Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Enos Park

Springfield City, Sangamon County, IL

The Enos Park neighborhood [‡] is located north of the original plat of Springfield, and until circa 1860, the area was clearly on the rural fringe of the community. Unlike many neighborhoods which were platted in a single episode, the Enos Park neighborhood is a patchwork of additions that date from 1833 to 1965 with the vast majority of the platted subdivisions having been made by 1909.

The earliest addition made in the neighborhood was that of James Adams, which was platted in 1833. A native of Connecticut, James Adams had moved to Springfield in 1821, shortly after the town was selected as county seat. Adams was a lawyer by profession, and started a practice in Springfield following his arrival there. In 1823-1824, he was elected justice of the peace and served in that capacity for many years. Outside of his legal duties, Adams also participated in the Winnebago War (1827) and the Black Hawk War (1831-1832). He was later elected Probate Judge of Sangamon County. Adam's Addition extended from Carpenter Street to Enos Avenue and consisted of four blocks that were divided by Eighth Street. By 1854, both sides of Seventh and Eighth Streets along the south two thirds of the Addition had been developed with housing. The vast majority of the early houses in this addition have long since disappeared, and much of the area consists of parking lots.

In 1836, Thomas Wells and Miles Peck platted an eighteen block addition to Springfield. Two of these blocks were located in the Enos Park neighborhood and abutted the east side of James Adams' Addition. Some of the earliest houses in the project area were documented along Miller Street within this Addition. The following year, Ephraim Darling and John Taylor laid out another addition several blocks west of (but not adjacent to) James Adams' Addition. Little is known of Ephraim Darling, other than he was one of the Springfield residents who promised to cover part of the cost of the new state house in 1837. John Taylor, however, is known to have arrived in Sangamon County in 1819 (moving to Springfield in 1822) and was elected as the county's first sheriff in 1821. Taylor served as sheriff for six years and afterward was appointed receiver of the United States Land Office in Springfield. Taylor was also one of the original proprietors of Springfield. Darling and Taylor's Addition was laid out at the height of the speculative period preceding the Panic of 1837, and was the last one to be made in the Enos Park neighborhood during the 1830s.

Although Springfield's economy did not fully recover from the effects of the Panic of 1837 until the early 1850s, the economic situation in the community had improved enough by the early 1840s for several additions to be platted out in the Enos Park neighborhood. In 1840, John Taylor platted out his three-block North Addition which was located between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Two years later, Jonathan R. Saunders platted out a small, two-block addition west of Sixth Street, that abutted James Adams' Addition on the east. Saunders had moved to Sangamon County in 1824 and, in 1828, settled north of Springfield, on land now occupied by the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The 1854 City of Springfield map indicates that only eight houses were in that portion of this Addition that falls north of Carpenter Street. Although the integrity of these two additions has been compromised by later construction, these areas contain some of the earlier dwellings documented in the project area. Additionally, the archaeological research potential in this area is high.

One of the earliest residents in the Enos Park neighborhood was Benjamin S. Edwards, who was the youngest son of Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards. Benjamin's brother Ninian W. Edwards moved to Springfield in 1835.13 Benjamin followed him to Springfield in 1840 and opened a law practice there. In 1843, Benjamin purchased a house and fourteen acres of land located north of Union Street, between Third and Fifth Streets. This rural house had been constructed by Dr. Thomas Houghan in 1833. At the time of its purchase by the Edwards family, this estate was located outside the city limits, on the north edge of town, and was relatively isolated. Describing it years later, Helen Edwards noted: "At first it was lonely indeed. There was not a house in sight except a little log house between what is now Enos Avenue and Union Street, in what Beaumont Parks had his private school and where some of the best men in Springfield received their early education." The area north of the Edwards estate was either undeveloped or used as farmland at this time. Within the Enos Park neighborhood project area, the 1854 City of Springfield map indicates only the Edwards House, Dr. Jayne's residence (located at the northeast corner of North Fifth and Enos Avenue), and the Pascal Enos residence (located at the northwest corner of Enterprise and Seventh Streets) north of Union/Enos Streets. Also at that time, Henry Converse owned an 160-acre farm that extended north and east of the juncture of North Grand Avenue and Eighth Street. In a letter to his cousin dated February 9, 1852, Converse noted that his farm was located one and one-quarter mile north of Springfield. However, he did observe that he could "see the State House and all the spires to the different churches" in town from his doorway. Converse also noted that "there is to be a College built in sight of our house the coming summer." The college Converse was referring to is presumed to be Illinois State University, which moved to Springfield the same year.

