Board Meeting: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 at 5:00 p.m. Lincoln
Library Carnegie Room south
Please join us at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 16, 2001 Lincoln
Library's Carnegie Room north for our program:
THE HISTORY OF THE LINCOLN LIBRARY
The oft forgotten stories behind Springfield's public library,
Lincoln Library, will be the topic at the January 16 program meeting
of the Sangamon County Historical Society. The days of one book
per customer and "no children allowed" will be a part of a slide
presentation given by Linda Garvert, a librarian in the Sangamon
Valley Collection at Lincoln Library. Garvert's program begins
with the early subscription library that evolved into Springfield
first public library in 1886 through the Andrew Carnegie built
building so many avid Springfield library users recall to the present
library building. Come join us for an interesting evening and refreshments.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Carnegie Room North at
Plan to attend this interesting and informative program. Refreshments will
MANN'S MUMBLINGS: Words from Your President
The holiday note cards published by the Society this fall have
been very popular this Christmas season with almost 200 sets sold
so far. The note cards, which feature eight scenes of downtown
Springfield in the 1930s, are available at the Sangamon Valley
Collection or at Robinson's Advertising. The money raised from
the sale of these cards will be added to the Society's special
fund for future publications.
Work continues on the development of a web page for the Society.
I had a productive meeting with some people from Springnet, a local
Internet service provider, several weeks ago. Springnet has donated
two hours of a web page designer's time to help create the web
page. This will probably take a few weeks to get done because of
the holiday season. Among the various items that could appear on
the site is a calendar of events, issues of the Historico, links
to other sites of interest, short history of the county, and a
photograph of the month. I will keep members updated on the progress
of this project.
Attendance at our monthly program meetings has fallen off and
I would encourage everyone to make an effort to attend these interesting
and informative meetings. Our next meeting will be on January 16
with Linda Garvert presenting a slide show on the history of Lincoln
Board Meeting: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 5:00 p.m. Lincoln Library's
Carnegie Room south
Please join us at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, 2001 Lincoln Library's
Carnegie Room north for our program:
SANGAMON COUNTY FARMS, 1850
A fascinating look at the farms of Sangamon County in 1850 is
the topic of the April program meeting. Historian Curtis
Mann has completed a computer databases of the 1850 Census of Agriculture
for Sangamon County and will share his findings. The 1850
census was a statewide compilation of agricultural statistics taken
in each county that includes the size of the farm, livestock, and
crops. Mann will describe what a typical farm was like during
that time period and detail some of the more interesting aspects
such as the number of tenant farmers and women listed as heads
of a farm. Refreshments will be served.
MANN'S MUMBLINGS: Words from Your President
In doing research for a talk I will be giving to the Sangamon
County Genealogical Society about the early history of Springfield
I ran across an interesting letter written by Erastus Wright to
his brother back in New Hampshire. Erastus Wright was one
of the pioneers of Springfield. His many occupations included
teacher, school superintendent, merchant, tax collector and land
speculator. The letter was dated November 26, 1826 and was
written in Springfield. I thought I would share a few excerpts
from the letter, which I found interesting about the early history
of Springfield. In one passage he described the house he
had built. "Yesterday I sold ten acres for 50 Dollars to
assist in my building, I had not told you I have a house 18 by
26 and two rooms, lathed and plastered, a good brick chimney and
an addition of 17 feet that will be plastered and finished next
week making 43 feet in length one story high. But I regret
that it is situated in a block with others standing within three
feet both sides so that if one burns 8 or 10 must go together." John
Todd Stuart described these buildings in 1828 as being " five or
six small two room frame buildings, with ends to the street." They
stood on the northwest corner of Second and Adams streets. Wright
also provided a little description of Springfield itself. "This
little Town continues to improve: 4 dry good stores, 3 taverns,
3 groceries a court house, and Jail, a Distillery, Tannery, 2 mills
and a printing office expected soon." The printing office
referred to was Springfield's first newspaper, the Sangamo Spectator,
published by Hooper Warren. The entire letter along with another
one written in July, 1827 can be found in the Spring 1954 volume of the
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, pages 91-94.
