Springfield, Illinois, the state capital and the seat of Sangamon County. Springfield lies on the gently rolling plains of central Illinois about 190 miles (306 km) southwest of Chicago. On the northern edge of the city is the Sangamon River; on the southeast is Lake Springfield. The city is a commercial and industrial center. Its economy is largely based on government, and services such as insurance and health care. Finance, trade, and manufacturing also contribute to the economy.
Springfield has a number of buildings and other memorials dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, who lived here from 1837 until he became President in 1861. Notable among these are the Lincoln Home, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, and the Lincoln Depot, the station from which Lincoln left Springfield after being elected President. Lincoln's tomb is in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Close to the present capitol building downtown is the Old Capitol. Completed in 1853 and now fully restored, it is a major historic site and also houses the Illinois State Historical Library. Each summer, Springfield is the site of the Illinois State Fair.
Springfield was settled about 1819 and was incorporated in 1832. Through the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and other state legislators, the young town was made the state capital in 1839, replacing Vandalia. Springfield grew steadily during the remainder of the 19th century and into the 20th, when industrial development began.