200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#1940s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Route 66 Hit-and-Run Towanda, May 1948

In the early morning hours of May 19, 1948, a hit-and-run truck driver knocked down two gasoline pumps at D.E. Henderson’s service station in Towanda. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Who remembers when gas pumps looked like this?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Dr. Moate becomes proficient knitter April 1946

Dr. Thomas Moate, who practiced medicine in Gridley for 50 years, picked up knitting at the age of 70. He’s seen here in mid-April 1947 at the age of 74. By this time Moate was bedridden, but knitting helped pass the hours.

“I don’t know what heaven’s like, but if it’s anything like Gridley, I’ll like it,” he told The Pantagraph at the time. Dr. Moate passed away on May 31, 1947 at the age of 75.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Pointer and Setter Club Field Trials, April 1946

That’s “Jake,” a pointer puppy owned by “bird dog man” G.S. Bryant of Springfield and handled here by E.T. Burke of Farmersville. Jake was a guest, one might say, of the Bloomington Pointer and Setter Club, which staged its annual spring trials in early April 1946 on club grounds outside of the Village of Downs.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Robert Underwood, casting ballot April 9, 1945

Seen here is 30-year-old judicial candidate Robert C. Underwood (left) at an unidentified Town of Normal polling station, casting his ballot in the spring 1945 election. Underwood, in his first bid for elective office, would defeat sitting County Judge Dewey Montgomery by a nearly two-to-one margin.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Cotton’s Village Inn 401 N. Main St., Bloomington

Melton “Cotton” McNabney and his wife Millie took over management of this downtown eatery in 1948. Located in the basement of the three-story building on the northeast corner of Main and Monroe streets, some old-timers might remember Millie McNabney’s ham loaf, creamed chicken pie, or Swiss steak and pan gravy.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Illini Coach Ray Eliot, 1942 Young Men’s Club luncheon

University of Illinois head football coach Ray Eliot addressing the Young Men’s Club at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington

On February 10, 1942, new University of Illinois head football coach Ray Eliot (that’s Eliot with one “L”) addressed the Young Men’s Club at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington. Eliot would go on to lead the Illini for 18 seasons, winning 3 Big Ten titles and 2 Rose Bowls.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Television comes to Danvers June 1949

Who remembers television coming to their home? In June 1949, The Pantagraph reported on the arrival of television to several area communities.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

‘Tied in knots’ outside of Heyworth June 1949

A massive knot disfigured an old black oak on the Charles Hall farm one mile east of Heyworth.

A massive knot disfigured an old black oak on the Charles Hall farm one mile east of Heyworth. Seen here is young Eugene Smith of Heyworth examining this unnatural-looking natural oddity.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Hot Times on in Downtown Bloomington June 19, 1949

This early summer scene shows a crowd gathered outside the Western Union office on the 200 block of West Washington Street. The business had been evacuated due to a fire call (note the BFD engine parked in the middle of the street).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

‘Craig’s Wife,’ February 1947 Community Players, Bloomington

On February 6 and 7, 1947, Community Players Theatre staged the domestic drama “Craig’s Wife.” The theater company’s current home on Robinhood Lane did not open until 1962, so at this time plays were held at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts).

We don’t know who’s who here. If you can identify anyone, please let us know.

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