Springfield Real Estate
Settlement of the area began in 1820 when John Kelly built a cabin on what is now the corner of Second and Jefferson streets. Originally named Calhoun for U.S. Senator and Vice President John C. Calhoun, it took its current name, derived from nearby Spring Creek, in 1832. Abraham Lincoln moved to Springfield from New Salem on April 15, 1837, and lived there until he became president in 1861. Springfield had a population of less than 3,000 when it was chosen as the state capital in 1837 (government offices moved to Springfield from Vandalia in 1839), largely through the efforts of Lincoln and eight other members of the Illinois legislature.
In the Old State Capitol, Lincoln served his last term in the legislature, practiced before the state Supreme Court, delivered his famous “House Divided” address, and maintained an office as president-elect. Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site preserves the building where Lincoln practiced law from 1843 to about 1852. Lincoln’s unpretentious house at Eighth and Jackson streets has been restored. This home, along with the four-block area surrounding it, was designated a national historic site in 1972. In Oak Ridge Cemetery, in the northwestern part of the city, is the Lincoln Tomb (another state historic site), which holds the bodies of Lincoln, his wife, Mary, and their sons Edward, William, and Tad. Lincoln left for Washington, D.C., in 1861 from the Great Western (now Lincoln) Depot, which has been restored. The city is also the home of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.