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The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Springfield (Illinois)

< The American Cyclopædia (1879)

SPRINGFIELD, a city and the capital of Illinois, and seat of justice of Sangamon co., 178 m. S. W. of Chicago; lat. 39° 48′ N., lon. 89° 33′ W.; pop. in 1840, 2,579; in 1850, 4,533; in 1860, 9,320; in 1870, 17,364, of whom 4,456 were foreigners; in 1875, 25,116. It is on a beautiful prairie, 5 m. S. of Sangamon river. Its streets are broad, intersect each other at right angles, and are tastefully adorned with shade trees. From the beauty of the place and its surroundings, it is termed the “Flower City.” The capitol, in a square near the centre of the city, is one of the finest buildings of the kind in the country. Other noteworthy buildings are the United States court house and custom house and post office building, the county court house, state arsenal, high school house, and several handsome churches and commodious hotels. A new state house is nearly completed.


AmCyc Springfield (Illinois).jpg

New State Capitol of Illinois.


Two miles N. of the city is Oak Ridge cemetery, a picturesque and well kept burying ground of 72 acres, containing the remains of Lincoln and a monument to his memory which cost $206,550, dedicated on Oct. 15, 1874.


AmCyc Springfield (Illinois) - Lincoln Monument.jpg

Lincoln Monument.


Springfield is the point of intersection of the Springfield and Northwestern, the Gilman, Clinton, and Springfield, the Ohio and Mississippi, the Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis, and the Toledo, Wabash, and Western railroad lines. There are coal mines in the vicinity, and the surrounding country is very productive. The trade is extensive, and the manufactures are important. The principal establishments are flouring mills, founderies and machine shops, rolling mills, breweries, woollen mills, a watch factory, and manufactories of woodwork, brooms, cordage, harness and saddlery, carriages and wagons, furniture, washing machines, and sash, doors, and blinds. There are three national banks, a private bank, a savings institution, and an insurance company. The city is governed by a mayor and 18 aldermen (3 from each ward). It is supplied with water from Sangamon river. It contains three academies and five public schools (one high and four ward schools), the latter having in 1874-'5 2,530 pupils enrolled, and an average attendance of 1,876. There are two daily and four weekly (one German) newspapers, a library association, and 22 churches, viz.: 4 Baptist, 1 Christian, 1 Congregational, 2 Episcopal, 1 Jewish, 3 Lutheran, 4 Methodist, 4 Presbyterian, and 2 Roman Catholic.—Springfield was laid out in 1822, was made the state capital in 1837, and a city in 1840.