In 1854, Margaret B. Lane had a one block addition laid out between Fourth and Fifth Streets, north of Carpenter Street. This addition filled in the gap between Darling and Taylor's Addition and John Taylor's North Addition and completed the platting of land south of Miller Street—a process which had begun in 1833.

Also in 1854, Pascal P. Enos' heirs subdivided some of their father's land in Springfield into twelve, block-sized lots. Four of these lots were located in the Enos Park neighborhood between Fifth and Ninth Streets and south of Enos Avenue. In 1857, Lots 2 and 3 of the P. P. Enos Heirs Subdivision were platted as a separate addition by Zimri A. Enos, Pascal's son. Although trained as a lawyer, Zimri A. Enos eventually abandoned the law in favor of civil engineering and surveying. He served a term as County Surveyor and conducted much of the surveying in Springfield Additionally, Zimri is known for his early reminiscences of Springfield. During the present survey, several early houses were noted clustered around the 700 Block of North Seventh Street, many of which had been previously identified as part of the Lincoln Springfield Survey. The few structures in this area, along with those along Miller Street in Wells and Peck's Addition, represent some of the oldest extant buildings within the Enos Park project area.

The fourth addition made to the Enos Park neighborhood during the 1850s was Thomas Lewis' College Addition, which was platted in 1855. This five-block addition was located east of Eighth Street, north of Enterprise, and south of Division Street. Two blocks were located in the Enos Park neighborhood. The proprietors of the addition were Thomas and Margaret Lewis, who were natives of New Jersey and had arrived in Springfield in 1837. The reason for the use of "college" in the name of the addition is unknown, but it's speculated that it had something to do with Illinois State University. The addition was located just west of (but not adjacent to) the ten-acre tract granted to the university. Furthermore, Thomas Lewis was a member of the Springfield group that convinced the institution to move from Hillsboro. Given Lewis' interest in the university and the financial troubles that plagued it throughout its lifetime, it's possible that the proceeds from the sale of lots in the addition were intended to fund the school. Today this subdivision contains several late nineteenth century houses that were constructed for working class families. Figure 8 details the limited extent to which the Enos Park neighborhood had been platted as of 1855-1856.

The majority of the formal platting of the Enos Park neighborhood took place in the 1860s. In 1861, Virgil Hickox platted a small addition north of M. B. Lane's Addition that was bounded on the east by Fifth Street and on the north by Union Avenue. The Eli Kreigh House (located at 641 North Fifth Street) was constructed in this neighborhood ca. 1861 as a Side-Hall Italianate dwelling. Eli Kreigh was a successful "Manufacturer of Tin, Copper and Sheet Iron Ware" with shops located, in 1864, along the south side of the Capitol Square. In 1864, he platted out a second addition, with only nine lots, immediately west of his first addition. A New Yorker, Hickox had moved west in 1828, settling first in St. Louis and later Galena. In 1834, he moved to Springfield and opened a store, which he operated for nearly nineteen years. In 1851, Hickox helped organize an investment company that was to construct a railroad between Alton and Springfield. This rail line was later extended to Chicago and became the Chicago and Alton Railroad. During these years, Hickox consolidated several small landholdings along the proposed rail line. It is of note that Hickox's Second Addition fronted the Chicago and Alton tracks. Several mid-19th century Italianate houses were constructed in this area.

Another addition made in the neighborhood in 1864, was platted by Robert Allen. Allen's Addition was a fairly large one and stretched from a point mid-way between Enos and Enterprise Avenues to North Grand Avenue. The addition was defined on the east and west by Sixth and Fifth Streets and was traversed, diagonally, by the tracks of the Chicago and St. Louis Railroad. The proprietor of the addition, Robert Allen, arrived in Springfield in 1831 and entered the mercantile trade through the firm of Allen and Blankenship. He later established a stage line that had a government contract to carry mail. He was also a director of the State Bank. Outside of his business pursuits, Allen participated (apparently as a colonel) in the so-called Mormon War (1845) and the Mexican War (1846-1847).

