Monday, September 29, 2014

1888-1924: Missionaries to China from Princeville

It has been a few months since I posted a blog.  The absence of blogging is not because there isn’t anything to report, just the opposite.  In the past few months, the museum staff and volunteers have been resetting museum displays in all the buildings, leading school groups for field trips, renting out the museum meeting room and successfully hosting Heritage Harvest.  We are not slowing down, there are some exciting programs booked this fall in addition to the monthly community coffees, tractor group meetings and our evening work groups.

On Tuesday, October 14, Art Allen will be here to promote the book “Zeal to Educate Women” which was written by his wife, Nancy.  Many of you may recall Art and Nancy’s visit in 2010 years ago which was featured in the local newspaper (see photo above).  Nancy had been researching her relatives, the Peters sisters who were missionaries to China from 1888 to the 1924.  Alice, Mary and Sarah Peters were all Princeville residents who championed change in China via the Methodist Episcopal Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS). 

Nancy’s extensive research resulted in her authoring the book “Zeal to Educate Women” which was published in 2013 by Tingley Road Publishing.  Please join us for the program on Tuesday, October 14, at 6:30 pm in the meeting room at the Princeville Heritage Museum.  Reverend Art Allen will here to share the legacy of these remarkable women.  This is a public event and you need not be a member of the museum to attend.  The books are available for purchase in the museum’s gift center.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1924 Maroon and White

May is the month for graduations.  This weekend, the Princeville High School Class of 2014 graduates.  These students have put in a lot of work in their four years at PHS.  Many of the memories have been captured and published in The Maroon yearbook.  According to our records, the first yearbook was published in 1914, 100 years ago.  See this post with pictures from the 1914 yearbook.  We also posted the advertisements in the 1914 yearbook in this post.  The yearbook was published for a few years, but during the 1920s, the yearbook was replaced by a booklet titled "The Maroon and White".  We have been told a yearbook wasn't published during those years because it was too expensive.  If you know more about the history of The Maroon, please call or stop in.

To celebrate this year's graduates, let's take a step back in time to 1924.  Ninety years ago, our high school students were busy with baseball, track, tennis, basketball, plays and class parties.  The 1924 graduating class had 22 students.

The 1924 Maroon and White was 8 pages of photos and commentary.  In 1924, Mr. J.A. Stewart was superintendent. He is pictured here on page 1 with the class of 1924.  Front row (left to right): Clement Weber (Webber?), Robert Acheson, Luther Mansfield, Vesta (Buck) Mason, Lucille (McGinnis) Montgomery, Faye (Nelson) Stargle.  Middle Row (left to right): Sarah (Routh) Webber, Leila (Williams) Stewart, Rosene (Hough) Van Sandt, Ruth (Noonen) Hardgrove, Marie (Weber or Webber) Dempsey, Gladys (Byrnes) Harmon, Marion (Rose) Inwood, Lucile (Carman) Camp.  Back Row (left to right): Supt. J.A. Stewart, Raymond Oertley, Louis Bouton, Elmer Byrnes, Joseph Ricketts, Louie Murnan, Harold Bouton, Walter Smith, Caroline (Friedman) Camp. The married names of the female students were added to this list from the 1955 alumni list that is published here.

Page 2 included a description of all the social events of the high school classes starting with the September PTA parent and student gathering.   During the year, each class held parties and picnics at various locations in the area.

During the school year the junior and senior classes each hosted a play. In addition to the plays, the glee clubs performed an operetta in February.  At the bottom of page 3, the tennis team is pictured.  Standing (left to right): Richard Auten, Harold Webber, Robert Hyde, Earl Best, Gerald Stewart.  Seated (left to right): Marion (Rose) Inwood, Raymond Searl, Marie (Webber) Dempsey.

The baseball team and a written account of the County Track and Literary meet are on page 4 of the newsletter.  Standing (left to right): Louie Murnan, George Smith, Clement Webber, Robert Weaver, Coach Bickford, George Young, Robert Hyde, Luther Mansfield.  Seated (left to right): Raymond Oertley, Earl Best, Captain P. Burgess.  The county meet which was held in Princeville included tennis, track, declamation, vocal and music contests.  The tennis was played on courts at the Presbyterian Church.  According to the article, the declamation/vocal/music contests was so well attended that both the Methodist and Presbyterian churches were used.  Since this was before internet and computer technology, the contestants had to perform twice, once at each church.  

