Photo of William Walters from dustjacket of his book The Heart of the Cornbelt: An Illustrated History of Corn Farming in McLean County (1997)

William D. Walters Jr. Collection Finding Aid

 

Inventoried by Carol Straka
September 2009



Table of Contents
Known as Towanda Meadows or Duncan Manor, this three-story Italianate farmhouse is located in Towanda Township, McLean County. Built in 1874-1875 by livestock farmer William R. Duncan, it is one of the largest farmhouses in Illinois. This image is taken from page 67 of the study "Historic Buildings of McLean County 1830-1914," the original of which is in the Walters Collection.

 

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
One Box and One Binder
Collection Dates:
1844-2009
Restrictions:
None.
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Alternative Formats:
None.
Other Finding Aids: None.
Location: Archives.
Notes:

See also the following vertical files:

--A Brief History of Fell Park

--Town-Making in Eastern McLean County: A Geographical Microstudy

--A New Geography of McLean County (filed under "Outdoor Illinois")

Historical Sketch

Professor Emeritus of Geography, Walters taught at Illinois State University for many years. His research explores diverse aspects of Central Illinois from an historical geographer's perspective. Traveling the highways and byways, Walters examined past and present rural land use, small town locations and layouts, housing styles, brick and tile making and more.

He authored The Heart of the Cornbelt: An Illustrated History of Corn Farming in McLean County (1997); Historic Buildings of McLean County 1830-1914 (1977); and co-authored Commentary on a Corn Belt Countryside with Michael Sublett and Southard Modry (1973).

Raised in Royal Oak, Michigan, Walters earned a PhD from Indiana University.

 
Scope and Contents Note
This collection includes a selection of Dr. Walters published articles, unpublished manuscripts, plus research materials.

 

Box and Folder Inventory

Box 1 (29 Folders)

Tile and Brick Manufacturing and Use (Folders 1-9)

Folder 1:
"Abandoned Nineteenth Century Brick and Tile Works in Central Illinois: An Introduction from Local Sources," by Wm D Walters Jr., reprinted from Industrial Archaeology Review, Volume 4 No 1 Winter 1979-80, pp. 70-80, 2 copies.

 

Folder 2:
"Past Claypits and Present Landscape," by Wm D. Walters Jr., prepared for meeting of Association of American Geographers in Los Angeles, April 19, 1981, 9 pages

 

Folder 3:
"Nineteenth Century Midwestern Brick," by Wm D Walters, Jr., in Pioneer America, Vol. 14. No. 3, 1982, pp. 125-136

 

Folder 4:
Photocopies of Walters' handwritten note cards with dated quotations from Bloomington newspapers on making and use tile and brick, largely Bloomington Pantagraph and Bulletin from 1870s to 1910s, 104 pages

 

Folder 5:
Photocopies of Insurance Maps of tile factory in Bloomington, IL, between Hannah & Maple Sts (site of Heafer Tile), no source or date, 2pp.

 

Folder 6:
Brick, Tile and Pottery Gazette
1.6.1
Photocopies of 2 pages of February Vol. 4, No. 1, 1886. Includes discussion of depressed pricing for drainage tile.
1.6.2
Photocopies of 7 pp of Vol. 5, No.4, November 1886. Includes article describing brick making and advert for "New Discovery Kiln" at Chenoa.

 

Folder 7:
Streator Brick
1.7.1
Photocopy of discussion of brick processing on Streator Brick Systems, Inc. on their letterhead, undated
1.7.2
"Brick Production at Streator Brick," writer unknown, undated, 4 pages

 

Folder 8:
Wilson Township (DeWitt County, IL)
1.8.1
"Wilson Township," writer unknown, undated, handwritten note says 'from C. Ross Johnson,' 4 pages
1.8.2
Map of Wilson Township, undated
1.8.3
Correspondence to "Elaine" from Ralph Durrick concerning contacts for historical interviews about Solomon, IL, 3 pages including 2 maps
1.8.4
Photocopy of photograph of Solomon Tile Factory with workers, undated.

