Ebenezer Capps (1797-1877), a native of London, England, operated a grocery on Jefferson Street west of First Street in 1828 Springfield, according to John Todd Stuart’s later recollections. (Capps’ store is listed as No. 12 on the reconstructed map of 1828 Springfield.)
Capps had arrived in Sangamon County in 1819 along with his brother Jabez. The two at first opened a secondhand store; they also were shoemakers.
In 1830, Ebenezer Capps moved to Vandalia, then the state capital, and opened a store where he “reigned as commercial arbiter of the region.”
Abraham Lincoln and other members of the so-called Long Nine celebrated their victorious 1837 campaign to move the capital to Springfield at Capps’ Vandalia establishment. The bill came to $223.50, which was paid by Ninian Edwards.
Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.