HENRIETTA ULRICH, SPRINGFIELD BUSINESSWOMAN presented
by STACY McDermott
The dream of a better life in a new land with new opportunities
initiated westward expansion and the excitement of that dream and
the prospect of land motivated many that settled in Illinois. Life
on the Illinois prairie offered settlers a chance to realize their
dreams, the pursuit of which was not limited to men. Like men,
women experienced the desire to push westward and make a better
life for themselves and their families. Many women chose to settle
in the west and moved by themselves or with their children. In
fact, women were equal to men in their enthusiasm, energy, tolerance
of harsh conditions, and ability to adapt to and survive the unique
circumstances of the Illinois prairie.
As pioneers adapted to the harsh and unpredictable nature of prairie
living, they more easily accepted changing definitions of womanhood
and exhibited more tolerance for women who stepped outside their
traditional role. In response to the difficult realities of life
on the frontier, men and women who ventured west often chose to
abandon those traditional gender boundaries they brought with them
from their southern and eastern experiences. Although many did
so with regret and only as necessity dictated, most discovered
that not only were women capable of successfully pursuing economic
opportunities and business ventures, but also that their presence
in the marketplace was beneficial to their communities and society
as a whole.
As a result, women settlers in Illinois directly participated
in the economic growth and development of the state and helped
define new and changing roles for women in society and in business
during the first half of the nineteenth century.
Henrietta Ulrich was one woman who considered the opportunities
available in the west well within her grasp and chose to leave
her home in New York and move her family to Illinois. She exemplified
the energy and persistence of most settlers of the state and demonstrated
courage and ability to adapt to the difficult pursuit of a better
life in Illinois. When she arrived in Illinois in 1842 with five
children, ranging in age from two to eighteen years, she was a
forty-five-year-old widow with little money and only her intellect
and her strength of character to guide her. Having witnessed
the slow demise of her husband's personal fortune, his lingering
illness and eventual death, and his estate's indebtedness, Ulrich,
who had been a member of the Russian aristocracy in her youth,
probably felt a level of desperation and concern for her family's
future. Out of necessity, she abandoned her traditional views of
her own role as a wife and mother and recognized in herself the
strength and ability necessary to provide for her children in the
absence of their father.
Henrietta Ulrich's struggles and successes detail not only the
accomplishments of one woman but also illustrate the economic opportunities
available to women across the state. Characterized by a more permissive
and adaptable population and an established legal system with complex
statutory provisions, antebellum Illinois offers a unique environment
in which to study an important transitional period in American
women's history. As well, her story depicts the intricacies of
how the web of female kinships worked to offer support for widows.
As a married woman in New York in the 1820s and 1830s, Ulrich's
role in her family and her community were typical of married women
throughout the Northeast. Although the wife of Augustus Ulrich,
an affluent woolens manufacturer, her duties and responsibilities
were like those of most women in America and remained centered
on her family, and she does not appear to have been engaged in
economic activities outside of her household. An immigrant family
in America, the Ulrichs' experience in New York was steeped in
tradition, and the gendered separation of responsibilities dictated
the course of their lives. When Augustus Ulrich died in 1841, his
wife was forced to find a way to provide for her family in the
absence of a male provider.
During the antebellum period, the choices that widows faced were
few, and economic circumstances affected the choice that most women
made. A New York woman whose husband left her well situated financially
had more options available to her than a poorer widow and could
decide to maintain her deceased husband's farm or business, manage
the real property he left behind, or remarry.
Although some women had the economic ability to pursue their own
business ventures, few women in the East chose to step outside
a woman's traditional role. For the typical widow, the death of
her husband left her without any means of economic survival whatsoever,
and her economic situation was more desperate. From the perspective
of a desperate widow, especially one with children, a man seemed
necessary for economic survival. As a result, most widows chose
to move in with parents or siblings or to remarry.
However, a few women, women like Ulrich, chose a more daring solution
to their dire economic circumstances. Faced with the realities
of the indebtedness of her husband's estate, Ulrich chose to move
her family to Illinois. Her daughter Katharine was living in Springfield
with her husband, John Doremus, a struggling young attorney, and
Ulrich probably initially chose to settle in Illinois to reunite
with her daughter.
