History of the Firm
Greg Sgro’s father and grandfather were builders and developers. Greg spent a lot of time on job sites, from sweeping sawdust to hammering nails. Working with the family business eventually led to his decision to go to law school after his father informed him that real estate development was getting more complicated. After graduating and spending a short stint with a law firm as an associate, when Greg was thinking about going out on his own, his grandfather advised him: “An honest lawyer will always have clients.”
Greg ran with that advice and opened his own law firm in 1987, which has steadily grown and expanded over the years. Don Hanrahan was a campus activist during his undergraduate and law school days at the University of Illinois, and his commitment to social and economic justice led him to begin his career at legal aid, where he spent 12 years before opening his own practice in 1994. In 1997, knowing that Don sought new office space, Greg invited him to the South Sixth Street building. Following that, Greg and Don quickly gained each other’s respect and friendship. The firm was soon born in 1998, initially forming the partnership between Sgro and Hanrahan which remains part of the firm’s namesake to this day.
The lawyers of the firm maintain an active litigation and transactional practice in a wide variety of civil practice areas. The firm has served numerous clients over the years, and maintains some clients that have been with the firm since the beginning, including clients now that are the children or grandchildren of clients. The firm is proud to continue its tradition of serving the Springfield and surrounding communities with the work of its honest, intelligent, and hard-working lawyers.
The Vredenburgh Mansion
The building on South Sixth Street where the law firm is today is rich in history. The home was built in 1851 by Wallace Fondey, a dry goods merchant, as a simple colonial revival style dwelling. In 1865, General Isham N. Haynie purchased the home, the first attorney to own the property. General Haynie fought in the Civil War and sat at President Abraham Lincoln’s bedside the night Lincoln was shot. He was invited to accompany President Lincoln’s remains from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.
The Frank W. Tracy family purchased the home in 1893. In 1907, Peter Vredenburgh, owner of the Vredenburg Lumber Company, bought the property. Peter’s son, Thomas, did extensive remodeling to the property in the 1920s that gave the home its present form, except for the two-story front portico that was added in 1955. In 1956, Mutual of Omaha acquired the home and used it as the location of its Springfield office until 1990, when it was purchased by Greg Sgro, who restored the building for use by the law firm.