January, 2001
June, 2001
March - April, 2001
September, 2001


January, 2001


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 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 Lincoln Library.
Plan to attend this interesting and informative program. Refreshments will be served.

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 Library.

March-April 2001


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:


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.


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 letter arrived.

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 women. 

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 $10,000 worth. 

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 male contemporaries.

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, leisurely existence.

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.  

June, 2001


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 and dues. 

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. 



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

Elizabeth Alexander
John Daly
Perry Hall
Tim Krell
Lee Reed
Carl Volkmann

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


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.


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.


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.


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 forget
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 Chapter, NRHS. 

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. 


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.



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 of oats.

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.


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.

September 2001


Board Meeting: September 12, 2001 5:00 p.m. Lincoln Library, Carnegie Room south

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.


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 cadamyst@springnet1.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, 753-4900.


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.


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 Bone.

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.


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.