Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Geobox City
name = City of Springfield
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category = City

image_size =
image_caption = The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.
flag_type =

flag_size =
symbol_type = Seal
symbol = Seal of Springfield, IL.png symbol_size =
nickname =
motto = Home of President Abraham Lincoln
motto_note = [http://www.springfield.il.us/ Official City Website] Retrieved on February 20, 2007]
country_type = Country
country = United States
state_type = State
state = Illinois
region_type = County
region = Sangamon
district =
part_type =
part_count =
part =
part1 =
area_imperial = 60.3
area_land_imperial = 54.0
area_water_imperial = 6.3
area_water_percentage = auto
area_percentage_round = 2
area_urban_imperial =
area_metro_imperial =
location =
lat_d = 39.783250
lat_m =
lat_s =
lat_NS =
long_d = -89.650373
long_m =
long_s =
long_EW =
coordinates_type = region:US_type:city
elevation_imperial = 597
highest_name =
highest location =
highest_lat_d =
highest_lat_m =
highest_lat_s =
highest_lat_NS =
highest_long_d =
highest_long_m =
highest_long_s =
highest_long_EW =
highest_elevation_imperial =
lowest_name =
lowest_location =
lowest_lat_d =
lowest_lat_m =
lowest_lat_s =
lowest_lat_NS =
lowest_long_d =
lowest_long_m =
lowest_long_s =
lowest_long_EW =
lowest_elevation_imperial =
population_as_of = 2006
population = 116482
population_urban =
population_metro = 188951
population_density_imperial = 2064
population_density_urban_imperial =
population_density_metro_imperial =
established_type = Founded
established = April 10, 1821
established_note = [http://www.online-springfield.com/firsts.html Springfield Online] Retrieved on April 13, 2007]
established1_type = Incorporated Town
established1 = April 2, 1832
established1_note =
established2_type = City Charter
established2 = April 6, 1840
established2_note =
governmant_type =
leader = Timothy Davlin (D)
leader_type =
leader1_name =
leader1_type =
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code =
postal_code_type =
area_code =
area_code_type =
code2_type =
code2 =
free_type =
free =
free1_type =
free1 =

map_size =
map_caption = Location of Springfield within Illinois
map_locator = Illinois
map_locator_x =
map_locator_y =
map1 = Map of USA IL.svg
map1_caption = Location of Illinois in the United States
website = http://www.springfield.il.us
footnotes =

Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 116,482 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006). Over 205,000 residents live in the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Sangamon County and adjacent Menard County. The land on which Springfield is located today was first settled in the late 1810s, around the time Illinois became a state. The city was originally called "Calhoun" after Vice President John C. Calhoun; as public sentiment turned against Calhoun the city was renamed Springfield. Abraham Lincoln is one of the city's most important and prominent past residents, he moved from Indiana to the area in 1831 and lived in Springfield itself from 1837 until 1861. Former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant also lived briefly in Springfield in 1861. In 1908 a large race riot erupted in the city which culminated with the lynching of two African American residents and led to the founding of the NAACP.

Springfield is known for its food and as a home to such performing arts as ballet, jazz and a carillon festival, which happens annually. Common tourist attractions include a multitude of historic sites affiliated with Lincoln, state government sites and various food-related attractions such as the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop.

The city lies on a mostly flat plain which encompasses much of the surrounding countryside. A large man-made lake, owned by a local public utility company, supplies the city with recreation and drinking water. Weather is fairly typical for middle latitude location, hot summers and cold winters. Spring and summer weather is like that of most midwestern cities-severe thunderstorms are common. Violent storms such as tornadoes are possible, although rare. One of those rare occasions was March 12, 2006 when two tornadoes touched down in the city. This had been the first time in nearly 50 years that a tornado hit Springfield proper.

The city is governed by a mayor-council form of government, under a strong mayor variation. The city proper is also the "Capital Township" governmental entity. In addition, the government of the state of Illinois is also based in Springfield. State government entities located in the city include the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor of Illinois. There are eight public and private high schools in the city. Public schools in Springfield are operated by District No. 186. The economy of Springfield is marked by government jobs, which account for a large percentage of the work force in the city. Unemployment in Springfield rose from September 2006 to February 2007, from 3.8% to 5.1%.


Springfield's original name was Calhoun, after Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. [http://www.usacitiesonline.com/ilcountyspringfield.htm#history Springfield history] Retrieved on February 21, 2007] The land that Springfield now occupies was originally settled by trappers and traders who came to the Sangamon River in 1818. [http://www.quincynet.com/daytrips/springfieldNOlincoln/index.htm Springfield, Illinois] Retrieved on February 20, 2007] The settlement's first cabin was built in 1820, by John Kelly, its site is at the northwest corner of Second Street and Jefferson Street. In 1821, Calhoun became the county seat of Sangamon County; due to the fertile soil, and trading opportunities, settlers from Kentucky, Virginia, and as far as North Carolina came to the city. By 1832, Senator Calhoun had fallen out of the favor with the public and the town was renamed Springfield. [http://www.visit-springfieldillinois.com/About/Sketch.asp A Brief Sketch of Springfield, Illinois] Retrieved on February 20, 2007] By 1837, Springfield became the capital for the state of Illinois, moving it from Vandalia. The designation was largely due to the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and his associates; nicknamed the "Long Nine" for their combined height of convert|54|ft|m.

