The Pantagraph recounted the story of the Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home Band, organized in 1897-98 and active into the 1960s. This state-run home in north Normal changed its name to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS) in 1931.
This photo recalls the Bloomers, Bloomington’s professional minor league team that played in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League from 1901 to 1939.The Bloomers home was Fans Field. Today, this site is occupied by Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department’s RT Dunn Fields and a series of businesses along Lafayette Street, including Weber Electric and Aramark. The Fans Field grandstand burned down in August 1947.
This aerial, taken by The Pantagraph’s very own news plane “Scoop,” shows the Henry C. and Carrie Berenz, Jr. residence in the fall of 1933. They moved into the newly built home at 5 County Club Place in February 1930.
During the Great Depression an infusion of federal dollars through New Deal “alphabet” agencies and projects kept millions of Americans on the job and able to put food on the family table. In 1934, the Bloomington-Normal Sanitary District received a loan and grant from the PWA to construct a storm water sewer running roughly 3,000 feet.
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center opened its doors way back in May 1896. In 1901, it was called Brokaw Hospital after a large donation by Bloomington plow maker Abram Brokaw. With expansion and the merger with Mennonite Hospital of Bloomington in 1991 came the “mash-up” name of BroMenn Regional Medical Center and the Advocate part of the name was introduced in 2010.
Forty nurses, doctors, and supervisors attended the annual Mennonite School of Nursing banquet on May 14, 1930, held at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington. Eloise Lehmann of Pontiac and Eula Peden of Lexington, presidents of the junior and senior classes respectively, addressed those gathered, as did Dr. H.P. Sloan
What was once the far southwestern edge of Bloomington is seen here in this 1933 aerial. Obviously, there was no Route 66 “Beltline” / Veterans Parkway at this time! Today, Veterans Parkway curves around the northwestern corner of the Jewish Cemetery.
Seen here are two members of the Billetti Troupe, a nationally touring high-wire act that wintered in the Twin Cities.
For nearly a century, Bloomington-Normal served as winter training grounds for trapeze artists and aerial acrobats from across the country. Thus it’s not surprising that the local Y’s annual circus show featured not only local amateur talent but big-time national acts as well. Seen here are C.W. Brooks and his daughter Beverly June Brooks of the Brooks Family act performing on opening night, Monday, March 21, 1938