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

#Towns -- Colfax

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Top hog gets pie January 1947

Photo of a man feeding a pig a slice of pie.

A.V. Ritchie of Colfax received $225 (or about $2,500 in today’s dollars) for this gilt at a January 22, 1947 Spotted Poland China sale at the Illinois State Normal University farm. Before turning over the day’s top earner he treated her to some pie.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McLean County Basketball Tournament Championship Game, Jan. 24, 1959

​Gene Durham (22) of Saybrook-Arrowsmith High attempts a layup during the 1959 county tournament championship game.

Gene Durham (22) of Saybrook-Arrowsmith High attempts a layup during the 1959 county tournament championship game. Attempting to thwart the layup is Bill Hutson (20) of Octavia, the consolidated high school in Colfax (the school is known as Ridgeview today). Octavia won 66-58 for its third county title in three years.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Village of Colfax February 14, 1938

Aerial view of Colfax, 1938.

Village of Colfax, looking east. “A” is Main Street; “B” Center Street; “C” the Illinois Central Railroad’s “Bloomer Line”; “D” a lovely L-shaped row of Osage orange hedge that is gone today.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Fashion Show Prep, late April 1958 Octavia High School, Colfax

Fashion Show, 1958.

This late April 1958 scene shows Octavia High School student Marcella Brucker at a sewing machine working on a dress she planned to model for the May 1 Future Homemakers of America (FHA) fashion show.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in

Anchor School Circa 1900

Anchor school, 1900.

The small community of Anchor, located in the northeastern corner of McLean County, was once home to this attractive 1896 school building. In 1949, the neighboring rural communities of Anchor, Cooksville, and Colfax consolidated to form Octavia High School, which was located in Colfax.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McLean County Basketball Tournament Championship Game, January 21, 1966 Octavia 68, Lexington 48

McLean County basketball tournament, 1966.

For many years the biggest sporting event on the local calendar was the McLean County Basketball Tournament, which began way back in 1911. During the years before school consolidation, 20 or more McLean County high schools outside of Bloomington-Normal would battle it out for bragging rights as the county’s small school champion.There were 11 schools vying for the 1966 tourney title. On January 21, Octavia beat Lexington in the championship game before a packed Horton Field House crowd on the Illinois State University campus.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Collection Highlights

Big Dance in Colfax—100 years ago!

Museum volunteer Amy Miller recently donated a sizable collection of dance cards and other local ephemera* including this October 4, 1913 flier for a dance at Colfax's Central Opera House.

Read more…