Skip to main content

Elijah Iles Family Papers

Identifier: MS-BC307

Scope and Contents

The Elijah Iles Family Papers, concerning the Iles brothers and their family in Springfield, Illinois, including correspondence, general merchandise account books, land sale accounts and records, real estate plat maps, deeds and other real estate contracts and conveyances, estate records, genealogical materials, clippings. Most of the business records are those of Elijah Iles. The genealogical materials cover the Iles, Crockett, Foster, Mauzy (W. Iles’ mother-in-law’s maiden name), Lewis (Obed Lewis was W. Iles’ son-in-law), and other related families. Of special interest: letters from Elijah to his son, Thomas, in 1861 discussing the breakup of the Union; and the records of payments from A. Lincoln (BV 5, page 40 & Box 1, Folder 11 (BV) 2nd page #13) for a lot in Iles’ development, and from William D. Herndon for materials for building the new State Capitol (BV 5, September 20 & November 15, 1837).


  • Created: 1824-1911
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1824-1887


Conditions Governing Access

Open for access.


1.80 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Elijah Iles (1796-1883), a shopkeeper, farmer, politician, landowner and real estate developer in Springfield, Illinois; Washington Iles (1800-1871), Elijah’s brother, a farmer and businessman in Sangamon County and Springfield, Illinois; and their relatives and descendants. Born in Kentucky to Thomas and Elizabeth (Crockett) Iles, both Iles brothers had settled in Illinois by 1825. Elijah Iles opened the first retail store in Springfield in 1821, and, with 3 other investors, bought, surveyed and platted the town site in 1822-1823. He was a State Senator (1826-1834), and a Winnebago (1827) and Black Hawk (1831) Indian War veteran. He spend the major part of his life investing in business, developing land and promoting Springfield, Illinois, and died a very wealthy man with no direct heirs. Washington Iles settled in Woodside Township in 1825. Besides farming, he had a wool carding business and other investments. He and his wife, Ann (Foster) Iles had 11 children. They and Elijah’s many other nieces and nephews inherited his fortune.

Custodial History

No acquisition information exists for the first accrual of this collection.

Accruals and Additions

1972, 1985

Separated Materials

The following items were transferred out of the collection: 3 broadsides, numerous magazines, 3 newspapers, 1 book, 17 photographs, 1 photo album, 53 cartes-de-visites, 4 tintypes, and a silk handkerchief illustrated with the likeness of T. Roosevelt.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Cheryl Schnirring and John Stassi
Description rules
Other Unmapped
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
(217) 558-8923