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Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:01 am

SERVING FAMILIES SINCE 1863

In 1865, Mary Jane Tully came to Springfield from Arkansas seeking a new beginning from the destructive Civil War. When she arrived here, the Springfield Home for the Friendless helped Tully settle into her new life. Tully’s great-great grandson, William Furry, still lives in Springfield and serves as executive director of the Illinois State Historical Society. The Springfield Home for the Friendless is now known as Family Service Center, and it’s celebrating its 152nd anniversary this year. Established on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1863, the group is one of central Illinois’ oldest nonprofits, now helping families in need with adoption and foster care services, after-school and summer camp programs, counseling and more. On April 30, Family Service Center’s history of helping will be honored with a historical marker placed by the Illinois State Historical Society. Family Service Center is based at Seventh Street and South Grand Avenue, a plot of land donated to them long ago by Elijah Iles, one of Springfield’s earliest settlers. The dedication ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on April 30 at 730 E. Vine St. For more information on Family Service Center, visit www.service2families.com.

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