The joint vote between the House of Representatives and the Senate took place on February 28, 1837. It took four votes before legislators selected Springfield. Their closest rivals were Alton, Vandalia and Jacksonville. Springfield is still the state capital.
Springfield is located in a valley and a plain near the Sangamon River. Lake Springfield, a large artificial lake owned by the company City Water, Light & Power (CWLP), supplies the city with drinking and recreational water. The climate is quite typical in mid-latitudes, with four distinct seasons, including hot summers and cold winters. Spring and summer weather is like most cities in the Midwest; thunderstorms can occur in late spring.
Located in the south of the state of Illinois, which is part of Tornado Alley, tornadoes have hit the region several times. The first cabin was built in 1820 by John Kelly, after discovering that the area was rife with deer and hunting. He built his cabin on a hill, overlooking a stream eventually known as Town Branch. A stone marker on the north side of Jefferson Street, halfway between 1st and College Streets, marks the location of this original home.
A second stone marker at the northwest corner of 2nd and Jefferson, which is often confused with the original site of the house, instead marks the location of the county's first courthouse, which was later built on Kelly's property. In 1821, Calhoun was designated the seat of Sangamon County because of its location, fertile soil, and business opportunities. Settlers from Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina arrived at the developing settlement. By 1832, Senator Calhoun had lost favor with the public and the city was renamed Springfield.
According to local history, the name was suggested by John Kelly's wife, in honor of Spring Creek, which crossed the area known as Kelly's Field. Winkle had previously studied the effect of migration on the political participation of residents in Springfield during the 1850s. Widespread migration in the United States in the 19th century produced frequent population turnover within Midwestern communities, which influenced patterns of voter turnout and holding public office. Examination of the handwritten census, voting books, and public office records reveals the effects of migration on the behavior and voting patterns of 8,000 participants in 10 elections in Springfield.
Most voters were short-term residents who participated in only one or two elections during the 1850s. Less than 1% of all voters participated in all 10 elections. However, instead of producing political instability, rapid turnover increased the influence of more stable residents. Migration was selective by age, occupation, wealth and place of birth.
Long-term or persistent voters, as he calls them, tended to be wealthier, more qualified, more often native-born, and more socially stable than non-persistent voters. Officials were particularly persistent and had social and economic advantages. The persistent ones represented a small central community of economically successful, socially homogeneous, and politically active voters and officials who controlled local political affairs, while most residents moved in and out of the city. Members of a close-knit and exclusive core community, exemplified by Abraham Lincoln, mitigated the potentially disruptive impact of migration on local communities.
The case of John Williams illustrates the important role of the merchant banker in the economic development of central Illinois before the Civil War. Williams began his career as an employee in border stores and saved to start his own business. Later, in addition to operating retail and wholesale stores, he acted as a local banker. He organized a national bank in Springfield.
He actively participated in the promotion of railroads and as an agent for agricultural machinery. After the end of the war in 1865, Springfield became a major center of the Illinois railroad system. It was a center of government and agriculture. In 1900, investment was also made in the extraction and processing of coal.
From 1971 to 2000, NOAA data showed that Springfield's average annual temperature rose slightly to 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). During that period, July averaged 76.3 °F (24.6 °C), while January averaged 25.1 °F (−3.8 °C). The latitudinal streets range from names of inner-city presidents to names of notable people from Springfield and Illinois and names of institutions of higher education, especially in the Harvard Park neighborhood. In the city, the population was scattered, with 28.0% under 18 years of age, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% aged 65 or over.
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 86.6 males. Springfield has the largest amusement park in the area, Knight Action Park and Caribbean Water Park, which are open from May to September.
The park also has and operates the city's only remaining drive-in theater, the Route 66 Twin Drive-In. In the 21st century, Springfield annexed much of the municipalities of Springfield and Woodside. The annexed plots were still part of their original municipalities despite being within the city limits of Springfield. The Springfield Police Department was founded in 1840, as part of the city's bylaws.
Springfield is currently home to six public and private high schools. The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS, formerly Sangamon State University), which is located on the southeastern side of the city. Springfield is also home to a high school, Lincoln Land Community College, located just south of the UIS. From 1875 to 1976, Springfield also housed the Concordia Theological Seminary.
The seminary returned to its original home of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the campus now functions as the Illinois Department of Corrections Academy. Border traffic is handled by Veterans Parkway and J. David Jones Parkway on the west side, Everett M. Dirksen Parkway on the east side, Sangamon Avenue on the north end, and Wabash Avenue, Stanford Avenue, and Adlai Stevenson Drive on the south end.
The southernmost corridor is served by Toronto and Woodside Roads. The road traffic that runs through the heart of the city comes from a series of one-way streets. Fifth and Sixth Streets serve most traffic from north to south, and Fourth and Seventh Streets service additional traffic between North Grand and South Grand Avenues. Traffic from east to west is managed by Jefferson Street, which enters Springfield on the west side from IL 97 and is then divided into a pair of one-way streets on Amos Avenue (Madison heading east and Jefferson heading west).
The two converge again after Eleven Street to become Clearlake Avenue, which in turn converges on I-72 heading east just after Dirksen Parkway. Other one-way streets from east to west cut through the areas of downtown Springfield, including Monroe, Adams, Washington, and Cook Streets, as well as a stretch of Lawrence Avenue. The two best known are Carpenter Park, an Illinois nature reserve on the banks of the Sangamon River, and the Washington Botanical Park and Garden, on the southwest side of the city and next to some of the most beautiful and architecturally interesting houses in Springfield. Two days later, the Committee decided that the constitution implied that Vandalia's term as capital would begin when it was established as a city, and not specifically when the state government met there for the first time.
Springfield has been home to a wide range of people who, in one way or another, contributed to American culture in general. But in 1832, when Calhoun lost favor with the Democratic Party and the public by virtue of its support for slavery and the secession of the South, the city was renamed Springfield, after Springfield, Massachusetts, which at the time was known for its progressive positions and industrial innovation. With the support of Abraham Lincoln, who called Springfield his home at the time, the city became the capital of Illinois in 1837. During the later stages of Vandalia's history, the city lost some of its capital-era buildings due to progress. Behind-the-scenes agreements may have been made to get the expulsion bill passed, and for many years Lincoln's biographers have maintained that the Sangamon County delegation, the Long Nine, exchanged votes with supporters of internal improvements to secure Springfield as capital.
When voting began on the 28th, Springfield received 35 votes; Vandalia 16; Jacksonville 14; Peoria 16; Alton 16, Illiopolis, Carrolton and the State Geographic Center, topographically unspecified, received 3 each. New state buildings, a courthouse, a school: these, Bond said, would improve Vandalia and provide excellent opportunities for visitors to the capital. The vandals themselves were too caught up in enthusiasm for internal improvements to insist on the issue of the state capital. The text of the bill included Browning's original provision for a legislative determination of the permanent capital of the state of Illinois and for the repeal of the Referendum Act of 1833.
According to the census, Springfield is the sixth most populated city in the state and the largest city in central Illinois. Springfield became a center of activity during the Civil War, and after the war ended in 1865, the city became a major center of the Illinois railroad system. In addition to politics and agriculture, coal mining was an important industry for Springfield in the early 20th century. Lincoln Park, located next to Oak Ridge Cemetery, where President Lincoln's grave is located, is home to the Nelson Recreation Center, which has a public pool, tennis courts and the only public ice rink in the city, home of the Springfield Junior Blues, a minor league hockey team.