The fifth page featured the track team and continued with the results of the county meet.  Princeville won the athletic meet and placed second overall, behind Chillicothe.  The track team is pictured with their javelins and discus.  Clement Webber broke the county record by throwing the javelin 167 feet, 16 inches at the county meet.  Standing in the photo (left to right): Franklin Gingrich, Robert Acheson, F. Timmons, Gerald Stewart, Coach Bickford, Robert Weaver, George Young. Seated (left to right): Louie Murnan, Captain Luther Mansfield, Earl Best.

The basketball team's season record and photo is on page 6.  Standing in the photo (left to right): George Smith, Robert Weaver, Gerald Stewart, Theodore West, Clement Webber, Coach Bickford.  Seated (left to right): Luther Mansfield, Robert Hyde, Captain George Young, Harold Webber, Earl Best.

Page 7 includes a description of the graduation events as well as the year in review.  Graduation was held on June 3.  Reverend Cecil Carpenter of Peoria gave the commencement address.

Jingles and jokes are the last page of the newsletter which was printed by the Princeville Telephone of Princeville, Illinois. Does this bring back memories of your high school years?  Are you related to any of these students?  We do maintain a library of books, scrapbooks, maps and more to help with local genealogy research.  Let us help you research your family tree.

This newsletter was a donation from the estate of James Montgomery.  If you have any items you would like to donate to the museum, please send us an email or call to make arrangements.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War Exhibit

For the first time, the Princeville Heritage Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit titled Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.  The exhibit is a joint effort between the museum and Lillie M. Evans Library.  Our museum director and volunteers have been very busy getting the exhibit ready.  In addition to the traveling exhibit, you will also view diplays about local Civil War history. 

The museum will have extended hours during the exhibit which will be on display through May 9.  In addition to the Opening Reception, there are 4 programs planned during April.

On Tuesday, April 8, we will be hosting "Illinois in the Civil War" with Tom Emery at 6:30 pm.  "Black Jack Logan: Civil War General, Senator, King-Maker" with Brian Fox Ellis will be on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 pm.  You won't want to miss "Mrs. Lincoln's Salon" and Tea with Debra Ann Miller on Tuesday, April 22 at 1:00 pm (reservations required).  The final program is "The Anti-Slavery Movement in Black and White" with Jeanne Schultz Angel will be on Tuesday, April 29 at 6:30 pm.

During the exhibit, the museum will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Tuesdays 2:00 to 6:00 pm and Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  We do schedule classroom visits as well as large groups (senior living facilities, community groups, scout troops, service organizations, etc.). Please plan for at least an hour for your visit.

Here are a few pictures of the exhibit:

The museum volunteers have spent a lot of time researching local Civil War soldiers and other local history relating to the Civil War.  
  • Do you know about the "Lucky 13" from Princeville?  
  • Most of the local men were enlisted in Company K, 86th IL Infantry.
  • Read the Coburn Civil War letters. 
  • Much, much more!!
A few photos of local Civil War history:

Soldier's Memorial of Company K 86th Reg. Vol. Infantry.  Man local men enlisted
 in Company K of 86th IL.  You can view all the names and photos of the officers.

As you can see, this is an exhibit you won't want to miss!!

To learn more about the Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War exhibit, click here for the link to LME Library.  For additional resources and information, including a Teacher's Guide, scroll to the bottom of the page to see additional links.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

1960-1961 Blackhawk Champions

I have had these photos ready for a blog post for a few weeks now.  We are in the midst of winter weather and clearing out from the latest snow so I thought today would be a good time to post the photos.  These photos were donated to the museum by Mildred and Evelyn Snyder.  We don't have all the names of all the boys in the photos, so if you can help identify them, please email us at

The 1960-61 Princeville High School football team were the Blackhawk Conference Champions.  This first photo was taken in the 100 block of East Main Street near the VFW which was on the north side of the street in 1960.  I assume that is the football coach on the trailer with the team making a speech.  The trailer advertises LE German Implement Co.  We don't have any identification on the players of the trailer.  Looks like there was a large turnout to help the team celebrate their championship.

