In 1956, a little-known freshman congressman from Franklin County in southern Illinois gave his first major speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, receiving a standing ovation for his efforts.
Champaign-Urbana owes its prominence to the University of Illinois, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign owes its existence to Clark Robinson Griggs.
Longtime Effingham resident Dale Fitzpatrick started to look into his maternal family history and his research has turned into much more.
Near the main entry to the hospital is this simple declaration, “Saint Anthony’s Memorial Hospital erected in the year of our Lord 1952.” However, the story behind those words is one of great triumph over the most tragic experience that Effingham County has ever suffered.
The demolition of Effingham’s Police Department building in order to clear the way for a new police station in Effingham caused many people to reflect on personal memories of the building and the history of Kroger Company in Effingham.
World War II. The women of Effingham County were there. Some served in the military. Some worked in defense plants. Some planted Victory Gardens even as they watched their sons go to war. No matter what they did, they knew the importance of pulling together for the sake of our country. I’m g…
What was life like for the typical Effingham County resident in the early 20th Century? How was daily life different from today’s experiences? Those are questions which many people wonder about when studying their personal family history. What are the sources of the needed information?
The latter part of the 19th century witnessed great change in Effingham County’s seat of government as it changed from the simple Pre-Civil War village to an up-and-coming commercial center in the middle of the United States. Fortunately, people from the time period of 1866-1930 often left d…
In Effingham County cemeteries, there are numerous gravestones which mark the final resting places of Effingham County veterans of the Spanish-American War, a conflict which for many people is a forgotten war because so few know anything about it.
In 1914, the world witnessed the outbreak of a conflict which resulted in death and destruction on a grander scale than anyone could have ever imagined.
As over 1,500 conventioneers with their spouses gathered in Effingham for the 15th annual meeting of the Federation of German Catholic Societies of Illinois in mid-May of 1907, the large banner high above Effingham’s Jefferson Avenue boldly proclaimed “Willkommen Delegaten.” The event was an…
On Feb. 19, 1896, the Effingham County Courthouse was “full to overflowing” as the county Republican Central Committee gathered to name their choices for statewide and national offices.
If Americans are asked to list items which are the mental images and physical representations of freedom, one item which most people can easily think of is the beloved and historic Liberty Bell.
Saukenuk was well-known as one of the largest Native American villages in North America, but one of its residents, the warrior Black Hawk, was even better known.
Grand manors make up the skylines of many Illinois communities, but the history encapsulated at the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington holds it above the rest.
In April of 1861, two political leaders issued calls for help from citizens: First, President Lincoln issued his call: “WHEREAS, The laws of the United States have been and are opposed in several states by combinations too powerful to be suppressed in the ordinary way, I therefore call for t…
The following is taken from the 1910 “History of Effingham County” material written by Civil War-era Mason resident Dr. J.N. Matthews:
Another aspect of the tragedy of the American Civil War that involved many from this part of the state was that of being sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
Mary Lou Deters has a special interest in her family history, so much that she has several binders of historical information about people in her family.
“At midnight we started for Teutopolis, where we have a branch house. Bishop Juncker, whom I had met at Munich, had persistently urged its foundation. We rode in the railroad cars till five in the evening and then a two hours’ journey in a rattling cart over a non-descript road was yet befor…
The Springfield Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society recently dressed in Civil War-era clothing and re-enacted a historical “sanitary fair” at the Shelbyville Senior Center, including original pieces and reproductions of quilts, toys, jewelry and embroidered handkerchiefs of the time period.
Peoria wasn't always a company town. It was a distillery town, a farm implement town and a river town before the Caterpillar Tractor Co. set up shop.
There is a strong military tradition in Effingham County. The numerous veterans memorials throughout the area and the large collection of military artifacts in the Effingham County Museum attest to that fact. That tradition goes back to the days when the county was in its infancy, going back…
When people think about Abraham Lincoln, much of the focus is on the incredibly great things he did, things like keeping the Union together and emancipating the slaves in the Confederate States. Some will remember him for his great oratory, such as the two inaugural addresses, or the Gettysb…
George Higgs was the second oldest native-born citizen of the county. His friend and relative was Thomas B. Austin of Jackson Township, who was the oldest.
The early history of Effingham County is closely related to one of the United States government’s greatest enterprises, a road which dramatically impacted economically, politically and socially upon all areas through which it passed. It was a monumental cultural achievement.
There were two basic factors that had an impact on the development of Effingham County: The path of the National Road and the construction of railroads through the county, according to the book “History of Effingham County, Illinois,” edited by William Henry Perrin, published in 1883.
Effingham County is rich in history. However, some history was lost in a fire at the courthouse in 1868, according to “History of Effingham County, Illinois,” edited by William Henry Perrin, published in 1883. The book mentioned legal papers and documentation were lost due to the fire.
Shelbyville resident Charla Fischbach has a special connection to Effingham County. She is the descendant of the first white man to settle in the county, Griffin Tipsword.
Documented in the 1883 publication “History of Effingham County, Illinois,” Griffin Tipsword came to Effingham County in either 1814 or 1815 taking up residence with the Kickapoo Indians. The Kickapoo established a community in the area comprised of parts of what is now known as Fayette, Eff…
Trains brought Abraham Lincoln’s body home to Illinois, transported southern blacks escaping Jim Crow laws to Chicago, and now carry a labor force of thousands between the suburbs and downtown Chicago daily.
A.E. “Gene” Staley’s successful corn manufacturing company in Decatur was already producing starch, glucose, sugar and syrup in 1919 when it added professional football to the assembly line.
In summer 1814, skirmishes between the U.S. and British-backed warriors under the leadership of Black Hawk flared up and down river from Rock Island.
She lost her own family, so she adopted a new one, a huge one, lifting up the cause of labor while rising to become one of the most famous women in American history.
First, let’s get his name straight. It was Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak. In English, he was Black Hawk, war chief of the Sac and Fox tribe who lived most of his life in the Rock River Valley in northern Illinois.
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