 

Folder 9:
Brick Streets
1.9.1
"Replacing Brick After Street Excavations," by Cleveland's Superintendent of Street Repairs P.J. Masterson, from Dependable Highways, undated, pp. 21-22
1.9.2
"Curbing and Gutter," writer & date unknown, 3 pages
1.9.3
"Economy Building Tile," advertisement, Pantagraph, 9 April 1909
1.9.4
"Normal Spends $ 224,278 for Pavements in Two Years" Pantagraph, 19 Sep 1910, 2pp.
1.9.5
"Bloomington's Brick Streets," William H. Walters Jr., 1 Sep 2009, draft of a longer report for Bloomington Street Dept., 3 pp.
1.9.6
Photograph of plaque on Bloomington's Center Street (erroneously) commemorating the first brick pavement in the U.S. in 1877
1.9.7
Handwritten research note cards with local newspaper and other references about brick paving, 7 cards
See also Folder 29 for "Brick Streets in Illinois: A Brief History and Guide to Their Preservation and Maintenance"

 

House Architecture and Construction (Folders 10-12)

Folder 10:
Timber Houses
1.10.1
"Pioneer's House, Costing $ 473" from Homes for Home-Builders: or Practical Designs for Country, Farm & Village, edited by David W King, Architect, 1910, pp. 35-41
1.10.2
"A Comparative Historical Study of Timber Building in Canada," A.J.H. Richardson, NHSS, from APT Vol. V No 3, 1973, pp. 77-101
1.10.3
"Radiographic Inspection of Plank House Construction," bibliography from a Thesis at Cornell University by Mary Joan Simmons, May 1982, pp. 600-612
1.10.4
"Plankwall Framing, a Modern Wall Construction with an Ancient History," T. Ritchie of national Research Council of Canada Division of Building Research, from Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. XXX No. I, March 1971, pages 66-70

 

Folder 11:
"Vernacular Architecture in Illinois" from Illinois History: a Magazine for Young People, Vol. 45, No. 3, December 1991, pp 41-44, 2 copies.

 

Folder 12:
"House Facades of the Northeastern United States; A Tool of Geographic Analysis," John E Rickert of Kent State University, reprint from Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 57, No. 2, June 1967, pp. 211-238

 

See also Folder 29: "The Concept of the Cornbelt Cube" "The Eliel Barber House and American Vertical Plank Wall Construction" "Cast Iron Thresholds" and "The History, Design, and Restoration of the Matthew T. Scott Home Chenoa, Illinois,"

 

 

Location, Morphology & Development of Illinois Towns (Folders 13 - 16)

Folder 13:
"The Making of the Urban Pattern in Central Illinois: 1831-1895," Wm. D Walters Jr. from Bulletin of The Illinois Geographical Society, Vol. XIX No. 1, June 1977, pages 3-15. One original plus a photocopy.

 

Folder 14:
"Abandoned Towns and the Process of Town Abandonment: Central Illinois 1840-1890," Wm. D Walters Jr., undated manuscript, 4 pp., 2 copies

 

Folder 15:
"The Fanciful Geography of 1836," Wm D Walters, Jr. from The Old Northwest, Vol. 9 No. 4 Winter 1983-84, pp. 331-343, 2 copies

 

Folder 16:
"Time and Town Squares," Wm D Walters, Jr. from Bulletin of the Illinois Geographical Society, Vol. XXII No 2, Fall l980, pp 18-24

 

See also Folder 29 "Transferred Structures and Town Origins" and "Arson, Accidents, and Architecture"

 

Rural Land Use (Folders 17-23)

Folder 17:
"Inclosures, an Act to regulate the enclosing and cultivating of common fields," photocopy from The Revised Laws of Illinois, 1833, pp. 258-264

 

Folder 18:
"Rural Landscape and Economy" Chapter IV of Economic Economy of McLean County by Arthur Weldon Waterson, 1954, pp 81-119

 

Folder 19:
"Initial Field Location in Illinois," Wm D Walters Jr. and Floyd Mansberger, from Agricultural History, undated, pp 289-296

 

Folder 20:
"Woodland and Prairie Settlement in Illinois: 1830-70," Wm D Walters Jr. and Jonathan Smith, in Forest & Conservation History, Vol. 36 No. 1, January 1992, pp 15-21, 2 copies. See next folder for underlying research items.

 

