This holiday season, the McLean County Museum of History is raising $5,500 to upgrade our collections storage space to meet museum and archival standards and ensure our collections are preserved for future generations. Our collection contains more than 20,000 objects donated from local residents of McLean County and beyond.
The McLean County Museum of History is currently taking reservations for a special bus trip to see “The Civility of Albert Cashier”, a limited-run musical that focuses on the life of a Central Illinois Civil War soldier who defied contemporary gender roles. A matinee performance, the show will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 17 at Stage 773 in Chicago. A limited number of scholarships for local high school students will be available thanks to the Prairie Pride Coalition.
Born Jennie Irene Hodgers, Albert D.J. Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) was an Irish-born immigrant who moved to Illinois and lived under a male identity before enlisting in the 95th Illinois Infantry during the American Civil War. Cashier maintained his secret throughout the war and for most of his adult life until a doctor discovered Cashier’s biological gender following an injury. Cashier’s story became famous as one of a number of women soldiers who served as men during the Civil War, however Cashier did not dress in men’s clothing just to join the Army. His male identity was part of his life before and after the war, leading current scholars to reconsider the female narrative that has long framed his legacy.
During the month of August, when you purchase a reusable bag with the “giving is in the bag” message from the Schnucks’ located in north Normal, the Museum will receive $1.
Shout out to the Young Men’s Club! On Tuesday, May 30 the YMC, through its Youth Opportunities Foundation, presented the Museum’s Education Program Coordinator Hannah Johnson with a check to cover the cost of eight full scholarships for campers participating in Futures in History Camp 2017. This donation will cover the cost of roughly twenty-five percent of the campers who attend on scholarship each year. In addition to the donation, numerous members of the Club are offering their volunteer services in various capacities, including Bill Caisley, Guy Fraker, and Herb Knudsen.
The story of how Jeanne and Charles Morris met “usually gets a smile,” according to Charles. Jeanne and Charles Morris grew up in entirely different states, but met in college while working at a camp on Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. Although they then went their separate ways—Jeanne back to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and Charles back to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina—the two kept in touch as they finished up their undergraduate degrees.