Lincoln arrived in the Springfield area in 1831, though he would not actually live in the city until 1837. He spent the ensuing six years in New Salem where he began his legal studies, joined the state militia and was elected to the Illinois General Assembly. In 1837 Lincoln moved to Springfield and spent the next 17 years rising in political importance there.Citation| author-link =| last2 =| first2 =| author2-link | title =Springfield, Illinois| journal=American History| volume =32 | issue =4| pages =60| date =| year =September/October 1997| url =http://www.ulib.niu.edu:4513/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9710070017&site=ehost-live| id =ISSN: 1076-8866 , Academic Search Premier, (EBSCO). Retrieved February 24, 2007.]

When the American Civil War erupted in 1861, it came as a mixed blessing to the city of Springfield; even though the war took many to battle, new industries, businesses, and railroads were constructed in the city to help support the war effort. Ulysses S. Grant began his Civil War career in the city, marching out of Springfield at the head of a militia on July 3, 1861; Grant would later become President of the United States. [http://www.visit-springfieldillinois.com/About/FunFacts.asp About the City of Springfield] Retrieved on February 21, 2007] The Civil War's first official casualty hailed from Springfield, Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth. He traveled with Lincoln to Washington, D.C., and was later killed in Virginia. In the years following the war, Springfield became a major hub in the Illinois railroad system and besides politics and farming, coal mining was a major industry for Springfield by 1900.

The Springfield Race Riot occurred in August 1908 when George Richardson, an African American man, was accused of raping a white woman. The crime occurred a few weeks after another black man, Joe James, was arrested for murder. With racial tensions rising, newspapers published headlines which helped fan the flames. The "Illinois State Register's" front page read, "Dragged from her bed and outraged by Negro", the rival "Illinois State Journal's" headline simply read, "Negro's heinous crime."Crouthame, James L. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2992%28196007%2945%3A3%3C164%3ATSRRO1%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1 The Springfield Race Riot of 1908] , "The Journal of Negro History", Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 1960), pp. 164–181, (JSTOR). Retrieved February 24, 2007.]

The pair was safely transported to Bloomington to await trial. Meanwhile, in Springfield, white residents burned many homes and businesses belonging to the city's African-American citizens in retaliation. Much of the eastern part of Springfield, at the time, was on fire during the riot. The violence eventually culminated with the lynching of two black Springfield residents. The riot was suppressed, with the aid of the state militia, and from the ashes the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a coalition of black and white citizens on February 12, 1909, Lincoln's birthday. [http://www.naacp.org/about/history/howbegan/ History of the NAACP] Retrieved on February 20, 2007] [http://library.thinkquest.org/2986/Forms.html The Springfield Race Riot of 1908] Retrieved on February 21, 2007]

Nearly 100 years after the riot, on February 10, 2007, Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy in Springfield, standing on the grounds of the Old State Capitol. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-070210obama-pearson1-story,0,6873557.story Obama: I'm running for president] ] . Senator Obama also used the Old State Capitol in Springfield as a backdrop when he announced his vice presidental selection on August 23, 2008.


Springfield is located at coord|39.783250|N|89.650373|W|type:city_region:US.GR|1 The city is at an elevation of 586 feet (178.6 m) above sea level. [http://drought.unl.edu/whatis/climographs/SpringfieldMetric.htm Annual Climatology: Springfield Illinois (SPI)] , National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] Within the Central section of Illinois,Springfield is near Decatur and the Champaign/Urbana area to the east, Peoria to the North, Bloomington/Normal area to the Northeast.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 60.3 square miles (156.2 km²), of which, 54.0 square miles (139.9 km²) of it is land and 6.3 square miles (16.3 km²) of it (10.46%) is water. The city is located in the Lower Illinois River Basin, in a large area known as Till Plain. Sangamon County, and the city of Springfield, are in the Springfield Plain subsection of Till Plain. The Plain is a result of glacial drift, known as the Illinoian drift because of its large exposure over areas of Illinois.Leverett, Frank. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-049X%281926%2965%3A2%3C105%3ATPGSWT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z The Pleistocene Glacial Stages: Were There More Than Four?,] " (JSTOR), "Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society", Vol. 65, No. 2. 1926, pp. 105–118. Retrieved April 6, 2007.]