Without the impetus that her husband's death provided, the Ulrich
family would probably never have left New York, yet Ulrich possessed
several characteristics that made her a likely candidate for success
in Illinois. First, her privileged upbringing and education provided
her with a variety of experiences that prepared her intellectually
for emigration. Second, she had already experienced the hardships
of emigration to a new and strange place when she left her family
in Russia to meet her husband in their new home in New York.
Third, her desperation in the absence of her husband of nearly
twenty-seven years and the immediate needs of her five children
living with her heightened her determination to find a means of
financial support for the family. During the antebellum period
Springfield tended to attract intelligent, determined, courageous,
and industrious settlers, and Ulrich was no exception.
When the Ulrich family arrived in Springfield, the city was the
booming economic and social center of Sangamon County, which had
a strong agricultural base. Complete with availability of land,
a vibrant assembly of the state legislature, a growing economy,
and a burgeoning social community, the young city offered Ulrich
the security of a population center and the economic opportunities
she was seeking. Given the availability of land and an environment
replete with land speculation, she decided to invest what little
money she had in real estate.
It is possible that Ulrich may have had another opportunity to
remarry once she settled Illinois. She was well educated, sophisticated,
and attractive. In 1840, men made up 54 percent of Illinois's population,
which indicates there was a shortage of women. Whether or not she
received a marriage proposal, Ulrich never remarried. And as an
unmarried woman, she enjoyed throughout her lifetime the full legal
rights that the law afforded men in regard to property.
Illinois statutes allowed unmarried women full discretion in buying,
selling, and managing their property. In contrast, married women
in Illinois lived in a legal state of coverture and were not allowed
the same privileges regarding land. It is possible that Ulrich
decided against marriage because she wished to maintain control
of any real estate she acquired. One thing is certain; her "feme
sole" legal status provided her with the opportunity to amass a
great deal of personal wealth during the next twenty years, establish
her family as prominent Illinois citizens, and eventually build
a family fortune in real estate.
In 1842, however, the family fortune remained well into the future.
The Ulrichs began their new life in Springfield in relatively tenuous
circumstances. Left with little from her deceased husband's estate,
Ulrich relied on a meager inheritance from her family in Russia.
Just prior to her departure from New York, her older sister in
St. Petersburg sent her 1,500 rubles, and that amount probably
represented most of what she brought with her to Illinois.
In March 1842, she purchased eighty acres of land in Springfield
from Stephen Logan, who was at the time Abraham Lincoln's law partner,
by signing a $600 promissory note and agreeing to pay the full
amount plus interest within two years. John Doremus, Ulrich's son-in-law,
signed the promissory note as her security. The family was in debt
and struggling, but in January of the following year, an important
Ulrich's sister in Russia wrote "With God's will, this unexpected
good fortune will help you in freeing you of the larger part of
your debts." The letter included 3,000 rubles.
Ulrich welcomed the money, and it probably provided some peace
of mind given the impeding maturity of her promissory note to Logan.
To survive she continued to draw support from a sister in Russia
and a daughter in Springfield, critical relationships that assisted
her with the financial and emotional difficulties of life as a
widow. Yet, economic survival was difficult. Antebellum Americans
attached an increasing importance to money, as it was necessary
for the purchase of consumer goods and services. Ulrich and her
children had been accustomed to fine clothes and the comfortable
accouterments of affluent families when they had resided in New
York. In order to provide the necessities that her growing children
needed and the luxuries that she wished to provide for them, she
certainly recognized her need to earn money for the family. Ulrich
was typical of many women who found themselves faced with the necessity
of earning income. Yet finding clues about women in the nineteenth-century
is difficult and tracking their economic activities is often impossible.
The 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses did not typically capture women's
occupations except in rare circumstances when individual census
takers listed women as farmers, keepers of boarding houses, servants,
domestics, or seamstresses. And city business directories usually
neglected to include women's businesses. Many Illinois women were,
however, engaged in economic pursuits, which either supported entire
families or provided the extra cash necessary in the growing consumer
economy. The death, illness, or absence of husbands forced many
Illinois women to become entrepreneurs. While many widowed women,
abandoned women, and divorced women moved in with relatives, others
managed their husbands' farms, or took in sewing, washing, or boarders.
Women utilized their individual skills and talents and found interesting
and often unique ways to meet the demands of rearing children and
supporting their families economically.
