Monthly Archives: August 2022

Police officer killings, 1885

When Leonard Gardnier left his Springfield apartment the evening of Aug. 23, 1885, he told his wife to “dress up real nice, because he wanted her to make as pretty a corpse as possible.” An hour or so later, Gardnier, … Continue reading

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East Springfield village hall and ‘calaboose’

Invisible and almost inaccessible, tucked into the side of the 19th Street overpass, a tumbledown brick building was in 2022 the last remnant of the once-feisty village of East Springfield. When constructed in 1901, the building served as the East … Continue reading

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Memorial Pool

On June 16, 1928, a crowd of about 750 people attended the grand opening of Soldiers’ and Sailors Memorial Pool on Springfield’s north end. The pool was named to honor all U.S. service personnel who perished in wars spanning the … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Local government, Parks, Public health, Social services, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Illinois State Fair crisis, 1922-23

The big question after the 1922 Illinois State Fair was whether there would be another one in 1923. On one level, the problem involved ownership of the fairgrounds. When Sangamon County turned the former site of the county fair over … Continue reading

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Gov. Len Small arrested, 1921

The Aug. 9, 1921, arrest of Gov. Len Small for alleged corruption created a daylong drama in Springfield. It was performed on three stages: the Capitol, the governor’s mansion and the Sangamon County Courthouse. Stars included Small, county Sheriff Henry … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Illinois capital, Law enforcement, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Spectacles, State government, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Guy’s Dropper (miners’ lamp)

The first factory for the Guy’s Dropper, one of the most popular miners’ lamps ever made, was a back porch on Douglas Avenue. The Guy’s Dropper was a carbide lamp, which uses a mix of water and calcium carbide to … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Coal mines and mining, Industry, Prominent figures | 1 Comment

Springfield looks ahead: 1869

As 1869 began, the Illinois State Journal saw Springfield as a growing, prosperous and busy community. And the future looked even brighter: Two coal mines had just opened, plans had been drawn up for a new state Capitol, and the … Continue reading

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