The New International Encyclopædia/Springfield (Illinois)
SPRING′FIELD. The capital of Illinois, and the county-seat of Sangamon County, 185 miles southwest of Chicago; on the Illinois Central, the Chicago and Alton, the Chicago, Peoria and Saint Louis, the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern, the Saint Louis, Chicago and Saint Paul, the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton, and the Wabash railroads (Map: Illinois, C 4). It is regularly laid out with wide streets. The most prominent edifice is the State Capitol, a handsome building begun in 1867, and completed twenty years later. It is 399 feet long and 286 feet wide, and has a massive dome 364 feet high. Other interesting structures are the old Capitol, now used as the county court-house, and the Lincoln residence, now under State supervision. The Lincoln Monument and Mausoleum of gray granite, the cost of which was borne by several States, is situated a little more than a mile from the heart of the city. There are the Bettie Stuart Institute (female), Concordia Seminary, Saint Agatha's School, and the Academy of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The State Library has 50,000 volumes, and the Public more than 42,000 volumes. There are also the State Historical Library, that of the Illinois State Museum of Natural History, and the Supreme Court Library. Other noteworthy features are the City Hall, Post-Office, Governor's Mansion, the High School, and the Odd Fellows' Buildings, the Orphanage of the Holy Child, the Springfield and Saint John's Hospitals, and the David Prince Sanitarium.
Springfield is the centre of a rich farming and coal-mining region, which also has important horse-breeding interests. Its industries in the census year 1900 had an invested capital of $5,030,438, and an output of $6,612,286. The Illinois Watch Company maintains a very large establishment here, and there are also engine works, boiler works, car shops, foundries and machine shops, lumber mills, woolen mills, breweries, and manufactories of soap, saddlery, flour, mattresses, brick, clothing, etc. The government is vested in a mayor, elected biennially, and a unicameral council. The subordinate officials, with the exception of the school board, which is chosen by the council, are appointed by the mayor. For maintenance and operation, the city spends annually about $375,000, the principal items being: Schools, $106,000; interest on debt, $52,000; fire department, $45,000; police department, $32,000; municipal lighting, $23,000; and streets, $21,000. The water-works are owned by the municipality. Population, in 1890, 24,963; in 1900, 34,159. First settled in 1819, and laid out in 1823, Springfield was incorporated as a town in 1832, and was chartered as a city in 1840. In 1837 it was chosen as the State capital, and the State Legislature assembled here for the first time in 1839. Consult Power, History of Springfield (Springfield, 1871).