In 1866, Strott and Kidd's Subdivision was platted east of Robert Allen's Addition. The subdivision consisted of two blocks with thirty-two lots each that were divided by Seventh Street. North Grand Avenue defined the northern limit of the subdivision, while Bergen Avenue marked its southern extent. The following year, Martin Rafter's Addition was platted out to the west of Robert Allen's Addition. Rafter's Addition had a single block with thirty-two lots and was defined on the north by North Grand Avenue, on the south by Rafter Avenue and on the east and west by Fourth and Fifth Streets. This Addition contains numerous middle to late nineteenth century houses constructed for working class families.

With the platting of Strott and Kidd's Subdivision and Robert Allen's and Martin Rafter's Additions, the northern extent of the Enos Park neighborhood was essentially defined. A great deal of land remained to be platted to the south of these additions, however. This unplatted land was divided into a number of individual land holdings, the majority of which were considerably larger than a city lot. One of the larger land holdings was owned by Benjamin S. Edwards, who still retained the majority of the seventeen-acre estate he had bought in 1843. The Enos family also owned a great deal of land in the neighborhood. Presumably to make the tax assessor's job easier (as much of the land had been sold as small parcels that were described in terms of metes and bounds and occupied by more substantial upper class housing), the unplatted land south of the Strott and Kidd's Subdivision located between Sixth and Seventh Streets was platted in 1867 as an Assessor's Subdivision. This subdivision recognized the property lines of the existing lots and assigned them lot numbers. The following year, another Assessor's Subdivision was platted on the west side of Fifth Street, north of Benjamin Edwards' land and west of the Chicago and Alton Railroad.

The Enos Park neighborhood is illustrated in the 1867 Bird's Eye View of Springfield. As might be expected, the southern half of the project area, south of Enos Avenue, is depicted as being the most heavily developed in the view. The majority of the land north of Enos Avenue is undeveloped, except for a string of houses situated along the west sides of Fifth and Sixth Streets. Several isolated buildings are also shown in the neighborhood, including the Pascal P. Enos house at the north end of Sixth Street.

One of the more prominent features depicted in the 1867 Bird's Eye View is a horse-drawn trolley running along Fifth Street, between Monroe Street and Oak Ridge Cemetery. This trolley line had been placed in operation in July 1866 by Springfield City Railway Company and initially ran between Monroe Street and Oak Ridge Cemetery. A year after its completion, the line was extended further south to South Grand Avenue. One of the early appeals of this trolley was its northern terminus at Oak Ridge Cemetery, which (even as today) drew a large number of tourists wishing to the Lincoln tomb. The Springfield City Railroad's exploitation of this tourist/excursion trade is indicated in an 1874 illustration which depicts one of their trolley cars with "Lincoln Monument" prominently written on its side. The line also serviced traffic heading to Lincoln Park, which abutted Oak Ridge Cemetery on the east. At Monroe Street, the Springfield City Railway intersected a second, competing trolley line that had started service several months before it, in January 1866. The latter line was operated by the Capital Street Railway and ran along Monroe Street, between Tenth Street and Lincoln Avenue. In time, these two rival streetcar companies were consolidated under the name of the Capital Railway Company. The presence of the trolley line along Fifth Street aided in making that street one of the most prominent thoroughfares in the Enos Park neighborhood.

A number of additions were platted in the Enos Park neighborhood during the 1870s. While none of these additions were particularly large, they served to infill the gaps between the existing additions. In 1870, Dr. William M. Jayne platted a small, four-block addition north of Enos Avenue that abutted the south side of Robert Allen's Addition. Although a physician, William Jayne also participated in politics, serving several terms as mayor of Springfield and as Territorial Governor of the Dakotas under Lincoln. His father, Gershom, was the first physician in Springfield. Although the primary Jayne residence has been demolished, an ancillary Italianate dwelling (constructed ca. 1867 to 1872) and believed to have been associated with the Jayne family estate.

