Category Archives: Lithuanians

Lithuanian-American war casualties (WW I&II)

A long-vanished plaque inside a demolished Catholic church once memorialized eight Lithuanian-American soldiers who died in uniform during World Wars I and II. The plaque hung in St. Vincent de Paul Church, the last “national church” – churches that predominantly … Continue reading

Posted in Churches, Lithuanians, Military | Leave a comment

‘Bird Lady’: A Lithuanian immigrant mother’s life in Springfield

On the day in 1912 when 16-year-old Mary Ann Yezdauskas arrived in Springfield from Lithuania, her brother took her to the elegant Bressmer’s Department Store to buy a new coat. Then the sister and brother posed together in their finery … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Family life, Lithuanians, Lithuanians, Women | 10 Comments

Skyrocket Inn

What to do after a long day – and night – at the Illinois State Fair? The after-fair, after-hours mecca for everyone from carnies to Hell’s Angels to local movers and shakers was the Skyrocket Inn, right across the street … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Business, Hotels & taverns, Illinois State Fair, Lithuanians, Lithuanians, Social life | 3 Comments

Joe Yucas (‘King of the Lithuanians’)

This entry has been retitled and greatly expanded. Joe Yucas (1874-1926) was a Springfield bar owner and political operative who the Illinois State Register once called “the King of the Lithuanians.” According to his obituary, Yucas immigrated to the U.S. … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Crime and vice, Ethnic groups, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Prominent figures | 1 Comment

Alby’s Tavern & the Stasukinas family

Alby (Albinas) Stasukinas, son of Lithuanian immigrants Joseph and Rose (Poskevicius) Stasukinas, opened his storied tavern at 14th and Carpenter streets in 1944. Alby quit coal mining in 1940 to work at the Illiopolis munitions plant, but by 1944 he … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Business, Crime and vice, Ethnic groups, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Social life | 2 Comments

‘Hunkie John’ Buskiewich murder trial (1926)

“Hunkie John” Buskiewich (1903?-69) was the defendant in 1926 in one of Sangamon County’s most sensational murder trials. “Hunkie,” a slang term for immigrants from Eastern Europe — Buskiewich was of Lithuanian descent – was an expression that could be … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Lithuanians | 2 Comments

Lithuanian radicals in Sangamon County

Excerpted from the introduction to “Leftist Lithuanians,” an entry  on the blog Lithuanians in Springfield, lllinois, written by Sandy Baksys: From the beginning of 1930s through the late 1950s, Springfield seems to have been home to the “Lithuanian Lodge,” the local … Continue reading

Posted in Ethnic groups, Lithuanians, Politics, Social life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Political Rise of the Adamitis & Yacubasky Families

From Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois The story goes that for decades, Republican Party leader Don “Doc” Adams (Lith. Adomaitis) of Springfield exercised significant patronage power in both the public and private sectors. When Doc died in 2011 at age 75, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | 4 Comments

Joey Mack, dance man

Perhaps the most famous Lithuanian-American in Springfield in the 1940s was in show business: Joey Yanaitis (Janaitis or Jonaitis) Mack. Famous in Boston, Rockford, Cleveland, Augusta, Ga., and dozens of places in between from the late 1930s through the 1940s, … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Arts and letters, Ethnic groups, Lithuanians, Social life | Leave a comment

Sangamon County Lithuanians in World War I

More than 50,000 Lithuanian-Americans fought for the United States in World War I. This remarkable number was later leveraged to lobby U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the newly independent Lithuanian state that emerged from the War’s aftermath. The vast … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Ethnic groups, Lithuanians, Military | 3 Comments