coverRead or Listen to My Newest, Most Comprehensive Presentation on Lithuanians in Springfield! 

Presented March 12, 2022 by author Sandy Baksys for the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago. https://lithspringfield.com/2022/03/19/never-immigrate-to-the-united-states-because-you-might-end-up-in-a-coal-mine/

All text on this blog site copyrighted: 2/15 © 2012 Sandra Baksys

An Immigrant Childhood: Ann Tisckos Wisnosky

Ann (Tisckos) Wisnosky, homemaker, writer, contest winnerAn American-born daughter of Lithuanian immigrants remembers what it was like to live in early 1900s Springfield, a town of muddy streets and backyard farms.  Read how mothers and fathers repaired shoes and made petticoats at home from cotton flour sacks, and what it was like to go to elementary school as one of “those foreign kids.” READ MORE. 

Who Put the “Mack” in McDonald’s, Springfield?

Anybody who’s eaten a McDonald’s hamburger in John Mack, Sr. on far right at ribbon-cutting for his second McDonald's on S. MacArthur Blvd., 1961Springfield has feasted on a bit of local Lithuanian-American history involving a family aptly named “Mack” (Lith: Makarauskas). Three posts tell about this family and the business:
Who Put the “Mack” in McDonald’s, Springfield?
More Springfield Mack “McHistory”
Last Chapter: Our Local Mack-Donald’s Empire
pazemetsky-couple-with-helenThe Baby in the Cigar Box

Read about how Lithuanian immigrant parents Nancy and Adam Pazemetsky kept alive their infant daughter Ann after she was born prematurely at 1.5 pounds by keeping her in a wooden cigar box surrounded with hot water bottles. READ MORE.
The Cara-Sel, 7th and North Grand Ave. Interior, undated.

Taking a Spin at the Cara-Sel Lounge

One of the more colorful Lithuanian-American businesses in Springfield was the Cara-Sel Lounge, 7th and North Grand Ave., operated for 17 years by World War II veteran Tony Yuscius. READ MORE.
Alane.1927 wedding photoThree-Day Lithuanian Wedding: Eva Kasawich & Victor Alane

The date was Sept. 25-27, 1927. The bride’s roses were pink. Piles of plates were cracked with silver dollars, and miners gave ostentatious gifts of $10 and $20 bills. Read about the 3-day wedding of deceased coal miners’ son and daughter Victor Alane and Eva Kasawich on East Reynolds Street. READ MORE.

And a second look at the gala affair… READ MORE.
durbinPortrait_PhotoGalleryOur Lithuanian-American U.S. Senator

Senator Richard J. Durbin isn’t just one of the most powerful—and down-to-earth–political leaders in the United States. He is our #1 claim to fame as Springfield Lithuanian-Americans, and one of Lithuania’s best friends in Washington. READ MORE.
ChicagoWilmingtonVermillionCoalThayerILThe Mining Life

By the 1910s, most miners had only 2-3 days of work a week, imposing great hardship on their families, according to the Sangamon County Historical Society’s Web page “Coal Mining: Boom to Bust:” READ MORE.
The Mine Wars

Oblinger.bookImmigrant miners in Illinois were soft-coal, deep-shaft miners who cut and loaded their daily quotas  by hand. By the late 1890s, the Central Illinois coal mines had been organized by the United Mine Workers. In the early 1930s, violence erupted when the UMW broke with its strong rank-and-file tradition and a rival union formed to strike Peabody coal. From Carl Oblinger’s book, “Divided Kingdom: Work, Community, and the Mining Wars in the Central Illinois Coal Fields During the Great Depression.” READ MORE.

7 thoughts on “Welcome!”

  1. Donatas Januta said:

    “A Century of LIthuanians” is a wonderful book. Quite comprehensive, great presentation, interesting to read. I hope you send a copy (actually 2 copies is what they prefer) to Mažvydas Lithuanian National Library in Vilnius, since it is an excellent primary source for anyone doing research on Lithuanian immigrants in the US. Thanks.

  2. Donatas, sorry, I meant to reply earlier. Thanks so much for your praise. I did try to produce the book with high standards, and it’s nice to know I mostly met them. I’ll put the library you mentioned on my list–I’m getting ready to release an expanded edition of the book with new chapters, and after that’s out, I will get one sent to the library.

  3. Dave Hunter said:

    Is the new edition available yet?

  4. sandyb52 said:

    Dave, thanks for asking. Could be available in a couple of weeks. I will gladly let you know. Sandy

  5. Would like to additional information since my family is mentioned several time in this book.

  6. Wow This is really interesting. I have lived in Springfield for most of my life and did not know anything about the Mack family and the franchises they had.


    Looking for information about PETER SHIMKUS FAMILY AND WYDAKUS FAMILY, EARL

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