In 1871, two more small additions were platted east of Third Street when the Kirsch Estate was partitioned. The first partition resulted in ten lots being laid out, seven of which were located in a cluster between Third and Fourth Streets; the remaining two lots were located east of Fourth Street and were separated by the Chicago and Alton Railroad. The second Kirsch Estate partition involved the platting of six lots located south of Rafter Street, west of the Chicago and Alton Railroad, and east of Fourth Street. The final addition platted in the neighborhood during the 1870s was a one block, forty-lot Assessor's Subdivision, which was laid in between Eighth and Ninth Streets, south of North Grand, in 1876. An 1874 map of Springfield details the development of the Enos Park neighborhood up to that point (see Figure 9). The map ends at North Grand Avenue, which suggests that that thoroughfare was the northern extent of urban development at that time. Although the map shows a considerable number of large lots in the neighborhood, it is clear that the subdivision of these properties into smaller city lots was merely a matter a time. Even the Benjamin S. Edwards property, which had formerly been a compact unit, had been dissected by the Chicago and Alton Railroad and Fourth Street and had started to be divided into lots.

The extent of the development of the Enos Park neighborhood during this period is partially illustrated in an 1873 "birds-eye" view of Springfield (see Figure 13). The last east/west running street shown in the view is Enos Avenue, which, once again, suggests that the neighborhood between that street and North Grand Avenue must have been relatively undeveloped at that point. Several dwellings are depicted on the north side of Enos, between Fifth and Eighth Street, but they are widely spaced and the area east of Eighth has no structures at all. The city's first baseball team which was organized in 1876 and known as the Liberties, "played in a field at Seventh and Enos Avenues." The area south of Enos Avenue, however, is depicted as heavily developed—particularly along Fifth Street in the 1873 view.

In 1880, all but the southeast corner of the old Edwards' home property had been platted as B. S. Edwards' North Addition. The proprietors of the addition were Benjamin S. Edwards, his wife Helen, and his law partner, Christopher C. Brown. The following year, two of the lots in Robert Allen's Addition was subdivided into eight smaller lots by Dr. J. L. Million. This subdivision is indicative of the development in the Enos Park neighborhood during this period . In 1884, Susan Rafter platted out Rafter's Second Addition on the west side of Fourth Street, opposite the addition she and her husband Martin had laid out in 1867. A large block with thirty- three lots, Rafter's Second Addition finished out the northwestern corner of the Enos Park neighborhood as we have defined it here.

One of the best cartographic sources illustrating the dynamic growth of the Enos Park neighborhood during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are the Sanborn fire insurance maps. The earliest Sanborn map available that shows the neighborhood dates to 1890. While this map doesn't cover the entire neighborhood, it clearly shows that sections of the neighborhood had been extensively developed by that date. The map covers the entire length of North Grand Avenue between Third and Ninth Streets and indicates that there was only one undeveloped lot along the south side of the street by that date. Similarly, those sections of the north/south running streets extending south of North Grand depicted in the map, were also heavily developed. Most of the structures on and adjacent to North Grand were dwellings and associated outbuildings. Several of the commercial buildings present occupied prominent corner locations on North Grand, including a grocery, a meat shop, and two saloons. Additionally, a saloon and cigar shop were located along the west side of Sixth Street, just south of its juncture with the Chicago and Alton Railroad, and a grocery store, drug store, physician's office, and barber shop were found on the opposite side of Sixth near North Grand.

Aside from the North Grand Avenue area, the 1890 Sanborn map also details the section of Sixth Street, north of Enos Avenue, on which the McClernand Public School was located. The only buildings actually depicted are the McClernand School itself, a Teacher's School immediately south of it, and several outbuildings. The map, however, noted a row of frame dwellings present on the opposite side of Sixth Street. As such, it's reasonable to presume that the section of Sixth Street passing through the Enos Park neighborhood was developed along most of length by this time. The only section of the southern end of neighborhood shown in the 1890 Sanborn map is the north side of Carpenter Street, between Fifth and Third Streets. As with the remainder of the neighborhood, the structures depicted here were residences and associated outbuildings, except for along the Chicago and Alton Railroad, where two oil houses were present.

