Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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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

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Tri-City boys basketball, 1952-53

The Tri-City Tornadoes were kings of Sangamon County basketball in the 1952-53 season. Tri-City Community High School, located in Buffalo, was the first consolidated high school district in Illinois. The merger of formerly separate high schools in Buffalo, Dawson and … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Education, Schools and school districts, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

First talking movie

Harry T. Loper (1860-1948), historically linked to Springfield’s race riot of 1908, also introduced talking movies to Springfield. Loper went into the restaurant business when he moved to Springfield from Greenfield in 1883, and Loper’s Restaurant at 223 S. Fifth … Continue reading

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First Rochester schools

The 1881 History of Sangamon County, Illinois, Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships includes two short accounts of the earliest schoolhouses and teachers near Rochester. As described, the schools were rough and improvised, and one burned down in … Continue reading

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V.Y. Dallman, newspaperman

Vincent Young “V.Y.” Dallman (1873-1964) was the epitome of an old-school newsman. Though he didn’t have a college degree, Dallman worked for the Illinois State Register for almost 70 years, rising through the ranks from newsboy (a job he got … Continue reading

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‘A Palatial Barroom’ (1898)

When Harry Lane opened his new saloon at 415 E. Washington St. in 1898, he wanted you to know: It was no bucket of blood. Rough-and-tumble tipplers patronized the workingmen’s bars (and worse) that lined the streets of “the Levee” … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Buildings, Business, Crime and vice, Hotels & taverns, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Firefighter deaths on duty

At least 13* Springfield firefighters have died in the line of duty since the city created a professional fire department in the late 1860s. In order, they were: George Schevers (1860-Jan. 11, 1905). Schevers, fire chief at the time, was … Continue reading

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Elevator Milling Co. fire, 1927

As many as 5,000 people stood in pouring rain the evening of April 8, 1927, watching as a historic grain mill and elevator went up in flames across from the Third Street railroad station. The massive blaze destroyed 45,000 bushels … Continue reading

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