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#Military

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Redd-Williams Legion Post McBarnes Building, January 1942

Seen here are Redd-Williams American Legion Post #163 members at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street in Bloomington. For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated Legion posts.

If you can identify any of these unidentified gentlemen, please let us know.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

Local Guardsmen Head to Chicago June 1938

On June 20, 1938, about 40 members of Bloomington’s 2nd Battalion, 108th Quartermaster Regiment, headed to Chicago for the annual Illinois National Guard military show at Soldier Field. They’re seen here boarding a truck near the old armory (which was lost in a building collapse in 2011) in the warehouse district.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Saybrook’s last Civil War widow Emma Cook, May 1938

Seen here is 85-year-old Emma Cook, on the porch of her Saybrook home, looking at a portrait of her late husband Riley Cook, a veteran who died in July 1918. Mrs. Cook was the village’s last Civil War widow. She passed away on August 5, 1941.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

‘Private Joe’ Fifer Memorial Day 1934

The gentlemen in the center is Joseph “Private Joe” Fifer of Bloomington, who served as Illinois governor from 1889 to 1893. For Memorial Day 1934. Fifer, a Civil War veteran, recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to a crowd gathered at Bloomington Cemetery (now part of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery). On the right is A.T. Ives, another Civil War veteran.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Redd-Williams Legion Post January 1942

Seen here are Redd-Williams post members and auxiliary leaders planning a President’s Birthday Ball for January 30, 1942.

For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated American Legion posts. Seen here are Redd-Williams post members and auxiliary leaders planning a President’s Birthday Ball for January 30, 1942.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

​World War II Scrap Drive Colfax, June 1943

image of a pile of scrap outside an elevator in Colfax

In the early summer of 1943, some forty Colfax area residents, mostly farmers, gathered twenty tons of scrap for the war effort.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Armistice Day 1945 parade Downtown Bloomington

Armistice Day parade, 1945.

This photograph offers a partial view of the 200 block of North Main Street, looking southeast. The Unity Building, one of the great office buildings, was lost in a fire in 1988.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

George Stewart World War I veteran

World War I veteran, 1940s.

This photograph shows George Stewart, a local (and well-decorated) World War I veteran. Though hard to believe, at one time Bloomington had separate Legion posts for black and white veterans.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Armistice Day, 1945 Courthouse Square, Bloomington

Armistice Day salute, 1945.

Veterans Day was first known as “Armistice Day.” Seen here is the 1945 Armistice Day ceremony a little more than two months after the end of World War II.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Gold Star Mothers Undated

​The American Gold Star Mothers, undated.

The American Gold Star Mothers organization consists of mothers who have lost a son or daughter to military service. This photograph is undated, though far left is Hazel Millard, founder and president of the Bloomington Gold Star Mothers chapter.

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