The majority of the Lower Illinois River Basin is very flat, with relief extending no more than 20 ft. in most areas, including the Springfield subsection of the plain. The differences in topography are based on the age of drift. The Springfield and Galesburg Plain subsections represent the oldest drift, Illinoian, while Wisconsinian drift resulted in end moraines on the Bloomington Ridged Plain subsection of Till Plain.Warner, Kelly L. " [http://il.water.usgs.gov/proj/lirb/pubs/esr/Environ03.html Lower Illinois River Basin - Physiography] ", Water-Quality Assessment of the Lower Illinois River Basin: Environmental Setting, USGS Water Resources of Illinois [http://il.water.usgs.gov/] , "United States Geological Survey", pg. 3. Retrieved April 6, 2007.]

Lake Springfield is a 4,200 acre (1700 ha) man-made reservoir owned by City Water, Light & Power, the largest municipally owned utility in Illinois. [http://www.cwlp.com/about_cwlp/about.htm About CWLP] , City Water, Light & Power, City of Springfield. Retrieved February 20, 2007.] It was built and filled in 1935. [http://www.cwlp.com/Lake_Springfield/Lake_Levels/lake_water_levels.htm Lake Water Levels] , City Water, Light & Power, City of Springfield. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] The lake is used primarily as a source for drinking water for the city of Springfield, but it also provides cooling water for the condensers at the power plant located on the lake. It attracts approximately 600,000 visitors annually and its convert|57|mi|km of shoreline is home to over 700 lakeside residences and eight public parks. [http://www.cwlp.com/lake_springfield/lake.htm Lake Springfield] , City Water, Light & Power, City of Springfield. Retrieved February 20, 2007.]

Water levels in the lake are measured from mean sea level. The term "full pool" describes the lake at 560 feet (170.7 m) above sea level and indicates the level at which the lake begins to flow over the dam's spillway, if no gates are opened. Normal lake levels are generally somewhere below full pool, depending upon the season. During the drought from 1953-1955 lake levels dropped to their historical low, 547.44 feet (166.9 m) above mean sea level. The highest recorded lake levels were in December 1982 when the lake crested at 564 feet (171.9 m).


Infobox Weather
location = Springfield, IL
Jan_Hi_°F =33.1 |Jan_Hi_°C =0.6
Feb_Hi_°F =22.2 |Feb_Hi_°C =3.8
Mar_Hi_°F =51.1 |Mar_Hi_°C =10.6
Apr_Hi_°F =63.4 |Apr_Hi_°C =17.4
May_Hi_°F =74.4 |May_Hi_°C =23.5
Jun_Hi_°F =83.3 |Jun_Hi_°C =28.5
Jul_Hi_°F =86.5 |Jul_Hi_°C =30.3
Aug_Hi_°F =84.5 |Aug_Hi_°C =29.2
Sep_Hi_°F =78.5 |Sep_Hi_°C =25.8
Oct_Hi_°F =66.6 |Oct_Hi_°C =19.2
Nov_Hi_°F =50.9 |Nov_Hi_°C =10.5
Dec_Hi_°F =38 |Dec_Hi_°C =3.3
Year_Hi_°F = |Year_Hi_°C =
Jan_Lo_°C =-8.3
Feb_Lo_°C = -5.4
Mar_Lo_°C = 0.2
Apr_Lo_°C = 5.6
May_Lo_°C = 11.5
Jun_Lo_°C =16.6
Jul_Lo_°C =18.8
Aug_Lo_°C =17.7
Sep_Lo_°C =13
Oct_Lo_°C =6.8
Nov_Lo_°C =0.9
Dec_Lo_°C =-5.2
Year_Lo_°C =
Jan_Lo_°F = 17.1
Feb_Lo_°F = 22.2
Mar_Lo_°F = 32.4
Apr_Lo_°F = 42.2
May_Lo_°F = 52.7
Jun_Lo_°F = 61.9
Jul_Lo_°F = 66
Aug_Lo_°F = 63.9
Sep_Lo_°F = 55.4
Oct_Lo_°F = 44.4
Nov_Lo_°F =33.7
Dec_Lo_°F = 22.6
Year_Lo_°F =
Jan_Precip_inch =1.62
Feb_Precip_inch = 1.8
Mar_Precip_inch = 3.15
Apr_Precip_inch = 3.36
May_Precip_inch = 4.06
Jun_Precip_inch = 3.77
Jul_Precip_inch = 3.53
Aug_Precip_inch = 3.41
Sep_Precip_inch = 2.83
Oct_Precip_inch = 2.62
Nov_Precip_inch = 2.87
Dec_Precip_inch = 2.54
Year_Precip_inch =
Jan_Precip_cm = |Jan_Precip_mm = 41.148
Feb_Precip_cm = |Feb_Precip_mm = 45.72
Mar_Precip_cm = |Mar_Precip_mm = 80.01
Apr_Precip_cm = |Apr_Precip_mm = 85.344
May_Precip_cm = |May_Precip_mm = 103.124
Jun_Precip_cm = |Jun_Precip_mm = 95.758
Jul_Precip_cm = |Jul_Precip_mm = 89.662
Aug_Precip_cm = |Aug_Precip_mm = 86.614
Sep_Precip_cm = |Sep_Precip_mm = 71.882
Oct_Precip_cm = |Oct_Precip_mm = 66.548
Nov_Precip_cm = |Nov_Precip_mm = 72.898
Dec_Precip_cm = |Dec_Precip_mm = 64.516
Year_Precip_cm = |Year_Precip_mm =
source =USTravelWeather.com [http://www.ustravelweather.com/weather-illinois/springfield-weather.asp]

