Springfield, the capital of Illinois and seat of Sangamon County, is located in the central part of the state on the Sangamon River. The city has a population of 105,227 (1990 census), and the metropolitan area, 189,550. The city is an industrial and business community in the midst of a rich agricultural and coal region.
A graceful and historic city, Springfield was the home of Abraham Lincoln from 1837 to 1861, and every year thousands of tourists visit the original and restored sites associated with his career. The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is the burial place of Lincoln, his wife, and three of their four sons. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is a restoration of the house where Lincoln lived from 1844 to 1861. Lincoln made his first "House Divided" speech at the Old State Capitol there, and the state historical library has an outstanding collection of Lincolniana. The city was also the home of the poet Vachel Lindsay. Springfield is the host city of the annual Illinois State Fair.
Settled in 1818 by Elisha Kelly and laid out in 1822, the city was named for Spring Creek and developed as a farm distribution center. In 1837, Lincoln was instrumental in having the capital moved there from Vandalia.
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