Help Us Identify These Mercury Collection Photos!

For the past several months, the Sangamon County Historical Society has been working with the Lincoln Library's Sangamon Valley Collection to identify the people and places in its Mercury Studios collection, photos taken in and around Springfield in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s that reflect the life and times of those eras.  The collection---some 500 photos--are now being digitized. 

We've been successful in learning the identities of some of those below, but not completely in every case. If you recognize someone you know--perhaps a family member, neighbor, childhood friend, or even yourself--let us know. Our first Photo ID contest ends in May with a prize drawing from the names of those who have identified all or some of the people or places in photo. There's still time to enter.

Just look at the photos below. If you see a familiar face or can tell us more about the reason the photo was taken, send your information to 

Employees of the McDonalds located at 1825 South MacArthur Boulevard, 1964.

Dick Levi, now president of Levi, Ray & Shoup, Springfield, recognized himself in this November, 1964 photo taken outside the McDonald’s on MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield. While he couldn’t recall the names of the fellows to his left or right and the young man on the far left, the others are, from left, Howard Pence, Sam Pulliam, Gary Osing, and Ron Bormida. Can you name the others?

The Jolson Story appears at the Senate Theater, 511 East Monroe Street, in 1946.

The Charlie Rogers Band

Jan Wilson of Springfield recognized her dad in the photo and has ID'd some of the other members of the Charlie Roger's band: Bass player - Mort Oberman, Pianist Ben Drake. In the front row from left to right starting with the third sax player, Fredy Beck, Frank Metzger and Frankie Romano. Wilson thinks the photo was snapped at the Elks Club. Can you name the other bandmembers and the singer?

Workers of the Dairy Bar located inside the Illinois State Fairgrounds' Dairy Building pose for this group photo.

People waiting for the bus seek the shade provided by shelters located on the south side of the Old State Capitol Square.


G. William Horsley portrayed Abraham Lincoln when the Lincoln Friendship Train 
arrived in Springfield at the Great Western Depot on February 12, 1948.

The Illinois State Capitol Complex is shown this aerial view taken on June 10, 1966. Click here for larger view.


Barker Lubin Brentwood Drive - Two men standing in front of a house on Brentwood Drive on March 7, 1964. 
The photograph was taken for the Barker-Lubin Company
says Society board member R-Lou Barker: "The man on the right with a hat is Scott McDonald, from the home sales department of Barker-Lubin Co. No, I do not know the prospective buyer, nor do I recognize the house, many of this "split ranch style" homes were architecturally designed by our in-house architects at Barker-Lubin."
Information from Kathryn Stelling: "I believe the man in the hat is Scott McDonald, he sold houses for Barker Lubin, and I think the man in the plaid shirt is Maurice Dullenty, a draftsman for Barker Lubin."


A wedding in Booker's Tavern on October 21, 1949.

Michael Bubnis writes: " George Booker is the man standing by the corner of the air conditioning unit, dark hair, which shirt and apron, about seventh from the right. The man to his left may be his brother.  I believe Leo Sharghnessy, who owned the jewelry shop across from Booker's on 11th street is the man by the corner of the ladies room, partially hidden by the woman in the front row.  I recognize some other faces, but just can't remember after all these years. My dad was a regular at Booker's and I went with him quite often.  See also the Booker's Chilli web site.

Elks Barbershop - The Sangamon County Historical Society needs help in identifying these two men 
working inside the Elks Building barbershop on March 3, 1969.

Arnold Stern says the barber on the right is Ed Murphy and the other is Bill Bundy

Firemen in training -  March 10, 1967. 

Board member Tim Krell writes: "I contacted one of my old buddies I worked with at #10 firehouse. He was one of the men in the picture. It was their rookie class of 1967. On the top row L-R. Cliff Garst, Training Chief Bernard "Bunny" Phillips, Larry Yokem, Bill Earl. Bottom row L-R my buddy Doug Nevitt, Russ Steil, Mike Flynn.


Illinois Bell Telephone workers helping at the Illinois State Fair on August 12, 1965. Can you identify any of them?


Lincoln Heritage Canoe Trail sign on May 30, 1965.


 Civil Defense demonstraion on October 7, 1965.

The caption on negative envelope says Rabbit Row Community Picnic. The photograph was taken July 18, 1951.