In 1890, Z. A. Enos' Second Addition was platted out on the parcel of land bounded by Seventh and Eighth Streets (on the east and west) and Enterprise Street and Enos Avenue (on the north and south). This tract is believed to have been included in the Assessor's Subdivision of 1867 and-- as of 1874-- was divided into two large lots. Apparently, by 1890 the demand for housing space in the neighborhood had grown to the point that the tract was subdivided. Altogether, Z. A. Enos' Second Addition provided forty-six lots, the majority of which offered a 40' frontage. By the late 1890s, this Addition had been built-up with prominent Queen Anne style housing. The only other addition platted in the neighborhood during the 1890s, was M. J. Bartel's Addition, which was laid out in 1898 north of B. S. Edwards' Second North Addition and east of Third Street. As with Z. A. Enos' Second Addition, Bartel's Addition was essentially a subdivision of a previously platted, larger lot.

In 1896, another Sanborn map of Springfield was published. Unlike the one from 1890, this map shows nearly the entire Enos Park neighborhood. By this time, the neighborhood had been extensively developed. While there were still a number of large lots that were associated with earlier residences in the neighborhood (such as the Edwards' house), these were the exception, rather the norm. Most of the lots in the neighborhood by this date offered frontages that ranged between 40' and 100' in width, and very few of the lots remained undeveloped.

The only large sections of land remaining in the neighborhood that had not been heavily developed as of 1896 were the two long blocks bounded by Eighth and Sixth Streets on the east and west and Bergen and Elm (Enterprise) on the north and south. The western of these blocks only had two dwellings (plus outbuildings) on it, one of which was located on a small lot on the southeast corner of Sixth and Bergen. The remainder of the block was undivided and associated with the large Hatch (formerly P. P. Enos) residence (see Figure 16). Similarly, there was only one structure present on the block between Seventh and Eighth Streets; this was the large Third Presbyterian Church, which had been erected on the southeast corner of Seventh and Bergen in 1890.

The neighborhood had three street car lines passing through it during this period. In addition to the early line along Fifth Street, additional lines had been laid along Seventh and Ninth Streets. The Ninth Street line was in place by 1887 and serviced the Illinois Watch Factory and the industries to the north of it. The line along Seventh Street was constructed sometime between 1887 and 1892.

Enos Park, the landscape feature that today's neighborhood identifies with, was not established until the first decade of the twentieth century. In late 1899, a group of 200 Springfield residents presented a petition to establish a city park system (formally known as the Pleasure Driveway and Park District). Although several private parks, many owned by local firms such as some of the breweries (with their formal beer gardens which were often located in a rural, pastoral setting) and streetcar companies were in place by the late 19th century, these often were haphazardly managed. Voters approved the measure and the first trustees were elected on February 8, 1900. Among the original trustees were Benjamin Ferguson and George Reisch.

The objectives of the Springfield Pleasure Driveway and Park District was to create a driveway and boulevard system forming a link between the various city parks. Shortly after being empowered, the Park District hired Chicago landscape architect Ossian C. Simonds, who is credited with the development of Prairie style landscape architecture, to design the park system. Although Simonds had previously designed Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, and several parks in Quincy (Adams County), Springfield's Washington Park was one of the first parks that Simonds completed in the Prairie style. Washington Park, established in 1900, was the first new park created by the Springfield Park District. Williams Boulevard, was donated to the Park District in 1901. Soon thereafter, Elijah Iles donated land for Iles Park (in 1903), and Susan Enos donated land for Enos Park (in 1905). The same year that Enos Park was established, the city completed the purchase of additional land for Lincoln Park (previously known as North Park). In 1912, the City of Springfield purchased Bunn Park (formerly Mildred Park) and Bergen Park. Douglas Park was acquired in 1920, and the 424 acre Carpenter Park in 1921. creating the backbone of the city park system. Gehrmann Park, located along North Third Street immediately west of the Enos Park neighborhood, was donated to the city of Springfield by Charles A. Gehrmann, a local dry goods merchant, on July 19, 1945. Gehrmann had purchased this land from the Herndon family in 1872 and had constructed his house on the property.

As mentioned above, Susan Enos, "believing that a public park located on North Seventh Street would be of great advantage to the City of Springfield, and would add materially to the health and pleasure of the inhabitants thereof, particularly those residing in the northern part of said city" conveyed a 320-foot square block of land partially bounded by Enterprise, Eighth, and Seventh Streets to be used as "a public ornamental park" (specifically excluding "any kind of ball games or for games similar thereto"). The provisions of the deed stated that the City of Springfield would prevent the land from being used as a dump, prevent the encroachment of unlawful roads, driveways or trespassers upon the land, build a sidewalk on the west side of the park land, and maintain all the sidewalks on the property (Sangamon Valley, Vertical Files, Enos Park).