Folder 21:
Contracts for timber and land use in Illinois 1830s-1850s (research for the preceding "Woodland & Prairie Settlement in Illinois")
1.21.1
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and William Morgan (possibly also Jas Smith) to make fencing from timber on McClun's Cheney Grove land, 4 Jan 1867, plus receipts for cash paid. Source: Illinois Central Railroad collection at the Newberry Library.
1.21.2
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and David O. Orendorff for breaking sod, making posts, and hauling timber on McClun's land, 7 March 1852. Includes itemized payment schedule and offsetting charges for land rental. Source: Illinois Central Railroad collection at the Newberry Library. 3pp.
1.21.3
Transcription of correspondence from William Morgan to J.E. McClun concerning paying James Smith and scarcity of timber, undated.
1.21.4
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and George L. King/L.C.Brown for harvesting timber on McClun's lot south of Bloomington, 22 Oct 1851.
1.21.5
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and Jonathan Glimpse for harvesting timber, 24 Oct 1851. Amended to include additional plot of land 3 Nov 1851.
1.21.6
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and unspecified for harvesting timber on lot in south part of Bloomington, 3 Dec 1851.
1.21.7
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and James E. Wooton for harvesting timber on 2 of McClun's lots, 17 Nov 1851
1.21.8
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and David Glimpse for chopping wood; payable in trade at McClun's store, 9 Jan 1855
1.21.9
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and James Lunes for chopping wood; payable as a horse and credit at McClun's store or mill, 5 Jan 1859
1.21.10
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and John Frederick Snyder for chopping wood; payable as a credit against a lot and at McClun's store, 13 Dec 1859
1.21.11
Transcription of correspondence from Jacob Jacobs of the office of the Superintendent of the Illinois Central Railroad Co. to J.E. McClun concerning firewood for the coming season, 22 Nov 1859
1.21.12
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and J.C. Morris/Gottlieb Schuler for breaking sod, fencing, and building a house on land near Urbana in exchange for rental of land, etc., 7 Jan 1866, Includes receipt for payment. 2 pp.
1.21.13
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and James White for timber cutting on McClun's land, 22 Oct 1851
1.21.14
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and Edward C. Dawson for timber cutting on McClun's land, 24 Oct 1851
1.21.15
Transcription of contract between J.E. McClun and Wm. E. Boy for timber cutting on McClun's land south of Bloomington, 18 Nov 1851
1.21.16
Photocopy of contract between Hiram Havens of McLean County and Illinois Central Railroad Company for 10,000 railroad ties, undated, 2pp.
1.21.17
Photocopy of itemized bill for carpentry work on house and kitchen, undated, 4 pp. Source: Williams-Woodbury Collection of the Illinois Historical Survey at the University of Illinois Library.
1.21.18
Photocopy of contact between Amos Williams and Washington Lee, both of Vermilion County, IL, for rental of farmland payable in produce, 10 June 1844, 3pp. Document is stamped "Illinois Historical Society."
1.21.19
Photocopy of itemized list of costs for construction work and materials on Cameron and Stewart's houses, perhaps 1837. Stamped "Illinois Historical Society"
1.21.20
Photocopy of contract between Amos Williams and Washington Lee , both of Vermilion County, IL, for leasing 10 acres in exchange for various improvements plus part of the sugar harvested, 17 January 1865, 3 pp. Stamped "Illinois Historical Society"
1.21.21
Photocopy of contract between Amos Williams and Amos Hannus leasing 22 acres near Danville in exchange for share of produce, fencing work, etc., 16 Feb 1857, 2pp. Stamped "Illinois Historical Society"
1.21.22
Photocopy of contract between Amos Williams and William Lowders, both of Vermillion County, IL, to rent land in exchange for part of produce plus clearing fencing, cabin-building, etc., 29 Oct 1851, 3pp. Stamped "Illinois Historical Society"
1.21.23
Photocopy of contract between Jonathan McAfferty of McLean County and Illinois Central Railroad for 20,000 railroad ties, 28 June 1852, 3pp.
1.21.24
Photocopy of contract between Nelson Seymour of McLean County and Illinois Central Railroad for 6,000 cross ties, 28 June 1852, 2pp.
1.21.25
Photocopy of contract between E. Thomas of McLean County and Illinois Central Railroad for 20,000 railroad ties, 11 May 1852, 2pp.
1.21.26
Photocopy of contract between E.& W. Thomas of McLean County and Illinois Central Railroad for 100,000 railroad ties, 10 July 1852, 2pp., partial.
1.21.27
Brief discussion of John McClun's commercial dealings and land holdings in McLean County, William D Walters, undated
1.21.28
"Chronological Biography" of J E McClun, writer & date unknown
1.21.29
Inventory of the McClun Papers in the archives of Illinois State University, writer unknown, undated, 3pp

 

Folder 22:
"The Development of the Cornbelt Farmstead: A Proposed Model," Wm D Walters Jr., from P.A.S.T., Vol. 22, 1999, pp. 27-37, 2 copies.

 

Folder 23:
Book Review of "The Heart of the Cornbelt", reviewed by Ann Doolen of Lincoln College, from Bulletin of the Illinois Geographical Society, Vol XLI, No. 2, Fall 1999

 

Miscellaneous (Folders 24-28)

Folder 24:
"The Friends Meetinghouse at Benjaminville," Wm D Walters, Jr., from Historic Illinois, February 1984, pp 14-15, 2 copies.

