Author Archives: editor

George Brinkerhoff mystery, 1893

George M. Brinkerhoff Sr. and his daughter Bessie climbed aboard an Illinois Central Railroad sleeper the evening of July 28, 1893, on their way home from the World’s Fair in Chicago. When the train arrived in Springfield the next morning, … Continue reading

Posted in Prominent figures, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

First wedding (1820)

The first marriage ever performed in Sangamon County took place in a log cabin near Cantrall on Nov. 2, 1820. In a pioneer community, the event required some improvisation, including a legless piano and a fake wedding cake. The happy … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Early residents, Family life, Social life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Corky Meyer, test pilot

Corky Meyer got serious about building and flying model airplanes while a student at Springfield High School in 1936. He had no way to guide his models, though, so he had to chase them by car until they ran out … Continue reading

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Kayport Package Express implodes, 1983

Founder F. George Celani called Kayport Package Express a “41-day miracle” when the shipping startup went into business at Capital Airport on March 1, 1983. About 1,200 Springfield dignitaries attended the ceremony, which included champagne, a high-school band and a … Continue reading

Posted in Airport, Business, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Spectacles, Transportation | Leave a comment

Frank P. Richards, wood carver

In the early 20th century, Frank P. Richards would display his patriotic wood carvings on the front lawn of his home at 1160 Elliott Ave. every Fourth of July. Soldiers from nearby Camp Lincoln would salute as they marched past. … Continue reading

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‘Bock Beer Day’, 1870s-’80s

“Today is Bock Beer Day, and the boys will all imbibe freely of the foaming extract of hops,” the Illinois State Journal predicted the morning of May 1, 1882. It didn’t always end happily for “the boys.” Bock beer is … Continue reading

Posted in Breweries, Business, Celebrations, Crime and vice, Hotels & taverns, Law enforcement, Social life | Leave a comment

Buster Bartholomew, coach & educator

As an athlete, Buster Bartholomew was a one-armed wonder. But he made his mark as a coach, teacher and booster of country schools. Homer “Buster” Bartholomew (1891-1943), born in Tuscola, was the son of Charles and Susan Myrtle Bartholomew. His … Continue reading

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

Edmund D. Taylor, (not the) ‘father of the greenback’

Edmund “Dick” Taylor was a legislator, businessman and investor. He was one of the winners in the only direct election Abraham Lincoln ever lost. And he probably wasn’t “the father of the greenback.” Taylor (1804-91) lived in Springfield in the … Continue reading

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Lexington (legendary racehorse)

Lexington, the greatest sire in thoroughbred racing history, was stabled for a time in Sangamon County. But details of the horse’s stay are lacking. Lexington (1850-1875) ran in only seven races himself (winning six), due to an infection that left … Continue reading

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Schools ban girls’ basketball, 1907

In December 1907, when Springfield high school Principal L.M. Castle abruptly told the women’s basketball team they had to play behind closed doors, the girls revolted. They shut down the team and published a bitter protest in the January 1908 … Continue reading

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