It was not until the early twentieth century, that many of the streets within the neighborhood began taking on the character that we recognize today. City maps indicate that paved streets and sewer lines extended to North Grand (at least along North Fifth and Sixth Streets) by 1892. In 1909,the properties along North Eighth Street were assessed higher taxes to pay for the paving of Eighth Street from Enos to North Grand. Prior to that time, the streets were unimproved—probably dirt with some chipped stone.

By the early 20th century, the Enos Park neighborhood that we recognize today represented a patchwork of neighborhoods with housing occupied by low-income, working class households to the most affluent businessmen within the community. Residents living in the eastern and western fringes of the neighborhood were less affluent than those residing along Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Streets. They were also more apt to blue-collar workers and belong to minority groups. This economic and social disparity is illustrated by comparing occupation and home ownership in the three areas of the community for the year 1905. The areas selected for the comparison are: the east side of the 600 block of North Third Street; the west side of the 900 block of North Sixth Street; and the southern half of the east side of the 1100 block of North Eighth Street. These areas respectively lie in the southwest, center, and northeast sections of the neighborhood. Table 5 summarizes the 1905 information on these three areas.

Of the three areas discussed, the east side of the 600 block of North Third Street appears to have been the poorest and was also the most ethnically diverse. This character was due in part to its relatively early development (1860s), proximity to the downtown commercial district, and its less-desirable location adjacent to the Chicago and Alton Railroad. The 1905 Springfield directory listed a total of five residences in the area, three of which were occupied by Blacks and two that were occupied by Whites with German surnames . The number of Blacks found in this block was not the norm for the Enos Park neighborhood. At the time of the 1908 riot, Carpenter Street delineated the northern extent of the concentrated Black neighborhood north of the "Levee" district. In the wake of the riot, however, the color line retreated further south. By 1920, the 600 block of North Third Street was entirely White and the majority of its residents had Italian and Hispanic surnames (Armato, Alavres, Baltierra, Borotto, Luparell, Roccaforte). Reflective of its lower-class status, the housing along the east side of the 600 block of North Third Street was relatively small, of frame construction, and generally only one story in height.

Moving several blocks to the northeast, the neighborhood changed dramatically. The residents on the west side of the 900 block of North Sixth Street in 1905 were all White and predominantly held white collar occupations. This area was one the older and more affluent sections of the Enos Park neighborhood, and the housing there was much larger than that found on Third Street; most of the houses were two stories in height and were of brick construction.

The residents of the southern half of the 1100 block of North Eighth Street in 1905 were also white, but were largely blue collar. This area was clearly less affluent than the 900 block of North Fifth Street, but it appears to have been more affluent and stable (in respect to ownership and tenancy) than the 600 block of North Third Street. Most of the men listed in this half-block section of Eighth Street were miners and were probably union members, which meant that they were probably earning more than the residents on Third Street.

By World War I, the Enos Park neighborhood was reaching the peak of its development. The character of the neighborhood during this period is partially revealed by a 1914 Springfield city map. While offering only a general overview of the neighborhood, the 1914 map shows the three trolley passing through the neighborhood at that time and also depicts the major institutional buildings present, including four churches (of more will be said below) and the previously mentioned Teacher's School and McClernand Public School. The map also depicts the general layout of Enos Park itself . Far more detailed is the 1917 Sanborn map, which covers the entire project area and details the housing, commercial enterprises, and associated outbuildings present at that time. This map and the post-1917 development of the Enos Park neighborhood are discussed below in the architectural section of this report.

Adapted from: "The Architectural Resources of the Enos Park Neighborhood, Springfield, Illinois," 1997, 2005, prepared for the City of Springfield Historic Sites Commission by Fever River Research.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
3rd Street North • 4th Street North • 5th Street North • 6th Street North • 7th Street North • 8th Street North • 9th Street North • Bergen Street East • Carpenter Street East • Division Street East • Dodge Street East • Enos Avenue East • Enterprise Street • Miller Street East • North Grand Avenue East • Phillips Street East • Rafter Street • Union Street