In states like Illinois and Indiana, society was more accepting
of women stepping outside their traditional role and pursuing business
ventures outside the confines of their households. However, the "doctrine
of separate spheres" persisted in antebellum Illinois and it encouraged
women who did venture into the marketplace to engage in "feminine" businesses. Typically,
women's economic pursuits were "female," and centered around domestic
skills like millinery, dressmaking, and housekeeping.
Teaching, nursing, and midwifery were other typical possibilities
for women, although teaching was primarily an option for unmarried
Not all women, though, chose to pursue strictly female occupations.
Some women used the farming and ranching experiences they gained
from their marriages to run large agricultural enterprises. Other
women were manufacturers, miners, printers, editors, and entrepreneurs.
There were women postmasters, merchants, hotel and tavern owners,
and actresses. A few women were inventors and applied for patents
and others, like Henrietta Ulrich, became successful real estate
investors. Few records exist regarding Ulrich's economic
activities during the first five years of her arrival in Illinois.
It appears that she lived off her inheritance and worked to climb
out of debt. In April 1844, she settled her mortgage with
Logan, but the family had not yet recovered financially. Later
that year, tragedy struck when her nine-year-old son Charles died,
and the following year economic difficulties forced her fifteen-year-old
son Edward to leave school and obtain a job.
Edward's employment was necessary for the family's immediate economic
survival, but by the late 1840s, Ulrich managed to climb out of
debt and found herself in a position to begin buying and selling
land and accumulating considerable profits. The initial eighty
acres that she had purchased in 1842 was well situated. It was
near the town square and bordered the affluent neighborhood adjacent
to the property of the governor's mansion. In the late 1840s, she
sold some of that property and purchased more. By 1850, she had
accumulated $4,000 in real estate holdings, which was more property
than the typical successful farmer in Sangamon County possessed.
By comparison, Stephen Logan, who was one of the most affluent
land speculators in Springfield, had $30,000 in real estate. Ulrich
was certainly out of Logan's league, but she was gaining on other
so-called land barons like Archer G. Herndon and Gersham Jayne,
who each owned $8,000 worth of land, and Benjamin Edwards who owned
Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, Ulrich's land speculation brought
her in commercial contact with some of the most prominent members
of Springfield politics and society. Both of Ulrich's sons were
members of the prestigious Springfield Horticultural Society, and
Ulrich's increasing wealth placed her family within Springfield's
economic and social elite. By 1860, Henrietta Ulrich owned $25,000
in real estate and another $12,000 in personal property. Her son
Edward was worth $25,000 in combined real and personal property.
The Ulrich family's wealth again did not compare to Logan, who
was worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars and was the wealthiest
man in Springfield. However, Henrietta Ulrich's fortune compared
nicely with the fortune of Gersham Jayne, whose combined wealth
totaled $30,000. In 1860, Archer G. Herndon held $45,000 in real
estate, and Benjamin Edwards owned $40,000.
As Henrietta Ulrich had sold a large portion of her son's land
to him, the real estate that she had accumulated by the late 1850s
amounted to nearly $40,000. In other words, she was as successful
in her activities as a speculator as many men engaged in the same
activity during the same period of time.
Nancy Cott has written that "a person's work, or productive occupation,
not only earns a living and fills time but also contributes to
self-definition and shapes social identity." Henrietta Ulrich's
decision to speculate on land and her success in that endeavor
tells us a great deal about her character.
She was tough minded, a risk taker, shrewd, intelligent, and she
possessed an impressive head for business. Her subsequent wealth
provided herself and her family the opportunity to enjoy membership
in the elite circles of Springfield society. Although we do not
know whom specifically she may have entertained or visited socially,
we do know that her children married well. Her son Edward married
into the prominent Vreden, burgh family and her daughters married
successful professionals in Carthage, Illinois. These marriages
indicate that the Ulrich name was a respected one. The family's
status in the community was further enhanced when Henrietta, Edward,
and Edward's father-in-law, John Vredenburgh, founded E. R. Ulrich & Co.,
a lumber business that secured the family fortune and provided
the economic and social legacy the family continued to enjoy into
the twentieth century.
