Monthly Archives: April 2013

Jameson Jenkins

(Alternative spellings: Jamieson Jenkins, Jimison Jarkins) Jameson Jenkins (1810?-1873) was an African American drayman – a carter or teamster – in Springfield from the late 1840s through the 1860s. He was a neighbor of the Lincoln family and was active … Continue reading

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Martin Van Buren meets Abraham Lincoln

President Martin Van Buren, a Democrat, visited Springfield between June 16 and 19, 1842, and while there he visited the home of his first cousin, George Brunk, in Cotton Hill Township near Rochester. The house still stands today. Van Buren … Continue reading

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Rochester

Prior to European settlement, Rochester Township was one of the most heavily wooded sections of Sangamon County, and as a result, became one of the earliest areas to be settled. The first permanent European resident was probably James McCoy, who … Continue reading

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Sherman

James Sayles built a home on the current site of Sherman in 1819. However, the village wasn’t platted until 1858, after construction of the Springfield-to-Bloomington section of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, and it wasn’t incorporated as a village until … Continue reading

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Eva Carroll Monroe

Eva Carroll Monroe was the founder and director of the Lincoln Colored Home, 427 S. 12th St., from 1904 until it closed in 1932. See Lincoln Colored Home.  

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Lincoln Colored Home

Eva Carroll Monroe (1868-1950) created and operated the Lincoln Colored Home, the first orphanage for African-American children in Sangamon County, from 1904 until 1933. As of early 2019, the building, though empty and boarded up, still stood at 427 S. … Continue reading

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Vachel Lindsay

Hear Vachel Lindsay declaim A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten, 1931 (Pennsound) Sangamon County has produced its share of poets, but taken together they do not rival Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) for celebrity, achievement, and tragedy. The novelist Mark Harris summarized … Continue reading

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Robert S. Fitzgerald: Poet, translator

 Robert Stuart Fitzgerald (1910-1985) was an educator, poet, journalist, translator, editor and author who lived in Springfield for 20 years in his youth. While Fitzgerald was a student at Springfield High School, his talent for poetry came to the attention … Continue reading

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Coal mining

For several years in the middle of the 20th century, Sangamon County was a leader among Illinois counties in the production of bituminous coal. Coal was discovered in Illinois as early as 1673, when French explorers Marquette and Joliet noted … Continue reading

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Pre-1900 baseball

Baseball hit Springfield around the 1860s. That’s probably when its precursor, “town ball,” arrived, according to lifelong Springfieldian John C. Cook, quoted in the March 20, 1927 Illinois State Journal. “The ball was generally of solid rubber or cork, with a … Continue reading

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