Here are the places worth searching and some researchers who (I hope)
can actually do the searching!
PLACES TO SEARCH:
First, I want to thank the various organizations I contacted for help
with your original question: The Springfield State Journal-Register;
Sharon Clark at the Illinois Newspaper Project; Dr. Tom Schwartz, the
state historian (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library; Dr. Bryon
Andreasen, researcher for walking tours of Springfield, and Susan
Haake and Tim Townsend at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
The people I contacted at these organizations were very interested in
your question, and exceptionally kind and patient in their dealings
I'm especially indebted to Ms. Marilyn Lynch, librarian at The State
Journal-Register. On April 15th she wrote me back explaining that The
State Journal-Register electronic archives only go back to mid-1985.
Ms. Lynch very kindly did search those to see if the story had popped
up again -- but no such luck. (Btw, the library staff at the State
Journal-Register -- just like most newspapers -- is unable to search
through older archives.)
Ms. Lynch suggested these possibilities:
"The Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library (the public library
here in Springfield, not the Lincoln Presidential Library)."
The curator of the local history collection is Ed Russo, who will be
retiring soon. Their phone number is 217-753-4910. According to Ms.
Lynch, "They have The State Journal-Register's older microfilm as part
of a respectable local historical collection. *I would definitely try
The University of Illinois-Springfield also maintains old issues of
The State Journal-Register on microfilm, but Ms. Lynch is unsure if
they undertake such research projects. I would think they'd at least
let you, or a researcher you've hired, go through their archives.
Their phone number is 217-206-6633.
Ms. Lynch also suggested:
The Illinois State Historical Library:
Contact: Kim Bauer, curator of the library's Henry Horner Lincoln Collection
of 47,000 artifacts.
Also: the Illinois State Library, "which is directed by the Illinois
Secretary of State's office":
217-782-7596 or 217-785-5600.
So, the above are the places that may have the article!
I can rule out: The new Lincoln Presidential Library, the Illinois
Newspaper Project, and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and
the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. I contacted the latter
two, but never heard back from either, so must assume that neither
knows anything about this anecdote, or is in a position to locate the
Specializes in genealogy, but also researches newspapers, including at the
Sangamon Valley Collection, which Ms. Lynch believes is the best bet.
We Search (Dan Dixon)
Seems to do all manner of historical research.
E-mail: appears to be out-dated.
Try snail mail:
901 West Jackson
Auburn, Illinois 62615
Donald G. Southwood
Eastern Iowa and western Illinois (Springfield may be too far afield for
him, but it never hurts to ask).
The Midwest Historical and Genealogical Library:
Don't be dismayed by their location in Kansas! See their page:
"Midwest Historical and Genealogical Library staff will do research
for a fee of $ 5.00 per hour (US Dollars only) from our library
holdings, including our MHGS publications. If outside research is
required, and the staff for research is available, the fee is $10.00
per hour (US Dollars only).
Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1121
Wichita, KS 67201-1121
(Please include a large SASE and your e-mail address.)"
That service includes searches of old Illinois newspapers, but I
suggest you call them first to make sure they have access to
Springfield papers circa 1861. Their number is (316) 264-3611.
University of Illinois's Illinois Archives:
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Archives USA (accessible only to institutions):
Illinois Archive's off-site access to information:
The Chicago Historical Society can do a newspaper search for you in
its Research collections that include "published" works such as books
See fee schedule
It looks like you'll need the $60 an hour search.
Contact them at:
The Chicago Historical Society
Clark Street at North Avenue Chicago
The following are listed as primarily genealogy researchers, but may
do this newspaper search for you -- all you can do is ask!
Ann L. Wells
(Please contact her via the form at the above page.)
Caldeen McDonald Benedict
If all else fails, try "Cyndi's List of Illinois Researchers" (most of
whom are genealogy researchers, but some may be willing to take on
I can also contact the history department at the University of
Illinois to see if there are any history students who may be willing
to do this research for you, in case you can't find a professional
researcher to take on this project.
historians OR researchers OR librarians AND Springfield
historians OR researchers OR librarians AND Illinois
researcher AND Illinois
historic research Illinois
history researcher Illinois
newspaper research Illinois
newspaper research +Illinois
history AND researchers AND Sangamon
I hope this information is of help to you. Please post a "Request For
Clarification" if you need additional assistance, prior to rating my
Also please post a "Request For Clarification" to let me know when you
have secured a researcher to do this work. If none of these candidates
is able to do the work, I will search for more researchers.
I sure hope the article can be found -- and that your mystery is soon solved!