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Louis Sansbury


Springfield’s Angel

Louis Sansbury was a 27-year old man enslaved by George Sansbury, a hotel owner. Cholera spread quickly spread throughout Springfield. George prepared to flee the disease-stricken community, giving Louis the key to his hotel and asking him to watch over it while he was gone. Soon, more of the town’s business owners and shopkeepers also fled, leaving their keys in the hands of Sansbury, who promised to watch over their shops as well.

Louis kept his word, taking care of the shops, as well as caring for the sick and dying residents who stayed behind. His compassion and care made him a local hero to the residents of Springfield. The town showed their gratitude to Louis in 1845. After George’s death, the town purchased Louis’ freedom, and helped him establish his own businesses—first, a stable and livery, which they stocked with horses, and eventually a blacksmith shop at the same location.


WHAS 11 Louis Sansbury Video

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