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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Free range … no more! City Hall booking, March 30, 1958

Bloomington Police officer Robert Shepherd (left) books a startled hen on accessory charges. That’s officer John Hauptman keeping the prisoner from flying the coop. She was picked up when officers arrested a man they found trying to stuff her in a paper bag.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Corn farming in McLean County … 800 years ago!

Area farmer Nuel Downs, a lifelong collector of Native American relics, is shown here in mid-July 1972 assisting with an archeological dig at the Noble-Wieting site north of Heyworth.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Eureka Williams aerial June 1966

This summer 1966 view of the near southeast side of Bloomington, looking east, offers a wealth of information. “A” is Oakaland School; “B,” Holiday Club, a private park that the city purchased in 1970; “C,” Meadows subdision; “D,” Lakeside County Club; and “E,” Eureka Williams Co.

What else can you see? Who remembers the water tower north of Holiday Club?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Saybrook’s last Civil War widow Emma Cook, May 1938

Seen here is 85-year-old Emma Cook, on the porch of her Saybrook home, looking at a portrait of her late husband Riley Cook, a veteran who died in July 1918. Mrs. Cook was the village’s last Civil War widow. She passed away on August 5, 1941.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

National Air Mail Week May 1938

Art Carnahan (left), manager of the Bloomington Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport), greets Harold Medbery, a pilot from the Tazewell County community of Armington. Medbery brought in nine pouches of airmail from towns southwest and west of Bloomington. That mail was then loaded onto a waiting Chicago & Southern airliner.

This May 1938 demonstration was staged for National Airmail Week.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Easter Lily Sales March 1958

Here’s a group of Y-Teens from the Bloomington YWCA, March 29, 1958, selling Easter lilies in the State Farm Insurance Co. headquarters downtown. The girls are not identified, but that’s Gladys Martin (left) and Betty Moore in the back.


The girls were raising money for the local chapter of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults.

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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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