With the development of E. R. Ulrich & Co. in the mid-1850s,
Henrietta Ulrich formed a successful financial partnership with
her son. While she provided much of the economic backing for the
company and the property on which the company was built, Edward
Ulrich and his father-in-law operated the business and Henrietta
Ulrich's daily involvement in the business was probably limited.
However, her economic and social influence no doubt played a significant
role in the company's success.
As Springfield experienced incredible economic growth with the
development of the railroads throughout the 1850s, E. R. Ulrich & Co.
prospered by providing building materials to meet the demands of
the developing community and state.
The company's location in downtown Springfield on the St. Louis & Chicago
Railroad line was ideal and, in 1857, the company sold 3.5 million
board feet of lumber. The company opened another lumberyard in
Joliet, Illinois, while continuing to supply building materials
to Springfield developers. In 1857, the company, which employed
twenty-five people, continued to prosper as the contracts it made
grew in size and quantity. One contract to supply the building
materials for a Springfield distillery totaled $2,277.
Henrietta Ulrich had played a significant role in the success
of that lumber company. Her own success as a mother and an entrepreneur
provided the foundation, literally and figuratively, on which the
business was built. In 1842, she had arrived in Springfield with
only a little money and a lot of hope about providing her children
with a better life in Illinois. Like so many other Illinois women,
she succeeded in supporting herself and her family in the absence
of a husband. She raised four children in the absence of their
father. And in the absence of female role models in business, she
built a fortune in real estate, which rivaled the fortunes of her
The opportunities that Ulrich provided her sons enabled them to
become successful professionals. Edward lived his entire life in
Springfield and was a respected lumber dealer, grain merchant,
and prominent citizen until his death in 1909. Bartow, the baby
son that Ulrich had brought from New York, grew up to become a
prominent attorney and, following in his mother's footsteps, he
became a very wealthy real estate developer in Chicago. Interestingly,
neither of Ulrich's two daughters who survived her appears to have
been engaged in economic activities outside of their households.
They married well and led affluent lives, but perhaps their mother
passed to them her own internal devotion to the gendered responsibilities
of women and men. Ulrich's aristocratic European upbringing and
her traditional perspective about the role of women in society
may have overshadowed what she learned from her experience as a
woman in business on the Illinois prairie. Or perhaps her efforts
in her pursuit of economic independence had been so laborious and
so difficult that she simply wished for her daughters a more genteel,
Whatever her motives, Henrietta Ulrich succeeded in life. She
endured the difficulties of two emigrations, the death of a husband
and two children, economic uncertainty, and desperation. She built
a family fortune, raised successful children, and contributed to
the growth and development of Springfield and Illinois. Like so
many other women, she was active in her role as a contributing
member of society and her activities, successes, and contributions
rivaled those of her male contemporaries. Antebellum Illinois women
had a significant and vital role in the course of Illinois history,
and the state benefited from their active participation in their
varied roles as mothers, wives, and businesswomen.
Board Meeting: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 5:00 p.m. Lincoln Library's
Carnegie Room south
The 2001 Annual Meeting/Banquet will be held on Tuesday, June
19 at the Northfield Inn Suites and Conference Center, 3210 Northfield
Drive. The cost is $19.00 per person. A cash bar opens
at 6:00 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by a short business
meeting and the program. Raffle tickets will be sold for
one dollar or six for five dollars. Donated items will be
raffled at the end of the meeting. Membership dues may be
paid at this time also. See the insert form for reservations
MANN'S MUMBLINGS: Words from Your President
I want to use my last column to thank all the people who have
played an important role in the society over the past year. Here
is list of all those people: A big thank you goes to Sally Cadagin
for all of her hard work as both secretary and editor of the Historico. As
treasurer, Susan Krause did a wonderful job of keeping our finances
straight and paying the bills. I appreciate all the work
Tim Townsend did on the holiday cards project. Without the
help of Carol Andrews and all the volunteers, last year's Oak Ridge
Cemetery Walk could not have been pulled off. Robinson's
Advertising continues to do excellent work in serving the needs
of the society. I want to thank all the board members who
diligently attended the meetings. I also want to thank all
of our speakers at the program meetings.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OCTOBER 7, 2001 FOR THE FIFTH ANNUAL "ECHOES
OF YESTERYEAR" A WALK THROUGH OAK RIDGE CEMEMTERY.
