Category Archives: Education

Tri-City boys basketball, 1952-53

The Tri-City Tornadoes were kings of Sangamon County basketball in the 1952-53 season. Tri-City Community High School, located in Buffalo, was the first consolidated high school district in Illinois. The merger of formerly separate high schools in Buffalo, Dawson and … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Education, Schools and school districts, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Rochester schools

The 1881 History of Sangamon County, Illinois, Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships includes two short accounts of the earliest schoolhouses and teachers near Rochester. As described, the schools were rough and improvised, and one burned down in … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Early residents, Education, Histories, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Robert Preston Taylor (Lincoln College of Law, Illinois State Museum)

By one measurement, Robert Preston Taylor (1876-1951) goes into history as the first African-American graduate of the old Lincoln College of Law in Springfield. But that would ignore Taylor’s more significant achievement: bringing to life exhibits at the Illinois State … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Education, Higher education, Museums, Prominent figures | 2 Comments

First Black U of I trustee

John J. Bird became the first African-American trustee of the University of Illinois more than a decade before the school even had any Black students. Bird’s tombstone in Oak Ridge Cemetery doesn’t mention that distinction, but its text does include … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Education, Higher education, Illinois capital, Politics, Prominent figures, State government, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First school for Black children

Springfield’s Colored Baptist Church created what apparently was the city’s first school open to African-American children in the late 1840s. It was a struggle to keep open, but it took a decade before the city finally opened a public school … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Children, Churches, Education, Local government, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment

Cathedral High School basketball champions, 1939

Springfield’s Cathedral Boys High School won its only Illinois Catholic Conference basketball tournament in 1939. The 16-team event was held at the Illinois State Armory Feb. 24-26. Cathedral’s 285 students (as the name suggests, the school was open only to … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Schools and school districts, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Brown’s Business College (1864-1994)

In 1864, Washington Rutledge, a relative of Abraham Lincoln’s reputed love Ann Rutledge, opened Rutledge & Davidson’s Commercial College in Springfield. Over the next 130 years, Rutledge & Davidson’s and its descendants provided what an early advertisement called “passports to … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Education, Higher education, Schools and school districts | Leave a comment

Lanphier High School’s historic Earth Day flag

A homemade flag Lanphier High School students carried to the Statehouse in 1970 as a symbol of the environmental movement found a permanent home in the Smithsonian Institution. But a mystery remains: who sewed the flag? Smithsonian Magazine revived the … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Schools and school districts, Science | 13 Comments

Southern Illinois Medical School 50th anniversary (2020)

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine indefinitely postponed its 50th anniversary alumni gala, which had been scheduled for April 4, 2020, at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. The gala was a minor casualty of the … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Medicine, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

First woman principals in Springfield public schools

Women served as principals in the Springfield public schools for the first time in the 1874-75 school year, but only following a debate in which some board members declared they opposed “so hazardous an experiment as the employment of lady … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Local government, Schools and school districts, Women | Leave a comment