Friday, August 14, 2020


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Reservoir Park and Lanphier High School

Image Courtesy of Elaine Shemoney Evans
The marker is located in Springfield on the east side of 11th Street midway between North Grand Avenue and Converse Street on the front lawn of Lanphier High School.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The Lanphier High School Yearbook Staffs 1994-2007, Deborah Sidener, Adviser, and the The Illinois State Historical Society.

Marker Description:
The site where Lanphier High School now stands was once known as Reservoir Park. Constructed in the 1870s, Reservoir Park was a popular recreation spot that integrated a lagoon and huge reservoir, which served as the City of Springfield's water supply. In 1935, the Springfield School District purchased the property and, with funding from the WPA, removed the reservoir's walls and filled in the lagoon.

The District built Lanphier High School on this site in 1936. The school featured the latest in educational facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. Students represented a variety of ethnic groups, families who came to Springfield to work on the railroads, in nearby coal mines, and in local industries such as Pillsbury Mills, the Illinois Watch Factory, and Sangamo Electric Company.

Robert C. Lanphier, for which the School is named, was founder and president of Sangamo Electric Company, a factory located immediately to the west of the School. Sangamo produced electric meters and sonar equipment, and was one of the city's major employers for more than 50 years. Lanphier's grandfather, Charles Lanphier, was publisher of the Illinois State Register, as well as a political foe of Abraham Lincoln.

Located directly to the east of the high school is Memorial Field, the City's football and track arena, and Springfield's public baseball stadium, named for Lanphier High graduate and baseball Hall of Famer Robin Roberts.

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