Category Archives: Animals

Klever’s Model controversy (‘the hog case’)

The world of Poland China swine revolved around Williamsville in the 1890s, thanks to stockman George G. Council and his prize boar, Klever’s Model. When Council (1864-1944) put Klever’s Model up for sale in 1897, a syndicate made up of … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Animals, Farming, Prominent figures | 3 Comments

Millie, the Illinois State Museum Mastodon

“Millie,” the Illinois State Museum’s mastodon skeleton, arrived in Springfield in pieces starting in fall 1974. Like those of many mastodon skeletons on display around the world, Millie’s bones actually are fiberglass composites. The original bones came mostly from a … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Museums, Prehistory, Science, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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

‘Humane officer’ report, April 1904

Charles Stone (1847?-1911) was appointed Springfield’s first humane officer in November 1903. The position was part of the Springfield Police Department, and the humane officer had all the powers of any other police officer, but with the special duty of … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Children, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Prominent figures, Social services | Leave a comment

‘Rags,’ the interurban mascot

Rags, a brown, curly-haired mutt with a habit of hopping trains, spent a happy half-dozen years as central Illinois’ “mascot of the interurban.” Like modern dogs riding in autos, Rags somehow learned that it was fun to joyride on a … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Transportation | 1 Comment

Dan Patch sets state fair race record (1906)

An estimated 40,000 people watched Dan Patch, the world’s most famous harness horse, set a new Illinois State Fair pacing record on Oct. 2, 1906. Dan Patch covered the one-mile fairgrounds track in 1:59¼, the first time a harness horse … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Animals, Social life, Sports and recreation | Leave a comment

‘Waiting for Maud,’ Oak Hill Cemetery

A gravestone at Oak Hill Cemetery east of Springfield pays tribute to a dog that, according to folklore, never recovered from the death of its young owner. Maud Rodgers, who lived with her parents in the Riverton/Clear Lake area, died … Continue reading

Posted in Animals | 10 Comments

The death of Fido, the Lincoln family dog

Fido, a yellow mongrel dog the Abraham Lincoln family adopted about 1855, stayed behind when the Lincolns moved to Washington, D.C., in 1861 and was stabbed to death sometime in 1866. The man who killed Fido has gone down in … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Crime and vice, Lincoln, Abraham | 7 Comments