Category Archives: Oak Ridge signs

Edward L. Baker (editor, diplomat)

As a newsman, Edward L. Baker delivered two of the biggest stories of the 19th century to Springfield. As a diplomat, Baker was too good to remove, no matter which party controlled the federal government. “Ned” Baker (1829-97) was only … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Journalism, Lincoln, Abraham, Media, Oak Ridge signs, Politics, Prominent figures | 3 Comments

Gov. William H. Bissell

When Gov. William Bissell was reburied in 1871, the crowd may have been bigger than at any Springfield funeral since that of Abraham Lincoln. Bissell was the first Republican, first college graduate and first disabled person elected governor. He also … Continue reading

Posted in Illinois capital, Markers, Oak Ridge signs, Politics, Prominent figures, Spectacles, State government, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

First burial at Oak Ridge Cemetery

  Eliza Helmle, the infant daughter of Carl Albert and Marie Helmle, was the first person buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery, according to cemetery records. A handwritten cemetery ledger says Eliza died of “teething” at nine months old; the record … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Germans, Markers, Oak Ridge signs | 2 Comments

Fairview, home of William H. Herndon

The property where William Herndon compiled much of his biography of Abraham Lincoln never became a state park, but part of the house where Herndon worked still overlooks the Sangamon River north of Springfield. Herndon (1818-91) was Lincoln’s third and … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and letters, Buildings, Lincoln, Abraham, Oak Ridge signs, Prominent figures, State government | 5 Comments

The Battle of Virden (1898)

The 1898 “Battle of Virden,” a 10-minute gunfight that killed 13 men and had lasting significance for Illinois coal mining, was fought in Macoupin County, just south of the Sangamon County line. However, the Virden confrontation also led to turmoil … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Business, Coal mines and mining, Labor unions, Markers, Oak Ridge signs, State government | 7 Comments

The Kelley (Kelly) family

The Kelleys – Elisha, John, Henry and their relatives – are usually considered the first Europeans to live in the boundaries of what is now Springfield. (An 1817 settler, Levi Ellis, may actually deserve that designation, but the Kelley family’s cabins … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Early residents, Historic Sites, Oak Ridge signs, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Springfield | Tagged , | 29 Comments

John L. Lewis

For 40 years the head of the biggest coal miners union in the U.S. in an era when the country depended almost entirely on coal for its energy needs, John Llewellyn Lewis (1880-1969) was a household name from the 1920s … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Coal mines and mining, Historic Sites, Industry, Oak Ridge signs, Prominent figures | Tagged | Leave a comment