1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Springfield (Illinois)

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SPRINGFIELD, the capital of Illinois, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Sangamon county, on the Sangamon river, in the central part of the state. Pop. (1890), 24,963; (1900), 34,159, of whom 4654 were foreign-born (1940 Germans, 1106 Irish and 499 English) and 2227 negroes; (1910 census) 51,678. Land area (1906), 7.07 sq. m., of which 3.37 sq. m. had been annexed since 1890. It is served by the Baltimore & Ohio South-Western, the Chicago & Alton, the Chicago, Peoria & St Louis, the Illinois Central, the Wabash, and the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railways, and by inter-urban electric lines. The city has a park and a boulevard system; the principal parks are Washington, Lincoln, Reservoir and Mildred. The chief public building is the state capitol (built in 1868-1888 at a cost of about $4,500,000), in the form of a Greek cross, with porticoes of granite and a dome 361 ft. high. It is the fifth state capitol of Illinois and the second erected in Springfield. Other prominent buildings are the Supreme Court building, the county court house (the old state capitol, finished in 1853), the city-hall, the state arsenal, the high school and the public library. In Oak Ridge cemetery, adjacent to the city, is the Lincoln monument, erected over Abraham Lincoln's grave with funds raised throughout the country by a Lincoln Monument Association. It was designed by Larkin G. Mead, and consists of a granite obelisk 121 ft. above the centre of a mausoleum, which is 119½ ft. long and 72½ ft. wide, and in which there are six crypts for the burial of members of Lincoln's family, and a memorial hall, a museum of Lincolniana. Around the foot of the obelisk (besides an heroic statue of Lincoln) are four groups of figures in bronze, symbolizing the army and navy of the United States. The monument was completed and dedicated in 1874, was transferred to the state in 1895, and restored and in large part rebuilt in 1899-1901. Lincoln's home (erected in 1839 and bought by Lincoln in 1844) in Springfield is well preserved by the state. In the city are the state library (1842), the state law library (1839), the Illinois historical library (1889), of which the State Historical Society (1903) is a department, and the Illinois Supreme Court library; several educational institutions, including Concordia-Seminar (Evangelical Lutheran), the Ursuline Academy (Roman Catholic), and the Academy of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic); the Springfield hospital (1897; Lutheran), and the St John's hospital (1875; under the Sisters of St Francis), two orphanages, two homes for aged women, and a sanatorium; the permanent grounds of the State Fair (157 acres), and a state rifle range and militia camp-ground (160 acres). Springfield is a trading and shipping centre for a prosperous agricultural region, and ships large quantities of bituminous coal from the immediate vicinity. The Wabash and the Chicago, Peoria & St Louis railways have large repair shops here. Among the manufactures are agricultural implements, watches and watch material the Illinois Watch Company has a large factory here lumber, flour, foundry and machine-shop products, automobiles, shoes and boilers. The total value of the factory product in 1905 was $5,976,637 (67.2% more than in 1900). The first settlement was made in 1818. In 1821 the place was chosen to be the county-seat of the newly created Sangamon county and was named Springfield. In 1823 it was platted, and was named Calhoun in honour of John C. Calhoun, but this name was not popular and the former name was soon restored. Springfield was incorporated as a town in 1832 and chartered as a city in 1840. In 1837 the state legislature passed a bill making Springfield the capital, and in December 1839 the legislature first met here.