early residents, Industry, Transportation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Coal mining fatalities

Several hundred coal miners and mine workers lost their lives in Sangamon County mines through 1930, according to the website Wayne’s World of History and Genealogy, created by Wayne Hinton. The information, which is footnoted, is taken from annual Illinois coal … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Disasters | Tagged | Leave a comment


According to Divernon: Its Place in Time, a centennial history written by David Brady in 2000, the village of Divernon began as one of four depots on a Litchfield-to-Springfield railroad formally known as the St. Louis & Chicago Railway Co. Informally, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Communities | Tagged | 8 Comments

Park Sherman Company

The Park Sherman Company operated in Springfield from the early 1930s, when founder Jacob Sherman bought a plant formerly operated by the Springfield-based Shanklin Manufacturing Co.,  until 1960. Shanklin Manufacturing, 2725 S. 11th St., had been founded by George Shanklin, … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Coal mines and mining, Industry | Tagged , | 50 Comments