MORE ON THE ANNUAL MEETING
The slate of officers and directors to be approved by the society
at the Annual Meeting is:
President: Sally Cadagin
Vice-president: Perry Hall
Treasurer: Susan Krause
Secretary: Curtis Mann
The speaker for our program, Tom Emery, a free-lance writer from
Carlinville, Illinois, will talk about Richard Rowett: Thoroughbreds,
Beagles and the Civil War. His book will be available for
purchase at the meeting.
Other publications written by Mr. Emery include The Other John
Logan: Col. John Logan and the 32nd Illinois and The Memorable
Month: Minor League Baseball in Staunton, Illinois
ILLINOIS SYMPHONY GUILD'S ANNUAL GARDEN TOUR
A Symphony of Gardens will be presented Sunday, June 10, 2001
from noon until 4 o'clock. The five gardens are located at
3037 South 14th Street, 21 Red Oak Drive (Timberlane), 3200 Lobell
and 4013 Almahurst (east of East Lake Drive off the Old Rochester
Road) and 917 West Lake Shore Drive. Tickets are $10.00. All
proceeds benefit the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Call me
at 546-5840 for more information.
HAWTHORNE PLACE ANNUAL HOUSE AND GARDEN TOUR
The Hawthorne Place House and Garden Tour will be held Sunday,
June 17, 2001 from noon to 4 p.m. The tour will include five
private homes and four gardens in the historic Springfield neighborhood
located within the borders of Lowell, Holmes and Whittier Avenues
between South Grand Avenue and Laurel Street. The houses, all built
before 1920, include large, early-20th century shingled houses
and American Four Square style homes and offer imaginative ideas
for rehabilitating, enlarging or landscaping the old house.
The gardens range from a quiet, secluded courtyard shaded by a
magnificent magnolia tree and a large Edwardian-style display,
to a cottage-style garden overflowing with annuals and perennials
and a tiny, secluded, urban courtyard only a few feet from busy
South Grand Avenue. Tickets are $10 the day of the tour, or $8
in advance. For further information contact Ed Russo 753-4900
x234 or 481-0052.
OLD STATE CAPITOL EVENTS
Dr Bill Koch will be featured in a chautauqua-style performance, "Walt
Whitman Live", on June 9th. A $5.00 donation is requested.
A candlelight reception will follow. Call 785-7960 for reservations
or more information.
LINCOLN HOME 2001 SUMMER PROGRAMS
All summer programs are free and open to the public, and are presented
at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center. For more information
go to the website:
Lincoln's New Salem
There are many programs at New Salem this summer. And don't
July 7 & 8: The Summer Festival
For more information go to the website:
The Chicago & Illinois Midland Chapter of the National Railway
Historical Society will host an Open House in the Chatham Railroad
Museum, June 23 & 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Open
House is in conjunction with Chatham's Homecoming and the National
Railway Historical Society's 2001 Convention in St. Louis.
The Chatham Railroad Museum is located at 100 N. State Street,
this is one block east of the square in Chatham. The Museum is
in the depot built by the Chicago & Alton Railroad in 1902,
it is owned by the Village of Chatham and managed by the C&IM
There are a number of displays, photos and documents portraying
the history of railroads with emphasis on the local area; the public
is invited to attend this free event.
HOOSIER TRACTION MEET and THE INDIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
If anyone is up for a trip to Indianapolis the first weekend in
September, The Indiana Historical Society is hosting a symposium
on Interurbans on Friday, September 7, 2001. Along with this
event The Hoosier Traction Meet's program starts Friday evening,
September 7, at 7 p.m. and continues all day Saturday, September
8. There is an optional field trip on Sunday to view existing
interurban and a train excursion trip. Call me at 546-5840
if you would like an application and more information.