Springfield has a humid continental climate (Koppen "Dfa") and experiences typical middle latitude weather. Hot summers and cold winters are the norm. Illinois also experiences large numbers of tornadoes. From 1961 to 1990 the city of Springfield averaged 35.25 inches (89.3 cm) of precipitation per year. [http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/normrain.html Normal Monthly Precipitation, Inches] , Department of Meteorology, University of Utah. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] During that same period the average yearly temperature was 52.4 degrees Fahrenheit (11.3 °C), with a summer maximum of 76.5 degrees Fahrenheit (24.7 °C) in July and a winter minimum of 24.2 degrees Fahrenheit (-4.3 °C) in January. [http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/normtemp.html Normal Daily Temperature, °F] , Department of Meteorology, University of Utah. Retrieved February 24, 2007.]

From 1971-2000, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data showed that Springfield's average annual temperature increased to 62.4 degrees Fahrenheit (16.9 °C). [http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/maxtemp.html Normal Daily Maximum Temperatures, °F] , 1971-2000, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] During that period July temperatures, still the hottest month in Springfield on average, maxed out at 86.5 degrees Fahrenheit (30.3 °C) while January temperature increased slightly to an average of 33.1 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1 °C).

In 1957 a tornado hit Springfield, killing two people. On March 12, 2006, the city was struck by two F2 tornadoes. [http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/?n=spi-tornado Springfield Tornados] , Central Illinois Region, National Weather Service. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] The storm system which brought the two tornadoes hit the city around 8:30pm; no one died as a result of the weather. Springfield received a federal grant in February 2005 to help improve its tornado warning systems and new sirens were put in place in November 2006 after eight of the sirens failed during an April 2006 test, shortly after the tornado hit. [http://www.springfield.il.us/RELEASES/2006%20Releases/NewSirens.htm New City Tornado Sirens are Fully Operational] , Press Release, City of Springfield. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] [http://www.house.gov/lahood/20050223Fire.htm Springfield and Quincy Fire Department Awarded $146,646 in Homeland Security Grants] , Press Release, Office of Congressman Ray Lahood, February 23, 2005. Retrieved March 7, 2007.] [http://www.springfield.il.us/cityclerk/Minutes/2006%20Minutes/April%204%2006%20Final%20Minutes.pdf Minutes of the Springfield City Council - April 4, 2006] , (PDF), City of Springfield, City Clerk. Retrieved March 7, 2007.] The cost of the new sirens totaled $983,000. Although tornadoes are not uncommon in central Illinois, the March 12 tornadoes were the first to hit the actual city since the 1957 storm. The 2006 tornados followed nearly identical paths to that of the 1957 tornado.


Springfield proper is greatly based on a grid street system, with numbered streets starting with the longitudinal First Street which leads to the Illinois State Capitol and leading to 32nd Street in the far eastern part of the city. Previously the city had four distinct boundary streets: North, South, East, and West Grand Avenues. Since expansion, West Grand Avenue became MacArthur Boulevard and East Grand became 19th Street on the north side and 18th Street on the south side. 18th Street has since been renamed after Martin Luther King Jr. North and South Grand Avenues (which run east–west) have remained important corridors in the city. At South Grand and Eleventh Street, the old "South Town District" lies, with the City of Springfield undertaking a huge redevelopment project there.

Latitudinal streets range from names of presidents in the downtown area to names of notable people in Springfield and Illinois to names of institutions of higher education, especially in the Harvard Park neighborhood.

Springfield has at least eleven separately designated neighborhoods: Eastside, Enos Park, Hawthorne Place, Historic West Side, Lincoln Park, Near South, Oak Ridge, Shalom, Springfield Lakeshore, Twin Lakes, Vinegar Hill neighborhoods. [http://www.springfield.il.us/Oped/neighborhoods.htm Neighborhood Associations] , Office of Planning & Economic Development, City of Springfield. Retrieved March 11, 2007.]

The Lincoln Park Neighborhood is an area bordered by 3rd Street on its west, Black Avenue on the north, 8th street on the east and North Grand Avenue. The neighborhood is not far from Lincoln's Tomb on Monument Avenue." [http://www.lpnaspringfield.org/boundry.asp Boundaries] ", "Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association". Retrieved May 20, 2007.]


