History & Architecture

Pasfield Family History Emphasizing George Jr.
(short version)

In 1896, George Pasfield Jr. built his Georgian-Revival mansion overlooking a 40 acre wooded estate which his family began acquiring in 1835. At the turn of the twentieth century the residence was larger than any other within the City of Springfield. He resided here until his death in 1930.

George Pasfield Jr. may be best known for his public service in elective office. Addressing a financial scandal blamed on “Springfield Machine Politics,” Pasfield answered the call by the Illinois State Journal to head up a bipartisan “New Board Ticket”. Elected in a landslide, he served for ten years as President of the Springfield Park District, undertaking its largest expansion. Pasfield Golf Course, the first (1895) organized golf course in Springfield was acquired by the Springfield Park District, and is named in honor of George Pasfield Jr.

George Pasfield, Jr. followed his family’s tradition of commitment to make Springfield the Capital City by serving as President of the Capitol Grounds Purchase Association, whose purpose was to enlarge the State House site. The Association assisted Illinois Government to double the grounds, erecting the Centennial Memorial Building in honor of Illinois being admitted into the Union. The Pasfields led the community’s private fundraising efforts matching the public funds, contributing the greatest amount themselves.

George Pasfield Jr. managed the family’s extensive agricultural and commercial holdings, including some of Springfield’s most notable buildings at the time. Pasfield was prominent in Springfield banking and business circles. In recognition of his father and grandfather’s friendship with Abraham Lincoln, Pasfield served on the executive committee of the 1909 Abraham Centennial Association.

Fearing a challenge to relocate the Illinois Capital away from Springfield, when the historic Leland Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1908, Pasfield lead a group of local Chamber of Commerce businessmen and prominent families of Springfield in rapidly rebuilding an even more elegant establishment. The investors unanimously elected him President of the Springfield Hotel Corporation. Pasfield reestablished the hotel’s reputation as Springfield’s finest lodging and dining establishment; the unofficial headquarters for the downstate Republican Party and first purveyor of Springfield’s famous Horseshoe Sandwich.

As a municipal patriot, George Pasfield Jr. contributed greatly to the improvement and growth of the Springfield community. He called for and participated in the 1925 City Plan, a comprehensive study recommending infrastructure projects for the City of Springfield. George Pasfield, Jr. may be best remembered by the PASFIELD HOUSE where he lived. The City of Springfield, in 2004, designated this site as a historic area.