FARMING IN SANGAMON COUNTY: 1860 by Curtis Mann
The 1860 federal census of agriculture for Sangamon County reported
the county had 2,237 farms encompassing a total of 379, 512 acres. The
average farm size was about 170 acres. Livestock statistics
showed the county had 12,607 horses, 8,121 milk cows, 17,363 beef
cattle, 45,420 sheep and 62,917 swine. The average farm in
the county had 5 horses, 3 milk cows, 11 beef cattle, 20 sheep
and 28 swine. The figure for sheep is misleading because
only 21% of all farms owned sheep. In fact, 19 farms owned
71% of all the sheep in the county. Sangamon County farms
produced 3,599,405 bushels of Indian corn, 303,747 bushels of wheat
and 180,025 bushels of oats. The average farm raised about
1669 bushels of Indian corn, 192 bushels of wheat and 184 bushels
With the exception of a few categories, Sangamon County did not
increase its production of livestock or crops in the decade between
1850 and 1860. In fact, the county actually had fewer heads of
livestock in categories like beef cattle, sheep, mules and asses,
and swine. Only horses increased greatly from 8,108 in 1850
to 12,609. In crop raising, Indian corn production only increased
by about 280,000 bushels. Oat and wheat production switched
places with oats between the censuses.
In the 1850 federal census of agriculture, Sangamon County was
the statewide leader among the counties in many categories. By
1860, however, the rest of the state had developed agriculturally
and the county was no longer a leader but in a few categories. Sangamon
County was still the top raiser of horses and sheep and grower
of Indian corn.
Some reasons for the growth in agriculture statewide in the decade
between the censuses include the expansion of railroads from 110
miles in 1850 to 2,867 miles by 1860.
This improvement in transportation offered farmers a cheap way
of marketing their crops and livestock and encouraged growth. In
1853 the Illinois State Agricultural Society was organized and
the first state fair was held in Springfield. Among
the purposes of the Society was to introduce better varieties of
crops, improve livestock and support the invention of labor saving
devices such as farm machinery.
SUGGESTIONS OR SPEAKERS FOR THE 2001-2002 PROGRAMS
Do you have a topic you are interested in? Would you like
to be a speaker or suggest someone else as a speaker? If
your answer is yes to any of these questions, call me at 546-5840. We
can use new ideas.
Board Meeting: September 12, 2001 5:00 p.m. Lincoln Library, Carnegie
Program: Tuesday, September 18, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. Lincoln
Library's Carnegie Room north "The Oldest Log Cabin" presented
by Ron Ladley.
When I asked Ron Ladley to write something about himself, he said
there was not much to say. Well he must be a man of few words
if he dismisses himself that lightly. I have listed a few
of Ron's accomplishments: he has been Chairman of the Springfield
Historic Sites Commission; Past President of the United Cerebral
Palsy, Land of Lincoln; Past Chairman of the Sangamon Valley Chapter
of the American Red Cross; Past President of the Riverton School
Board and the Riverton Jaycees; Past National Director of the Illinois
Jaycees; Past President of the Springfield Association of Realtors,
including induction in "Hall of Fame" for the now Capital Association
of Realtors; a Community Service award by the Capital Association
and Realtor of the year in 1989.
Ron's talk, entitled The Oldest Log Cabin, will be about the oldest
structure in Sangamon County today that was not built in Sangamon
County. Come to the program on the 18th and find out more
about this mysterious sounding structure. A question and
answer period will follow the talk and refreshments will be served.
CADAGIN'S CHATTER: WORDS FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
I thought Cadagin's Chatter was the logical follow-up to Mann's
Mumblings; it is at least as alliterative as his was. I am
very excited and honored to be the president of the Sangamon County
Historical Society this year. I hope we have an exciting,
busy year that you can all enjoy and participate in. Please
feel free to call, 546-5840, write or email me email@example.com,
or any one of the board members or officers with suggestions for
our group. The board meetings that are always held the second
Wednesday of each month are always open to all members and we would
enjoy having you join us.
Wearing the hat of Historico editor I have to apologize for the
lateness of this issue but, unfortunately, I had a major virus,
well actually my computer had a major virus, and the hard drive
crashed. It took me about a week to find someone who was kind enough
to spend their time "fixing" it.