 

Folder 25:
"Beginning of Saybrook & Tales "I"--the "Book" 1825-1975" complied by W. Rex Butler, Historical Chairman for Saybrook Sesquicentennial, 1975, Mostly reprinted articles from Saybrook Gazette 1907-08, 38 pp.

 

Folder 26:
Ottawa IL
1.26.1
"Editorial Correspondence" from unidentified publication of July 1848. Includes first part of an essay on an "agricultural journey" via canal from Chicago including descriptions of terrain and resources, 2pp.
1.26.2
Article on Ottawa, IL, manufacturing and resources, The Prairie Farmer, Feb 1853, 1p.
1.26.3
"Show of the Buel Institute" from The Prairie Farmer, Nov. 1849. Describes Ottawa, IL, plus the cattle show. Partial copy.

 

Folder 27:
Miscellaneous research
1.27.1
"Index to Country Township Plats" for Library of Congress holdings, undated, 6 pp. Includes various Illinois areas.
1.27.2
"Gridley Family Papers", January 21, 1954. Finding aid from University of Chicago Library, 3 pp. Current version available online.
1.27.3
"To Emmigrants," a list of McLean County tracts for sale, Bloomington Observer and Advocate, 13 Jan 1838
1.27.4
"Sketches of a Traveller- No. 8," a steamer journey up the Illinois, St. Louis Republican, 1836, 2 pp.
1.27.5
Title unknown, part of an article on Jeffersonville, Indiana, St. Louis Republican, 1836.
1.27.6
"Albion: Town Lots for Sale in Illinois," St. Louis Republican, 1836.
1.27.7
"Town of Rockingham," St. Louis Republican, 1836. Sale of lots for new IL town. 2pp.
1.27.8
"Sale of Lots in the Town of Sibley," St. Louis Republican, 1836. This Sibley is in Jackson County, MO.
1.27.9
"Town of Elizabeth," St. Louis Republican, 1836. Newly laid out town in Bond County, IL.
1.27.9
"Town of Oquawka," St. Louis Republican, 1836. Public sale of lots in Warren County, IL, town.
1.27.10
"Great Sale of Town Lots at Pekin, Illinois," St. Louis Republican, approx.1836.

 

Folder 28:
"Malawi: A Geographical Introduction," Henry J Zintambila and Wm D Walters, Jr., in Bulletin of the Illinois Geographical Society, Vol XXXIII, No 1, Spring 1991, pp.16-35

 

Folder 29:
Late arriving materials
1.29.1
"Brick Streets in Illinois: A Brief History and Guide to Their Preservation and Maintenance," Royce Baier and Wm D Walters Jr. in Illinois Preservation Series, No. 12, no date but at least 1989 or later, pp.1-16, 2 copies.
1.29.2
"The Concept of the Cornbelt Cube," Wm D Walters Jr., from P.A.S.T., Vol. 16, 1993, pp. 45-52.
1.29.3
"The Eliel Barber House and American Vertical Plank Wall Construction," Greg Koos and Wm D Walters Jr., from P.A.S.T., Vol. IX, 1986, pp.71-78, 2 copies.
1.29.4
"Cast Iron Thresholds," Wm D Walters Jr., from P.A.S.T., Vol. 20, 1997, pp. 35-43.
1.29.5
"Transferred Structures and Town Origins," Wm D Walters Jr., from P.A.S.T., Vol. 14, 1991, pp. 11-18.
1.29.6
"Arson, Accidents, and Architecture," Greg Koos and Wm D Walters Jr., from Historic Illinois, Vol. 8, No. 1 June 1985, pp. 1-4. Discusses how downtown Bloomington's landscape was shaped by three separate fires
1.29.7
"The History, Design, and Restoration of the Matthew T. Scott Home Chenoa, Illinois," Wm D. Walters, Jr., from P.A.S.T., Vol. VII 1984, pp 89-93.

 

Historic Buildings of McLean County 1830-1914 (Folder 30 & Binder 1) The published study of this
name is available in the McLean County Museum of History Library and includes buildings associated with
locally or nationally important figures and those which provide good illustrations of nineteenth and early
twentieth century architecture.

Folder 30:
Research note cards, William D. Walters, Jr., 1977. Buildings researched but excluded from the final published study "Historical Buildings of McLean County 1830-1914" are included on original handwritten note cards.

 

Binder:
Original copy of study, Williams D. Walters Jr., 1977. Includes original black and white photos. 248 pp.

 

McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research