Springfield has been home to a wide array of individuals, who, in one way or another, contributed to the broader American culture. Wandering poet Vachel Lindsay, most famous for his poem "The Congo" and a booklet called "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread", was born in Springfield in 1879.Wood, Thomas J. and Kirsch, Sarah. [http://www.uis.edu/archives/lindsay/intro.html "Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread"] , Web Exhibit, University of Illinois-Springfield. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] At least two notable people affiliated with American business and industry have called the Illinois state capital home at one time or another. Both John L. Lewis, a labor activist, and Marjorie Merriweather Post, the founder of the General Foods Corporation, lived in the city, Post were born there. [http://www.springfield.il.us/Commissions/HistSites/JohnLewisHouse.asp John L. Lewis House] , Historic Sites Commission of Springfield, Illinois. Retrieved February 21, 2007] Hales, Linda. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?node=cityguide/profile&id=792121 Getting One's Fill at Hillwood] , Editorial Review, "Washington Post", September 24, 2000. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] In addition, astronomer Seth Barnes Nicholson was born in Springfield in 1891.Murdin Paul, ed. [http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2000eaa..bookE3892. Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics] , Abstract, Smithsonian/NASA ADS, Astronomy Abstract Service [http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html] . Retrieved February 21, 2007.]

Performing arts

The Hoogland Center for the Arts in downtown Springfield is a centerpiece for performing arts, and houses among other organizations the Springfield Theatre Centre, the Springfield Ballet Company and the Springfield Municipal Opera, also known as The Muni, which stages community theatre productions of Broadway musicals outdoors each summer. A few films have been created or had elements of them created in Springfield. Legally Blonde 2 was filmed in Springfield in 2003. Musicians Artie Matthews and Morris Day both once called Springfield home. [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:9x6m961ogep7~T1 Artie Matthews] , Biography, AllMusic.com. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] [http://www.delafont.com/music_acts/morris-day.htm Morris Day and The Time] , Richard De La Fonte Agency, Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] Other performing arts such as music and ballet are also common in Springfield. [http://www.findsomethingtodo.com/category_e.asp?l=6&c=1] Springfield Music Retrieved on March 21, 2007.] [http://www.findsomethingtodo.com/category_e.asp?l=6&c=17] Springfield Ballet Retrieved on March 21, 2007.]


Springfield has long had an affiliation with food. The corn dog on a stick was invented in the city under the name “Cozy Dog,” although there is some debate to the actual origin of the popular snack.Oral History Collections. [http://www.uis.edu/archives/memoirs/WALDMIRE.pdf Interview with Edwin Waldmire] , Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) [http://www.uis.edu/archives/] , Brookens Library, University of Illinois-Springfield. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] Storch, Charles. [http://www.ulib.niu.edu:4513/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W62W62077080026&site=ehost-live Birthplace (maybe) of the corn dog] , "Chicago Tribune", August 16, 2006, Newspaper Source, (EBSCO). Retrieved February 24, 2007.] The horseshoe, not well-known outside of the city, also originated in Springfield.Harris, Patricia and Lyon, David. [http://www.boston.com/ae/food/articles/2006/11/20/the_hottest_thing_in_sandwiches/The hottest thing in sandwiches] , "Boston Globe", November 20, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] Springfield was also once home to the Reisch Beer brewery. [http://www.ulib.niu.edu:2072/pqdweb?index=0&did=625286242&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1173534473&clientId=8829 117-Year-Old Brewing Co. Closes] , (PDF) "Chicago Tribune", (1963-Current file); August 8, 1966; pg. C6. ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 - 1985). Retrieved March 10, 2007]

The alleged first U.S. drive-thru window is still in operation in Springfield at the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop.Pearson, Rick. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-0702080400feb09,1,316033.story A Guide for the National Press] , "Chicago Tribune", February 9, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2007.] The city is also known for its chili, or “chilli”, as it is known in many chili shops throughout Sangamon County. The unique spelling is said to have begun with the founder of the Den Chilli Parlor in 1909, due to a spelling error in the chili parlor’s sign. [http://www.visit-springfieldillinois.com/About/FunFacts.asp About the City] , Springfield, Illinois Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2007.] Another interpretation is that the misspelling represented the “Ill” in the word Illinois. In 1993 the Illinois state legislature adopted a resolution proclaiming Springfield the “Chilli Capital of the Civilized World.”Zimmerman-Wills, Penny. [http://www.illinoistimes.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A2233 Capital City Chilli] , "Illinois Times", January 30, 2003. Retrieved February 23, 2007.]