Iles House Foundation Looking for Memories and Photos
A photo exhibit featuring pictures of Allis-Chalmers, Pillsbury
Mill, and Sangamo Electric will be a part of the Iles House fall
event on October 14, 2001. A part of the Iles House Foundation's
mission is to highlight aspects of Springfield's history through
rotating exhibits in the lower level of the house. Therefore, the
Foundation is seeking anecdotes and memories from former
employees and their families to accompany the photo displays. They
are also interested in additional photographs, especially those
with people in them and interior shots. All original photographs
will be returned with copies only being used for the exhibit. If
you have stories or photographs you would like to share, contact
Linda Garvert, at Lincoln Library's Sangamon Valley Collection,
COMMITTEE HELP WANTED
Kim Efird is chairing a committee for the SCHS to plan for a spring
tour. If you are interested in working on this committee,
please call Kim at 782-3641 (work) or 523-0579 (home).
The Fifth Annual "Echoes of Yesteryear" - A Walk through Oak Ridge
Cemetery will be held Sunday, October 7 from noon until 3:00. The
eight graves that will be interpreted this year are: the Hamer
Family - Father, son, and sons-in-law all worked for the railroad;
Rosa Kun - widowed owner of a Springfield brewery; Bluford Wilson
- Civil War veteran and prominent Springfield attorney; Mattie
Rayburn - mysterious wife of Bishop William Rayburn who erected
a monument to his deceased wife; Augusta Kellogg alias Madame Brownie
- a Springfield madam who was noted for her charitable work; Dr.
R. E. W. Adams - a homeopathic physician, abolitionist and temperance
man; Jane Pellum - African-American washerwoman who once lived
in the Lincoln Home neighborhood; the Prickett Family - early Springfield
family whose well known house once stood where the Illinois Supreme
Court Building stands today.
There is no charge for the walk but donations will be gratefully
accepted. Books and refreshments will be sold.
You can purchase a 2002 Historic Illinois Calendar with twelve
historic Illinois sites depicted by sending $7.00 for each calendar
to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Calendar, 1 Old State
Capitol Plaza, Springfield IL 62701-1507.
Their Roles Remembered by John Dawson, John Overton, Eugene Houser,
a publication of the Farmer City Genealogical & Historical
Society, P O Box 173, Farmer City, IL 61842. The cost of
each book is $35. It is an accounting of the military service
of hundreds of young men and women from one small Illinois community
with dozens of complete sagas as told by the veterans themselves--stories
they often didn't tell their family or friends.
MENARD COUNTY CEMETERY WALK
The Menard County Tourism Council is hosting a cemetery walk from
1:00 until 4:00 on Sunday, September 23rd at five cemeteries. Sugar
Grove Cemetery near Sweetwater will have interpreters at the graves
of James and Nancy Meadows, Leslie McKee and Judge Milem Alkire;
Peter Lukins, Dr. Francis Regnier, and Sam and Porthena Hill will
be portrayed at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Petersburg; Concord Cemetery
near Atterberry will have David Pantier; John McNamar; and Elija
and Susannah Armstrong; Michael Hargrave, Joe Hall, and James Mott
will be presented at the Hall Cemetery in Athens; and the Rock
Creek Cemetery behind the Rock Creek Church will have interpreters
for the graves of Reverend J. M. Berry, Nellie Ebersolt, and Elihu
This event is free but donations will be accepted. Call
Jeanne Weaver at 632-3543 for more information. Signs will
direct visitors to the sites and maps may be picked up in Petersburg
at the Bank and the Lincoln Tomb Museum.
OLD STATE CAPITOL PROGRAMS
On October 13, Nancy Huse will present a first person Chautauqua-style
program called Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit and the Landscapes
of Home. As Beatrix Potter, she will describe her life as
an artist, writer and philanthropist.
Nancy Huse has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago
and is Chair of the English Department at Augustana College in
Rock Island, Illinois.
On November 10, Poet Nicholas Cage Lindsay, the son of the Vachel
Lindsay, will recite his own works. Look for more information
on the re-opening of the Vachel Lindsay Home.
Doors open at 7:00 with the programs beginning at 7:30. Call
785-7960 for more information.
The annual meeting was held June 13, 2001 at the Northland Center. Everyone
present had a lovely buffet dinner and lots of fun winning raffle
prizes. Tom Emery from Carlinville made a delightful presentation
on Richard Rowett: Thoroughbreds, Beagles and the Civil War. His
topic had some items of interest for everyone. A synopsis
of his talk will appear in the next Historico. He has kindly
offered to speak again at a future Sangamon County Historical Society
program, one that would be especially well-worth attending.