Category Archives: Family life

The Lemon Jelly Cake (Madeline Babcock Smith)

Madeline Babcock Smith earned her spot in the literary limelight. But she never got to enjoy it. Smith’s first novel, The Lemon Jelly Cake, published Aug. 4, 1952, “enjoyed an immediate and astounding success,” Dan Guillory wrote in his introduction … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Children, Communities, Crime and vice, Family life, Media, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

‘Advice to Housekeepers’ (1871)

“Advice to Housekeepers” is a general introduction to Mrs. Owen’s Illinois Cook Book, compiled and written in 1871 by, apparently, Mary Hurst Owen of Springfield. (Why “apparently”? See below.) Owen (1826-1907) wrote that her  Cook Book was aimed at “middle … Continue reading

Posted in Family life, Lincoln, Abraham, Prominent figures, Women | 1 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

Posted in Children, Crime and vice, Family life, Law enforcement, Local government, Sangamon County, Social services | Leave a comment

‘The Story of the House,’ by Alice Bunn

Alice Bunn (1867-1953) was born and died in the spacious home at 435 S. Sixth St. that was built by her father, Jacob Bunn, in the 1850s. The house was torn down for a parking lot in July 1953, a … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Architecture, Buildings, Children, Early residents, Family life, Histories, Prominent figures, Social life, Women | 2 Comments

‘Bird Lady’: A Lithuanian immigrant mother’s life in Springfield

On the day in 1912 when 16-year-old Mary Ann Yezdauskas arrived in Springfield from Lithuania, her brother took her to the elegant Bressmer’s Department Store to buy a new coat. Then the sister and brother posed together in their finery … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Family life, Lithuanians, Lithuanians, Women | 9 Comments

Courting and marriage in early Illinois

Speaking to the 1873 meeting of the Old Settlers of Sangamon County, former Gov. John Palmer remembered the process of courting and marriage when he arrived in Illinois in the 1830s. From the 1881 History of Sangamon County; together with … Continue reading

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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 | 2 Comments

Pioneer women’s memories

For the 1879 meeting of the Old Settlers of Sangamon County, president Roland Diller read letters he had solicited from some of the county’s pioneer women. They were reprinted in the History of Sangamon  County, Illinois, published in 1881 by … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Children, Early residents, Family life, Women | 2 Comments

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

Mother’s Day begins, 1910

A proclamation by Gov. Charles Deneen in 1910 made Illinois one of the first eight states to officially designate the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The idea had been first promoted by a Philadelphia woman, Anna Jarvis, in … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Family life, Women | Leave a comment