& Springfield, the Future Capital


In 1819 John Lindsay, along with his second wife of eight years, Sophia Lanterman Lindsay, left the Kentucky cane country for the Sangamon Valley of Illinois. Sophia's father Peter and certain of his family accompanied them (not sure of all the travelers). Son John Petersen, b. 1814 was toddler and his brother (my gGrandfather, b. 1819) Abraham Lanterman Lindsay was either born on the way or soon after their arrival in the new land.

Not much can be known about the times and life of these our people, but perhaps an account by another wanderer of that age can help.

ELIJAH ILES, in his reminisces (1883) reports that in 1821 on first visit to the valley, he met John Lindsay, brother-in-law Abram Lanterman and others. (In the 1881 account he identifies John's father-in-law Peter Lanterman in the meeting.)

There are two sources for the Lindsay and Lanterman presence as early settlers in the county:

The first citation is cited in the publication:

Inter-State Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois, 1881

Page 580 recites the presence of John and William Kelly, Andrew Elliott, Samuel Little, John Lindsay, Peter Lauterman and Jacob and Levi Ellis living within the distance of two miles of a stake inserted into the ground for the purpose of designating the new proposed site for the capital of Illinois, to be named Springfield. The date is 1821.

The second citation, a manuscript written in 1883 is more informative.

"Sketches of Early Life and Times in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois"

Page 31 recites the names of the settlers residing within the distance of two miles from the stake which had been set to mark a temporary county seat for Sangamon county, to be named Springfield, and who were instrumental in causing this site to be selected, were John Kelly, William Kelly, Andrew Elliot, Jacob Ellis, Levi Ellis, John Lindsay, Abram Lanterman, Mr. Dagget, and Samuel Little.

The Sangamon Lindsays and Lantermans were "instrumental" in founding Springfield which later became the capital of Illinois!

The Sangamon County IL GenWeb unaccountably does not credit our family for the role they played in Springfield's founding . . . rather citing Elijah Iles, John Kelly, Pascal P. Enos, and John Taylor as the "instruments" for selecting the site:

"Other founders of Springfield"
    John Kelly
    Pascal P. Enos
    John Taylor

Consider this:

In 1821 Kelly had a cabin near the stake; Enos didn't arrive on the scene until 1823; and Taylor live on Sugar Creek until he moved to Springfield in 1822! Apparently living within "two miles of the stake" was proof of residence but not sufficient for "founding status", even if you wasn't there!

Now Elijah Iles was no fool and he had tried to dabble in real estate before. This time he succeeded! Iles became a prosperous lot holder in Springfield, as did Enos, Taylor, and a Mr. Thomas Cox. A letter found in the files of the Lincoln Library suggests how it might happened!

Ever heard this kind of story before? So much for the history of Springfield!

See biography of Elijah Iles