Memoirs of the Springfield Race Riot, 1908

(W) and (B) indicate the ethnic background of the narrator.

Brittin, Arthur b. 1899
(W) Brittin recalls his uncle's refusal to lend his car to evacuate prisoners from the County Jail, and lynchings and destruction in Springfield. Mostly second-hand. Read text: p 1-5.

Brown, LeRoy b. 1884
(B) Brief but good reminiscence of riot. Brown recalls taking refuge in his employer's basement for several weeks. Read text: p. 5-8.

Bryden, Olive b. 1896
(W) Brief account of the riot and presence of State Militia. Read text: p. 8-9.

Butler, Edith b. 1889
(W) Visited Springfield at time of riot. Her father and fiance were riot "sightseers." Read text: p. 5-6, 12.

Cantrall, Evans b. 1884
(W) Worked in downtown Sprignfield; brief recollection of riot. Read text: p. 15-16.

Carpenter, Edith b. 1894
(B) Father and brother-in-law armed selves to protect store and home. Carpenter was sent out of town with other children for protection. Read text: p. 32-34.

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 5: Presence of Firearms

Carr, Sharlottie b. 1892
(B) Recalls "look outs" for white rioters coming into black neighborhoods. Read text: p. 10-11

Chapman, Francis b. 1898
(W) Detailed account of Donegan hanging and presence of State Militia. Read text: p. 13-16

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 3: Chapman/Hale

Cohn, Nathan b. 1896
Jewish, witnessed hanging of Scott Burton; discusses the looting of Fishman's Store, and a Jewish riot leader. Read text: p. 3-6

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 5: Presence of Firearms.

Cunningham, Marie
(B) Granddaughter of William Donegan, was at his home when the mob attacked. 22 p. Restricted: no legal release. May be read in the Archives.

Day, Phoebe b. 1895
(B) Detailed first-hand account. She and her family took refuge in boxcars, a cornfield, and the Governor's Mansion. Read text: p 18-24

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 4: Hiding from the Violence

Ferguson, Margaret b. 1904
(B)Little detail on riot; good background on Springfield's black community. Read text: p. 8-10, 43-44.

Fitzpatrick, J. R. "Bud" b. 1895
(W) Good overall narrative of events, although some facts are confused. Fitpatrick witnessed the first day of the riot. Read text: p. 56-58.

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 1: J.R. Fitzpatrick

Hale, Mattie b. 1892
(B) General account of riot and how her family sheltered refugees. Read text: p. 11-14.

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 3: Chapman/Hale

Hanes, Murray b. 1887
(W) One of most detailed eyewitness accounts of the riot, by a mature and perceptive witness. Read text: p. 1-12.

Hankins, Blanche b. 1895
(W) Good detail on Donegan lynching. Her family were neighbors. Read text: p. 6-7.

Harris, Albert b. 1895
(B) Substantial account of riot, taking refuge at Camp Lincoln, black self-defense and white casualties. Read text: p. 56-62

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 4: Hiding from the Violence, Episode 5: Presence of Firearms.

Harris, Leota b. 1893
(B) Brief comments on riot; Harris observes that the riot affected her family very little. Read text: p. 7 ff

Hopkins, Alice b. 1906
(B) Little specifically on the riot, but good background on Springfield's black community. Read text.

Hubbard, William b. 1900
(B) Recalls refugees on his father's farm near Rochester. Read text: p. 18-21.

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 4: Hiding from the Violence.

Lee, William b. 1882
(W) Active participant in riot. Read text: p 13-15.

Liggins, Clarence b. 1878
(B) State Employee, took refuge in Governor's Mansion -- see also Phoebe Day. Read text: p. 11-16

Link, Rose b. 1884, and Wilhelmina Link, b. 1892
(W) Brief recollection of riot. Wilhelmina's parents (Mr and Mrs Norman Stein) were neighbors of the Donegans on Edwards St. Memories vague. Restricted: no legal release. May be read in Archives.

Madison, Frank b.1888
(W) Newspaper reporter, recalls fear that rioters would target newspapers if reporting angered them. Read text: p. 4-5

Mann, Henry b. 1903
(B) Recounts family stories of refugees and black resistence to rioters. Recalls seeing militiamen. Read text: p. 18-20.

Martin, Alice b. 1889
(B) Lived on farm near Rochester. Second hand impressions. Read text: p. 9-12.

Moore, Alice b. 1891
(B) Very brief recollection of militia guarding streetcorners. Read text: p. 11.

Rose, Theodore T.
(B) Saw militia tents from passing train. Later moved to Springfield and took interest in riot history. Perceptive commentary. Read text: p. 4-8.

Hear audio at Revealing Voices, Episode 2: Theodore T. Rose; Episode 5: Presence of Firearms

Schermerhorn, Marion b. 1899
(W) Brief recollection of militiamen on horseback. Read text: p. 15

Smith, Etta b. 1887
(W) Brief recollecton of mobs downtown. Read text: p. 14

Wilson, John and Hazel (both b. 1889)
(B) John helped build scaffold for Joe James. Interesting personal details. Read text: pt. 1, 1-9; pt. 2, 1-8.

Workman, Mayme b. 1892
(W) Worked as telephone operator during riot. Recalls community tensions and flirtation with National Guard soldier. Read text: p. 22-24

Wright, Ross b. 1897
(W) Detailed but brief eyewitness account of riot. Read text: p. 1-5.

Compiled by Thomas J Wood
2008

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