History & Architecture
George Pasfield was not one of the original pioneer settlers, his arrival at the beginning of a community that would grow into a City and the Illinois Capital City. Arriving in 1831 George Pasfield, and latter his son and grandson become involved in the evolution of Springfield. Leone state, “ There is not a major aspect of this City where the one or another Pasfield weren’t major investors for a hundred years. Their contributions of leadership, time and money helped build the Springfield into a City, a State Capital and an Urban Center.
The elder George Pasfield was a Lincoln contemporary. He was involved with Lincoln’s legal practice almost yearly between 1837 and 1844. The legal work performed by Lincoln on behalf of Pasfield in the areas of real estate and collection matters was not significant but shows a mutual relationship of trust between them. During that time period, Pasfield worked directly with Lincoln in various roles that were not business related, as an arbitrator, juror, court appointed commissioner, as well as client. A mutual respect must have grown from these various interactions.
As one of the most prominent businessmen in Springfield at the time, Pasfield must have work with Lincoln to see that the City obligation to the State of Illinois was assured to win relocation of the Capital. Both men came from a humbling start, Pasfield, orphaned at 10 years old, was penniless, a ward of the state and apprenticed as a cooper.
Pasfield was one of the first to establish a business on the new public square and was instrumental to the town’s early growth. As a trustee to the town he was also instrumental in seeing Springfield had fire equipment and the housing of it for the volunteer fire fighters, a point certainly not lost on decision makers who were determining where the capital would be located.
Pasfield’s residence was one of the largest tracts of land within the city boundaries. Lincoln more likely visited with Pasfield at the home site which happened to be a couple of blocks from his future brother-in-law Ninian Edward’s home. The Pasfield House was build after the passing of Lincoln on the Pasfield estate property overlooking the original Pasfield Family home.