Category Archives: Law enforcement

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

‘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

Fredrick Pefferle killing, 1973

Fred Pefferle didn’t get along with his ex-wife. Sandra Pefferle Roofener had custody of their three elementary school-age daughters, and Pefferle repeatedly litigated the manner of their upbringing. As one observer at the time commented, “You didn’t have to know Fred … Continue reading

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FBI bugs Frank Zito hangout, 1965

When FBI agents successfully planted a surveillance microphone in mobster Frank Zito’s hangout in 1965, their superiors nominated them for letters of commendation. Top brass in Washington, however, counseled patience. “(S)ince this is a newly established source,” Washington officials wrote, … Continue reading

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Dreamland Park/Amos Duncan

“To my way of thinking, the colored people should at least have a place where they can congregate for the purpose of holding picnics, celebrations and public gatherings,” Sangamon County Republican Party chairman George Fish told the Illinois State Journal … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Amusements, Business, Law enforcement, Parks, Prominent figures, Social services, Sports and recreation, Theaters | 1 Comment

First women lawyers

Erma Garrison Templeman was the first woman to practice law in Sangamon County. She wasn’t, however, the first to pass the bar exam; at least two other women beat her to that distinction. All three had noteworthy life stories, good … Continue reading

Posted in Law enforcement, Prominent figures, Sangamon County, Women | 1 Comment

‘The Great Klaholt robbery’, 1883

One hundred-forty years ago this week, “adroit cracksmen” made away – briefly – with what probably is the most lucrative burglary haul in Springfield history. The theft was carefully planned. The getaway, apparently, was not. The theft took place in … Continue reading

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Frank Zito’s Leavenworth prison record

Most photographs of Frank Zito, Springfield’s so-called “godfather” of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, show him as an older man, vaguely grandfather-ish in a homburg. The mug shots taken when Zito, then about 40, entered the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Prominent figures | 2 Comments

Butchers vs. the ‘blue law’ (1916)

Springfield’s Sunday “blue law” was more than 40 years old in 1916. That’s when a group of suburban butchers decided the law should actually be enforced. As the dispute developed, Springfield police that March hauled in 15 businessmen, including seven … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Labor unions, Law enforcement, Local government, Springfield, Theaters | Leave a comment

1910 Springfield Park Board election: ‘Shameful & disgraceful’

Political insiders went all-out to rig the 1910 Springfield Park Board election. “Spreading around the apparent victory (of incumbent park board members) lurks the shadow of the most amazing corruption of the elective franchise known in the history of Springfield,” … Continue reading

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