Miss USA, Sue Downey, attends  a meeting of the American Business Club on April 21, 1966. The men flanking her are still unidentified. Mike Kinzler, Metro Editor of the State Journal-Register, solved the mystery of the man on the right. It's Albert Myers of Myers Brothers. Springfield businessman George Kennedy has identified the man on the left as ABC president Jay Van Pickerell.


Santa at Shaughnessy Jewelers, 1952.


The Mill Tavern and the Cohen Family during a grand reopening in 1948. From left: Bob Cohen, Reuben Cohen, Mrs. Reuben Cohen, Richard Cohen, Mrs. Louis Cohen, Louis Cohen, Esther Cohen and Herman Cohen.


Modeling prom clothes for the Roberts Brothers Store on May 7, 1966. Mike Kinzler, Metro Editor of the State Journal-Register, recognized the yong fellow in the plaid jacket. That's Jeff Metzmaker (now Dr. Jeff Metzmaker) who graduated with Kinzler from Griffin High that year. 


Shaheen's Speedway, April 21, 1947.


Employees of the Tom Edwards Painting Company trucks on June 15, 1965.


 Boy Scouts doing some activities at Illinois Bell Telephone on April 6, 1966.

Clean up at the Goodwill center on May 7, 1966.

Stag Party - A stag party that was held at the Edgewood Country Club in Auburn, Illinois on June 2, 1967.

Contact the Sangamon County Historical Society
Phone: 217-522-2500  Email: 

WHEN SOCIETY TREASURER Paul Mueller saw this photo come up on the Society’s Photo ID Contest website page (see, he thought a group of Dominican Sisters might be able to provide some information. He was right! "They spent hours going over the photo that brought back many memories for them," says Mueller. The shot, part of the Mercury Collec-tion housed at the Sangamon Valley Collection at the Lincoln Library that the Society is helping identify, was a Christmas holiday gathering of priests and nuns at the Cathedral Grade School on December 14, 1958. In the photo are, back row, from left, Bishop Victor Balke, Sr. Helen Zita, Sr. M. Camilla, Sr. Jeremiah John (Elizabeth McAuliffe), Sr. M. Dorothea, Sr. Mary Suddes, Sr. M. Albertus (Helen Wolf), Sr. Gertrude Ann, Sr. Marian Zarones. Seated in the front row are Sr. M. Annaclare, Fr. Casimir Gierut, Sr. M. Aurelia, Msgr. Irvin Will, Sr. M. Julianna

Interstate Bakery - A group of employees for Interstate Bakery on October 10, 1961.

Beltone Hearing Service - A ribbon cutting ceremony at Beltone Hearing Service, 310 East Adams, on April 28, 1962. State Journal Register Metro Editor Mike Kinzler was able to put a name to the fellow holding the scissors in this shot. It was Springfield Mayor Lester Collins.

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GM&O - A group of people departing from the GM&O station (Amtrak) on August 23,1962. While he didn't know the circumstances that brought the group together, Mike Kinzler, Metro Editor of the State Journal-Register, believes the nuns came from two separate religious orders and would have been teaching at different schools.. Those with the large white circular collars (known as guimpes) are Ursulines while the other four appear to be Dominican nuns. Kinzler believes the Ursuline nun on the right may have been Mother Rose from St. Joseph School and  that another Ursuline nun, partially obscured in the back, may have been Mother Ventura, also from St. Joseph's. 

Starr Brothers - The employees of Starr Brothers Incorporated, 3001 Singer Avenue, March 22, 1963.

Girl Scout Troop - This is a meeting of a Girl Scout Troop at West Grand School on May 26, 1965.
Middle row 2nd from the left is Susan Schoenrock. The adult standing on the right is Evelyn Schoenrock. (Thanks to Connie Sebok). To Evelyn's right in the back is Mrs. Amy Smith, the principal. (Thanks to Mary Brancato)
Late additions (7-31-2012) from Tom Stevens:
Susan Mao - girl standing on farthest left with blonde hair and silver glasses
Laura Bangert - girl in plaid, second from right, second row
Barbara Masterson - first row seated, first on far right, curly red hair
Pamela Claywell - ninth standing person from left, wearing sash with glasses

Phillips Brothers - A new press at the Phillips Brothers printing company on November 27, 1963.