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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington’s Federal’s ‘electronic brain’ January 1963

Bloomington Federal Savings & Loan Association claimed to be the first financial institution in Illinois to make use of the NCR 390 computer, which was capable of calculating dividends and mortgage interest—among many other miraculous feats!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Free-range Kids April 1938

This mystery photograph comes from the Museum’s collection of Pantagraph negatives. We don’t know the names of these kids or the rural location of this cistern or stock pond. If you can help with the identification, let us know!

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Written by Lauren Lacy in Museum News

Museum announces 2017 History Maker Honorees

Graphic showing the 2017 honorees: Craig Hart, Jeanne Morris, Charles Morris, Judy Stone and Jesse Smart

The McLean County Museum of History announced today five recipients of the 2017 History Makers award to be presented during the Museum’s sixth annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 15

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Written by Lauren Lacy in Museum News Event Spotlight

Craig Hart Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Craig Hart head shot

Craig Hart was born on January 11, 1934 in Streator, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics and his master’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

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Written by Lauren Lacy in Museum News Event Spotlight

Jeanne and Charles Morris Named 2017 History Makers Honorees

Jeanne and Charles Morris

The story of how Jeanne and Charles Morris met “usually gets a smile,” according to Charles. Jeanne and Charles Morris grew up in entirely different states, but met in college while working at a camp on Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. Although they then went their separate ways—Jeanne back to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and Charles back to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina—the two kept in touch as they finished up their undergraduate degrees.

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Written by Lauren Lacy in Museum News Event Spotlight

Judy Stone Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Judy Stone

Judy Stone was born in Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 1932. After growing up in Ohio, Judy received her bachelor’s degree in English and attended Northwestern University in Evanston for her master’s degree in History. It was in Evanston that Judy met her husband Jerry, who was working on his PhD.

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Written by Lauren Lacy in Museum News Event Spotlight

Jesse Smart Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Jesse Smart

Jesse Smart was born on April 29, 1939 on a small family farm in Pike County, IL.

After graduating as class valedictorian at East Pike High School, Jesse went on to study agricultural education at the University of Illinois. It was there, in Urbana-Champaign, that Jesse met his wife Susan.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Tree Planting, Lincoln School April 22, 1938

In a pre-Arbor Day observance, members of Lincoln School’s eighth grade class watch Jack Elledge shovel dirt around a newly planted elm tree. Lincoln School, located in Bloomington’s South Hill neighborhood, is now operated by the city’s parks & recreation department as a community center.

Did anyone out there attend Lincoln School back in the day?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Elizabeth Paullin Funk Undated

This circa early 1930s portrait of Elizabeth Paullin Funk was taken by Clara Brian, longtime McLean County Home Bureau adviser. The Museum holds several hundred of her photographs.

Elizabeth Paullin married Marquis de LaFayette Funk in 1864. He built the sprawling country residence outside of Shirley that is now the Funk Prairie Home historic site. Elizabeth is seen here in the Prairie Home’s living room.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

‘Private Joe’ Fifer Memorial Day 1934

The gentlemen in the center is Joseph “Private Joe” Fifer of Bloomington, who served as Illinois governor from 1889 to 1893. For Memorial Day 1934. Fifer, a Civil War veteran, recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to a crowd gathered at Bloomington Cemetery (now part of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery). On the right is A.T. Ives, another Civil War veteran.

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