Raymond Hodde was the Illinois State Journal’s first staff photographer. He began taking pictures for the newspaper in 1929, just a year after Col. Ira Copley bought the Journal and put into place a plan to modernize it and update its plain gray look. That included the use of staff-produced photographs and an end to the practice of publishing pictures that were submitted by local commercial photographers. Hodde, along with Ernest Pearson who joined him a short time later, took the pictures here, part of a collection of 1,300 glass plate negatives taken between 1929 and 1936 that have survived.
The images create of portrait of the city during the 1930s. Not a portrait defined by a single image, but one that emerges from the scenes and moments recorded by Hodde and Pearson over time. It’s the city’s cultural and built environment, the people walking its streets and in their daily routines, the lively public square in its role as the heart of Springfield, the grittiness of a growing urban center and the personality of a place that comes through in the interaction of all these things.
Y.M.C.A. fencing class, Feb. 27. 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
American Airways crash near Petersburg kills pilot and three passengers, March 7, 1934. File/The State Journal-Register
Damaged auto hooked to tow truck, circa 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
Funeral for Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, labor leader and community activist at Mount Olive, Ill., December 8, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Floyd Dodd, an employee of the city’s forestry department, trims trees in Carpenter Park, January 3, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register.
Elizabeth Skadden was 18 years old and wanted to become an endurance flyer when she was featured in the Illinois State Journal on October 6, 1929. Her dreams may have been inspired by Charles Lindbergh, who just two years earlier made his famous non-stop flight across the Atlantic. She took flying lessons in the hopes of becoming famous herself. “Just as soon as my chance comes, I hope to set a new endurance record for women flyers which will stand for a long, long time,” she told the Journal. File/The State Journal-Register.
Jimmy Minser is driver for Maddox Food Market. “Local Flyer, 20, is Driving Grocery Co. Truck While His Injured Leg is Healing” Minser, 20, was licensed co-pilot and had flown over 250,000 miles, Sept. 29, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Traffic officer Lee Pfund is assisted by Tom O’Shea on Laurel Street in front of Blessed Sacrament school, Oct. 1, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Sinclair Service Station, 7th and Monroe streets, ca. 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Boys on playground with slide, ca. 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
McLellan’s, vacant business, circa 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
Cornerstone laying ceremony at Blessed Sacrament Church. Father Michael A. Tarrent, left and Bishop James A. Griffin, circa 1929. File/The State Journal-Register
Civil War veteran Lee Graham recognized on his 84th birthday, July 21, 1929. File/The State Journal-Register
Palmer School eighth-graders pose with their miniature gardens, a project they had completed along with students at other city schools. More than 100 of the models were to be displayed in the community room at the Illinois State Journal building, May 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
Automobile accident, car in river, circa 1929. File/The State Journal-Register
Sugar sacks loaded with gallon containers of alcohol being seized by Deputy Prohibition Administrator James A. Eaton, at loading dock of federal building Feb. 20, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
Franklin D. Roosevelt at Lincoln Tomb during campaign stop in Springfield, Oct. 21, 1932. Illinois Gov. Louis Emmerson, left of Roosevelt and Judge Henry Horner two to the right. Horner, a Democrat, would win the election that November over Emmerson, a Republican, to become the next Illinois governor. File/The State Journal-Register
Portrait of unidentified man taken in the Illinois State Journal office, date unknown. File/The State Journal-Register
Springfield Clay Products Company located on Fox Road. Photo used in advertisement Oct. 11, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Triplets born to Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Atterberry of Petersburg at St. John’s Hospital, two girls and a boy, August 21, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Springfield High School defeated Peoria Central High School 19-6 in action on the Senators’ home field on Lewis Street, October 31, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
Via: Illinois State Journal