The Thomas Munroe Papers: A Civil War Surgeon

Thomas Munroe was a surgeon with the 119th Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Born on January 4, 1807 in Annapolis, Maryland, he went on to graduate from St. John’s College with honors and then attended the University of Maryland in Baltimore, graduating with a degree in medicine in 1829. After graduation, Munroe practiced medicine in Baltimore for a year before deciding to go West. In 1834 he moved to Illinois, first settling in Jacksonville. He was married on October 5, 1841, to Annis Hinman, and in 1843 they moved to Rushville where Munroe continued to practice medicine. When the Civil War began, Munroe enlisted and was commissioned Surgeon of the 119th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.… Read More

Life in Milford: The Harry S. Frame Photographs, Memorabilia, and Papers

The village of Milford, Illinois, located in Iroquois County, was incorporated March 3, 1874. Milford, literally meaning “Mill on the Ford,” is one of the oldest settlements in Iroquois County. The village’s earliest settlement was made on the banks of the Sugar Creek in spring of 1830. Milford is located in the southeastern part of the county and is bounded on the north by Belmont Township, on the east by Stockland Township, on the south by Lovejoy Township, and on the west by Ash Grove Township.

Harry S. Frame Sr. was an avid local historian from Milford who collected over 400 photographs featuring scenes of everyday life in the village from the late the 19th century through the early 20th century.… Read More

Business Postal Cards from the C.F. Hall Collection

Postal Card addressed to C.F. Hall & Co., Richmond Ill. As the U.S. began to rebuild after the Civil War, the county experienced growth and a significant development in industry.  From large factories to aspiring producers, there was an increase in production, and new goods and services were available to an expanding population at lower costs. To draw in new waves of consumers, all types of businesses and manufacturers sought out new modes of advertisement.

One of these methods was with business postal cards or trade cards, which were small pasteboard cards with the company’s name, address, and information.  Some of these incorporated colors or an image to better catch buyers’ eyes.… Read More

Oak Ridge Cemetery

The first official cemetery established for Springfield residents was the City Graveyard, four acres of land donated by Elijah Iles in the 1820s. Around 1830 John Hutchinson laid out a tract of six more acres adjoining the City Graveyard to the west. For many years, Hutchinson’s Cemetery was the primary burial ground for Springfield, located five blocks west of the State Capitol.

In June 1855, Charles H. Lanphier, a member of the Springfield City Council, advocated for the purchase of seventeen additional acres of land north of Springfield to establish a new municipal cemetery outside of the city. The city’s growth, sanitation issues, noise pollution, and need for more burial space all contributed to this demand.… Read More