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#Animals

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Rescued Homing Pigeon August 1942

Bloomington policeman holds a wounded homing pigeon, 1942

Elmer Lyons, Bloomington Police Department patrolman, holds a wounded homing pigeon that was rescued by two local women and brought to the station. The police cared for the pigeon at city hall for a few days before crating him (or her) up for a flightless return journey to owner.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Grand Champion Gilt McLean County Fair, Aug. 6, 1958

Champion gilt, 1958.

That’s a proud Walter Gottschalk of Danvers at the 1958 McLean County 4-H Club Fair posing with his grand champion gilt hog.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Hog Heaven Klafke Farm, August 1942

Klafke Farm hog houses, 1942.

Henry E. Klafke was a Normal Township breeder of Duroc Jersey hogs. He’s seen here watching over the scrub down of his hog houses in preparation for fall litters.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Woodford County Fair, Eureka Grand Champion, August 2, 1950

Grand champion barrow, 1950.

Seen here is Delores Moser of Roanoke with her Poland China barrow (“barrow” being a castrated male swine) judged Woodford County grand champion of all breeds in 1950.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

A Boy’s Feathered Friend Victory Hall, Normal, c. 1930

Victory Hall boy with a bird, 1930.

Opened after World War I at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families. Seen here is Victory Hall boy George Sanders about 1930.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Frank Simpson’s Steers Farmer City, July 1957

Cattle farming, 1957.

Ralph G. Blue (right) and Harold Davis (with clipboard) weigh steers using a scale box. They’re seen here in early July 1957 at Frank Simpson’s feedlot outside of Farmer City in DeWitt County.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

‘Golden Gleam’ Grabs Trophy Society Horse Show, Bloomington, 1953

Horse show, 1953.

Seen here is “Golden Gleam,” who captured the top prize in the parade class. The trophy winning horse was owned by Harold Mortland of Streator but was ridden by Pete Bradley.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

East Twin Grove Farmers’ Picnic July 28, 1922

Farmers' Picnic, 1922.

In late July 1922, the McLean County Farm Bureau and the McLean County Home Bureau held a picnic west of Bloomington for farmers and rural folk from six area townships. A crew from Homestead Films, Inc. of Chicago was also there to shoot scenes for a seven-reel silent picture to be called “The Yoke of Age.”

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Why did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Wild turkey, 1990.

Seen here are a wild turkey hen and her chick crossing Cabintown Road in Bloomington more than a quarter of a century ago. Happily, wild turkeys, once extirpated from Illinois, have made a comeback over the past several decades.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 130: Dogs of War, 1946 Bella and Her Two Surprises

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal, Dog Bella, and two puppies

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though...

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