East Side of Square - 1889

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

(Courtesy of David S. Benjamin)
To the old residenters of Springfield there is a perennial fascination about old etchings or wood cuts of familiar scenes 'way back when. And even the modern generation finds them interesting because of their quaint depiction of the Springfield of earlier days. This conception of the north half of the East Side of the Square is a case in point. The drawing, we understand, was made by some local artist for the old Springfield Monitor, the daily published by Captain T. W. S. Kidd in the 80's and 90's, and used in some special edition. Newspaper cuts were then few and far between. This one was probably around 1889, judging from the merchants represented. By that time, of course, those two classic structures - the Sangamon County Court House and the State Bank, had long since disappeared and had been replaced by the buildings shown above, very creditable for those times. Here we see from left to right: The old First National Bank on the corner. Next, at 102 S. 6th Street, the establishment of Sigmund Benjamin, clothier. At 104, Conway & Co., hatters and gents' furnishings. At 106, George W. Leaverton, wholesale and retail boots and shoes - and notice that mammouth shoe poised on top of the building! At 108-110, Kimber Bros., dry goods. At 112, Sommer & Pierik, watchmakers and jewelers, and R. L. Berry, music store. At 114, the Springfield Marine Bank building of that period, and in the basement of the office of Edwin A. Wilson, real estate and loans. It is interesting to note the architectural styles of that period. The First National Bank was probably the oldest structure, and the Marine Bank the most modern, in the row. The usual number of lawyers, doctors, et al had offices in the upper floors. Quite a different scene today!

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.