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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Springfield (Illinois)

SPRINGFIELD, a city of the United States, capital of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon county, 185 miles south-west of Chicago and 95 north-east of St Louis, at the intersection of the main lines of the Chicago and Alton and the Wabash, St Louis, and Pacific Railways. It is situated in 39° 48′ N. lat. and 89° 33′ W. long., on a plateau 4 miles south of the Sangamon river. The State capitol (1868-1886) is constructed of Joliet marble in the form of a Greek cross, with porticos of granite; it is 385 feet long and 296 wide, and has a central dome surmounted by a lantern with a ball on the pinnacle (360 feet). It contains a general library, a law library, geological and agricultural museums, and a memorial hall of the Civil War, as well as the usual Government offices. Other buildings of note are the United States executive mansion, custom-house and post-office (1866-68), and the house formerly occupied by Lincoln. In Oak Ridge cemetery, adjacent to the city, is the Lincoln monument (1874), beneath which that president was buried. The monument, designed by Larkin G. Mead, consists of a granite obelisk, reaching a height of 98⅓ feet from the centre of a spacious basement (119½ feet long and 72½ wide), which contains a catacomb and a memorial hall, — the latter a museum of Lincolniana. A bronze statue of Lincoln and four groups of figures in bronze, symbolizing the army and navy of the United States, are arranged round the foot of the obelisk. The town has a public library, two hospitals, two orphanages, and various other charitable institutions. Extensive deposits of bituminous coal occur in and near Springfield, which is the seat of extensive iron-rolling mills, watch factories, railway machine shops, plough works, and woollen, paper, and flour mills. It is also the headquarters of six of the principal live-stock associations of the country. The population was 4533 in 1850, 9820 in 1860, 17,364 in 1870, 19,743 (1328 coloured) in 1880, and in 1887 it was estimated at 25,000.

Laid out in 1822, Springfield was selected as State capital in 1837, and was made a city in 1840.