The city of Springfield is dotted with sites centered around U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who started his political career in Springfield.Thomas, Benjamin P. " [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=25051697 Abraham Lincoln: A Biography] ", Alfred Knopf:New York, (1952). Retrieved February 24, 2007.] These include: the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, a National Historical Park that includes the preserved surrounding neighborhood, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Near the village of Petersburg, is New Salem State Park, a restored hamlet of log cabins, recreating the town where Lincoln lived as a young man. With the opening of the Presidential Library and Museum in 2004, the city has seen a number of prominent visitors, including President George W. Bush and the Emir of Qatar. [http://www.qatarembassy.net/The%20visit%20of%20The%20Emir%20of%20Qatar%20to%20The%20United%20States%202005.asp The visit of The Emir of Qatar to the United States (May 2005)] , Press Release, Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington D.C.. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] [http://www.alplm.org/home.html# Museum Dedication - A Look Back] , (note:automatically plays band music), Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] The Donner Party, a group of pioneers who resorted to cannibalism while snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, began their journey in Springfield.Reardon Patrick T. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-0702080399feb09,1,7459474.story Donner Party began here too] , "Chicago Tribune", February 7, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2007.] Springfield's Dana-Thomas House is among the best preserved and most complete of Frank Lloyd Wright's early "Prairie" houses. [http://www.state.il.us/hpa/hs/dana_thomas.htm Dana-Thomas House] , State Historic Sites, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved March 7, 2007.] It was built in 1902-1904 and has many of the furnishings Wright designed for it. Springfield's Washington Park is home to Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon and the site of an annual carillon festival, held since 1962. [http://www.carillon-rees.org/html/festival.html The 46th Annual Carillon Festival] , Press Release, Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] In August, the city is the site of the Illinois State Fair.

Although not born in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln is the city's most famous resident. He lived here for 17 years. The only home he ever owned is open to the public, seven days a week, free of charge, and operated by the National Park Service.


Historically, Springfield has been home to a number of minor league baseball franchises, the last club leaving the city after 2001. The city was the home of the Springfield Stallions, an indoor football team who played at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in 2007. Today, the city is host to the Springfield Junior Blues, a minor league hockey team.

The city has produced several notable professional sports talents. Current and former Major League Baseball players, Kevin Seitzer, Jeff Fassero, Ryan O'Malley, Jason and Justin Knoedler, and Hall of Famer Robin Roberts were all born in Springfield. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/4639/ Jeff Fassero] , Player Pages, "Sports Illustrated". Retrieved February 21, 2007.] [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/3874/ Kevin Seitzer] , Player Pages, "Sports Illustrated". Retrieved February 21, 2007.] [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/7836/ Ryan O'Malley] , Player Pages, "Sports Illustrated". Retrieved February 21, 2007.] [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/42960/ Robin Roberts] , Player Pages, "Sports Illustrated". Retrieved February 21, 2007.] Former MLB player Dick "Ducky" Schofield is currently an elected official in Springfield, and his son Dick Schofield also played in the Major Leagues, as does Ducky's grandson, Jayson Werth. Ducky, Dick, and Jayson were all born in Springfield. Ducky's daughter (and Jayson's mother) Kim Schofield Werth, also from Springfield, is a track star who competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials. National Basketball Association players Dave Robisch, Kevin Gamble, and Andre Iguodala are also all from the city.Freedman, Lew. [http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/cs-0702100185feb10,1,4280547.story?coll=cs-college-print Gamble Paying Off] , "Chicago Tribune", February 10, 2007.] [http://www.nba.com/sixers/community/iguodala_060404.html Andre Iguodala to Donate $19,000 to Assist Tornado Relief Efforts in Springfield, Ill.] , Press Release, Philadelphia 76ers, April 4, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2007]


The "State Journal-Register" is the primary daily newspaper for Springfield, and its surrounding area. The newspaper was originally founded in 1831 as the "Sangamon Journal", and claims to be "the oldest newspaper in Illinois." The local alternative weekly is the "Illinois Times". There are four TV channels which include WCFN MYTV 49, WICS ABC 20, WRSP FOX 55, and WSEC PBS 14. There are several radio stations based in Springfield, including WUIS FM 91.9, WXAJ FM 99.7, WMAY AM 970, WNNS 98.7 FM, WQLZ 92.7 FM and Alice 97.7 FM. [http://www.usnpl.com/radio/ilradio.php Illinois Radio Stations] . Retrieved on August 23, 2007.] [http://www.mondotimes.com/1/world/us/13/814 Springfield Illinois news media] . Retrieved on March 8, 2007.] [http://www.democraticunderground.com/cu/cu.php?az=media&state=IL#Springfield Illinois Local Media] Retrieved on March 8, 2007] One television station that has since ceased to exist was WJJY-TV, which operated in the Springfield area for three years (1969-1971). [http://www.brainmist.com/wjjy_tv/wjjy_tv.htm The Rise & Fall of WJJY-TV] . Retrieved on March 8, 2007.]

Springfield is also served by an NBC affiliate in Decatur (WAND-TV) and a CBS affiliate in Champaign (WCIA-TV).


