Category Archives: Depression

‘Lawsonomy’ in Springfield

Lawsonomy was the general term for a system of philosophy, physics and economics created and promoted by an ex-baseball player and aircraft developer named Alfred W. Lawson (1869-1954). Lawsonomy’s political and economic offshoot was the Direct Credits Society, which, according … Continue reading

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St. Barbara Slovenian Catholic Church

St. Barbara Church, 15th and Laurel streets, was Springfield’s Slovenian Catholic parish from 1911 until 1947. Thirty-seven Slovenian residents of the Springfield area – many of them coal miners – formed a Slovenian Church Building Association in 1909, each pledging … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Churches, Depression, Labor unions, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | 9 Comments

The Payne Stone Age Collection

Edward W. Payne (1857-1932), a Springfield banker and property investor, amassed a huge collection of stone relics — most, though not all, from pre-Columbian America — with the intention of building a museum to house them. At his death, however, … Continue reading

Posted in Depression, Historic Sites, Museums, Native Americans, Prehistory, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Central Illinois Public Service Co.

The utility company now part of the utility conglomerate Ameren Illinois was founded in Mattoon as an electric streetcar line in 1902. The firm eventually moved into other businesses — electric generation and distribution and delivery of  natural gas, water … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Business, Department stores, Depression, Industry | 4 Comments

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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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.

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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 , | 24 Comments

Bank run of 1932 (George Bunn Jr. memoir)

George “Gib” Bunn Jr. remembered Springfield’s banking crisis of December 1932 in an oral interview conducted in 1973. The interviewer was John Bucari. Below is an edited transcript of the section of the interview dealing with the failure of the … Continue reading

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