Identification of players in photo below from Rick Martin: to left of speaker is Principal William (Bull) Cordis; behind speaker is Coach Ernie Hoff; on his left is Coach Bob Johns.   Players #40 Lee Strietmatter, between #13 & 27 is Dave Swanson, #27 is Ralph Fusco.  

It looks like the whole team is posed in front of Princeville High School for this next photo.  The players that have been identified in this photo are: Bob Teske (#38), Bob Riggen, Jeff Givens, Chuck Beall, Ralph Fusco (#27), Ron Williams, Tom Harmon, Claude Lorance and Bob Swanson.

Rick Martin identifies the following players in this next photo:  #80 Bill Kraft; #40 Lee Strietmatter; #13 Roger Maddox; #11 Joe Harwood; behind #11 is Steve Sutherland.  Other side, #42 Dick Calhoun; back row behind Ron Williams is Norm Stahl; Tom Boylan in front of #38(Bob Teske)

We have identified all the players in this next photo.  They are: Bill Kraft (#80), Steve Sutherland (#84), Wylvan Parker (#19), Dick Calhoun (#42), Bob Swanson (#70), Norm Stahl (#64), Nollan Harwood (#11).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Shopping on Walnut Street

The 100 block of North Walnut Street has seen many changes.  Over the years, buildings in this block have housed stores, offices, restaurants, library and even a movie theater, to name a few.  During a recent visit to the museum, Wendy Kneer shared a few of her family's photos.  Wendy's grandmother was Ada Harrison Kneer.

The photo below is of the Golden Rule store.  Since it appears that the store is empty, we can assume the photo was taken after the store closed.  The store was located on the west side of Walnut Street.  Currently, this building is part of the Cordis and Cordis Law Office.  The storefront to the left of the Golden Rule Store is where the Princeville Post Office used to be. The building on the right is the building that is currently on the corner of Walnut and Evans.  Notice the sign in the window advertising a Pool Room.  Do you think the "Golden Rule Store" imprint is still on the building?

The next two photos are of the H. Harrison Hardware Store.  The hardware store was located on the east side of Walnut Street.  Currently, Los Jimadores restaurant is located in this building.  Notice the wagons for sale to the left of the door.  I keep looking at this photo to see what is in the windows, but I can't figure out what is there. The next photo shows the inside of the store.  The shelves were stocked from floor to ceiling.  Notice the stoves in the front on the left.  Looking closely at the Public Sale notices, these photos were taken in 1915.

The ad below is from the February 16, 1899 Princeville Republican newspaper.  I believe that the store above is a predecessor of the H. Harrison Hardware store. 

Do you have any information on these businesses?  The museum is always looking for additional information on Princeville businesses.  If you can help, please email or call the museum at (309)385-1916.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

1915 Princeville High School Sophomores

The Buck/Lauber family was in this week and shared some of their family photos with us.  Like many of you, they have some old family photos and newspaper clippings dating back to the 1800s.  The museum does take donations of local family photos and clippings which prove invaluable to our volunteers, members and visitors who do genealogy research.  If you aren't quite ready to let go of your family photos, please consider allowing us to make digital scans of the photos.  When we are given a collection of newspaper clippings (wedding announcements, obituaries and other articles) we put them together in a scrapbook, mark it with the family's name and place it in the reference area for all who are interested to view. 

One of the items the family allowed us to scan was a group photo of the Princeville High School Sophomores in 1915.  These students graduated in 1917.  This photo is from Hazel Buck's scrapbook.  She was a scrapbooker before scrapbooking was popular! Hazel was a school teacher at Monica Grade School until she became ill and had to quit teaching.  She passed away in 1928 at the young age of 28.

Using old yearbooks and the names written in the scrapbook, I think I have figured out who everyone is in the photo.  The alumni lists in the old yearbooks also helped me figure out the girls' married names. 

Back row (left to right):  Harriet Hofer Hinnen, May Cheesman, Carl Cheesman (Red), Fred Jackson, Clarence Graham, Free Slane, Hazel Tucker Nelson.

Middle row (left to right): Bernice Taylor Manker, Maude Shane Sloan, Mabel DeBord Gelling, Bettie Gourley, Ellen Edwards.

Front row (left to right): Florence Oertley Barnes, Pearl Barrett Flake, Helen Tracy Hansen, Hazel Buck, Helen Gaster Weidner

If you are decluttering or just not sure what to do with all the family photos and papers, please consider donating them to the museum.