Many of the jobs in the city center around state government, headquartered in Springfield. As of 2002, the State of Illinois is both the city and county's largest employer, employing 17,000 people across Sangamon County. As of February 2007, government jobs, including local, state and county, account for about 30,000 of the city's non-agricultural jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities, and the health care industries each provide between 17,000 and 18,000 jobs to the city. The largest private sector employer in 2002 was Memorial Health Systems. 3,400 people worked for that company. [http://www.springfield.il.us/Oped/employers.htm Major Springfield Employers] , Office of Planning and Economic Development, City of Springfield. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] According to estimates from the "Living Wage Calculator", maintained by Pennsylvania State University, the living wage for the city of Springfield is $6.50 per hour for one adult. That is about $13,000 working 2,000 hours per year. For a family of four costs are increased and the living wage is $19.49 per hour within the city. [http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/results.php?location=10510 Springfield city, Sangamon County, IL] , Living Wage Calculator [http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/] , Department of Geography [http://www.geog.psu.edu/] , Penn State University. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the Civilian Labor force dropped from 116,500 in September 2006 to 113,400 in February of 2007. In addition, the unemployment rate rose during the same time period from 3.8% to 5.1%. [http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.il_springfield_msa.htm Springfield, IL - Economy at a glance] , Bureau of Labor Statistics, "U.S. Department of Labor". Retrieved April 6, 2007.]


footnote= [http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/index.htm Decennial US Census]
As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 111,454 people, 48,621 households, and 27,957 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,063.9 people per square mile (796.9/km²). There were 53,733 housing units at an average density of 995.0/sq mi (384.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.01% White, 15.34% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.45% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.

There were 48,621 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,388, and the median income for a family was $51,298. Males had a median income of $36,864 versus $28,867 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,324. About 8.4% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

Springfield city government is structured under the mayor-council form of government. It is the strong mayor variation of that type of municipal government, the mayor holds executive authority, including veto power, in Springfield. The executive branch also consists of 17 non-elected city "offices." Ranging from the police department to the Office of Public Works, each office can be altered through city ordinance. [http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=12414&sid=13 Code of Ordinances] , City of Springfield, Title III: Chapter 32: Article I - Executive Branch. Municode.com. Retrieved February 25, 2007.]

Elected officials in the city, mayor, aldermen, clerk, and treasurer, serve four year terms. [http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=12414&sid=13 Code of Ordinances] , City of Springfield, Title I: Chapter 30: General Provisions. Municode.com. Retrieved February 25, 2007.] The elections are not staggered. The council members are elected from ten districts throughout the city while the mayor, city clerk and city treasurer are elected on an at-large basis. The council, as a body, consists of the ten aldermen and the mayor, though the mayor is generally a non-voting member who only participates in the discussion. There are a few instances where the mayor does vote on ordinances or resolutions: if there is a tie vote, if more than half of the aldermen support the motion, whether there is a tie or not, and where a vote greater than the majority is required by the municipal code. [http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=12414&sid=13 Code of Ordinances] , City of Springfield, Title III: Chapter 31: Legislative. Municode.com. Retrieved February 25, 2007.]

As the state capital Springfield is home to the three branches of Illinois government. Much like the United States federal government, Illinois government has an executive branch, occupied by the state governor, a legislative branch, which consists of the state senate and house, and a judicial branch, which is topped by the Illinois Supreme Court. [http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con6.htm Article IV - Section 4, Jurisdiction] , The Judiciary, "Constitution of the State of Illinois", Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved March 7, 2007.] The Illinois legislative branch is collectively known as the Illinois General Assembly. [http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con4.htm Article IV - Section 1, Legislature - Power and Structure] , The Legislature, "Constitution of the State of Illinois", Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved March 7, 2007.]


The Capital Township formed from Springfield Township on July 1, 1877, and was established and named by the Sangamon County Board on March 6, 1878, and the limits of the township and City of Springfield were made co-extensive on February 17, 1892 to better serve the people. There are three functions of this township: assessing property, collection first property tax payment, and assisting residents that live in the township. One thing that makes the Capital township unique is that the township never has to raise taxes for road work, since the roads are maintained by the Springfield Department of Public Works. [http://captwnshp.co.sangamon.il.us Capital Township] , Official site. Retrieved March 8, 2007.] [http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/irad/sangamon.html Sangamon County Fact Sheet] , Illinois State Archives. Retrieved March 10, 2007.]


Springfield is home to at least eight public and private high schools. The public school district is District No. 186. The city is also home to two community colleges as well as the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois, which is located on the southeast side of the city. The city is home to the Springfield campus of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, [http://www.siumed.edu/studentaffairs/ Office of Student Affairs] , Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] which is in the early stages of building a Cancer Institute in Springfield's Medical District. [http://www.siumed.edu/cancer/adminpages/bulding.html New SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute Building] , SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] There are also two junior colleges located in Springfield, Springfield College, and Lincoln Land Community College. Due to an agreement of partnership with Springfield College in 2003, Benedictine University also has a presence in Springfield.

Springfield Public School District 186 operates 24 elementary schools and an early learning center, (pre-K), in the city of Springfield. The district operates three high schools, Lanphier High School, Springfield High School and Springfield Southeast High School, and five middle schools. [http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/ Schools] , Springfield Public School District 186. Retrieved February 24, 2007]

Springfield's Sacred Heart-Griffin High School is a city Catholic high school. [http://www.shg.org/ Sacred Heart=Griffin High School] , Sacred Heart-Griffin High School. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] Other area high schools include Calvary Academy and Lutheran High School. [http://www.lutheranhs.pvt.k12.il.us/ Lutheran High] , Main page. Retrieved February 24, 2007.]


Health systems

There are two Springfield hospitals, Springfield Memorial Medical Center and St. John's Hospital. St. John's Hospital is home to the Prairie Heart Institute, which performs more cardiovascular procedures than any other hospital in Illinois. The dominant health care provider in the area is Springfield Clinic. The major medical education concern in the area is the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine -- located in Springfield. [http://www.prairieheart.com/index.php?fuseaction=overview.home Overview] , Prairie Heart Institute, St. John's Hospital. Retrieved February 23, 2007.]


The Springfield Park District operates more than 30 parks throughout the city. The two best-known are Carpenter Park, an Illinois Nature Preserve on the banks of the Sangamon River, and Washington Park and Botanical Garden on the city's southwest side. As well as Lincoln Park, located next to Oak Ridge Cemetery where President Lincoln's tomb is located.

Public utilities

The owner of Lake Springfield, City Water, Light & Power, supplies electric power for the city of Springfield and eight surrounding communities, the company also provides the cities and towns with water from the lake. Natural gas is provided via AmerenCILCO, formerly Central Illinois Light Company (CILCO). [http://www.springfield.il.us/Oped/profile.htm Springfield profile] , Office of Planning & Economic Development, "City of Springfield". Retrieved April 6, 2007.]


Interstate 55 runs from north to south past Springfield, while I-72, also known as US 36, runs from east to west. Springfield is also served by Amtrak passenger trains, which operate between Chicago and St. Louis and stop at the former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio station. [http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Station/Station_Page&code=SPI Amtrak] , Amtrak Station. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] Local mass transportation needs are met by a bus service. The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) operates Springfield's bus system. [http://www.smtd.org/ Springfield Mass Transit System] , Springfield Mass Transit System. Retrieved February 24, 2007.] The city also lies along historic Route 66.

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport serves the capital city with air service to Chicago/O'Hare, Chicago/Midway,Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and Dulles/Washington, D.C.. [http://www.flyspi.com/arrivedepart.html Daily Outbound] , Springfield to: O'Hare, Midway, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C., Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. Retrieved June 5, 2007.]

Springfield and the surrounding metropolitan area has constructed bike trails and bike lanes on a number of streets. Currently three main trails exist, with several more proposed, including the Sangamon Valley Trail spanning north to south through the west central part of Sangamon County. Expansions on the existing trails are in the works. Two significant paved trails, the Interurban Trail and the Lost Bridge Trail, serve Springfield and its suburbs of Chatham, Illinois and Rochester, Illinois. The other trail is the Wabash Trail, spanning from the northern end of the Interurban Trail and traveling westward toward Parkway Pointe, a regional shopping destination.

ee also

* Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden
* Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
* Camp Butler National Cemetery
* Executive Mansion
* Illinois State Capitol
* Illinois State Fair
* Lincoln Home National Historic Site
* Lincoln Tomb
* USS Springfield
* USS Springfield (SSN-761)


External links

* [http://www.springfield.il.us City of Springfield]
* [http://www.ilga.gov/ Illinois General Assembly]
* [http://www.lincolnlibrary.info Lincoln Library, the Public Library of Springfield, Illinois]
* [http://www.sj-r.com The State Journal-Register]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Springfield (Illinois) — Springfield Spitzname: Home of President Abraham Lincoln Parlamentsgebäude von Illinois in Springfield …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Springfield (Illinois) — Para otros usos de este término, véase Springfield. Springfield, Illinois …   Wikipedia Español

  • Springfield (Illinois) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Springfield. 39° 47′ 00″ N 89° 39′ 01″ W …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Springfield, Illinois (Amtrak station) — Infobox Station style=Amtrak name=Springfield image size=300 image caption=The former Chicago and Alton station, currently utilized as the Amtrak station in Springfield. address=N. 3rd and Washington Sts. Springfield, IL 62701 line=Amtrak: other …   Wikipedia

  • Springfield, Illinois metropolitan area — The Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties in Central Illinois, anchored by the city of Springfield. As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of… …   Wikipedia

  • Sister cities of Springfield, Illinois — Springfield, Illinois, USA has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, they include the following places:*flagicon|Austria Villach (Austria) Unknown *flagicon|Ireland Killarney (Ireland) Unknown *flagicon|Mexico San… …   Wikipedia

  • Flag of Springfield, Illinois — The municipal Flag of Springfield, Illinois is the lawful flag of the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois, Springfield. Its background is Old Glory blue . The flag is emblazoned with a circle of 20 small, white stars, all pointed upward; the… …   Wikipedia

  • Interstate 55 Business Loop (Springfield, Illinois) — Interstate 55 Business Loop  Illinois,  …   Wikipedia Español

  • Municipio de Springfield (Illinois) — Municipio de Springfield Municipio de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Seal of Springfield, Illinois — The corporate Seal of Springfield, Illinois is the official seal adopted by the capital city of the U.S. state of Illinois. Its design consists of a black circle inscribed in white with the words City of Springfield, Capital of Illinois, along… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.