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Museum News Archive

Newsletter -- Spring 2019

Newsletter -- Winter 2018/19

Newsletter -- Fall 2018

Newsletter -- Summer 2018

Paul and Sandra Harmon Named 2018 History Maker Honorees

Paul and Sandra Harmon shake their heads when they’re referred to as a “power couple,” but that’s how many people in the community describe them. This reluctant “power couple” first met during their freshman year at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, marrying shortly after they graduated in 1964.

Don Munson Named 2018 History Maker Honoree

Donald G. Munson was born September 26, 1941, in Gibson City and attended Gibson City schools.

Ronn Morehead Named 2018 History Maker Honoree

Ronn grew up in Normal, Illinois. Working in his father’s tavern as a young man, Ronn feels, shaped him and helped prepare him for the workforce.

Lovell Named Executive Director

Adam Lovell, of Reedsville Wisconsin, has been named the new Executive Director at the McLean County Museum of History.

2018 History Makers Announced

The McLean County Museum of History announced on Tuesday four recipients of the 2018 History Makers award to be presented during the Museum’s sixth annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Newsletter -- Spring 2018

Pages from the Past Available Now

This highly anticipated second volume of Pages from the Past: Stories from the Sunday Pantagraph, is now available for purchase. Volume 2 includes 77 new installments from Bill Kemp’s weekly feature.

A message from our Museum director

Illinois Bicentennial flag raising kicks off year of programs

Members of the public, elected officials, and the local American Legion Honor Guard/Color Guard pose with the Illinois Bicentennial flag before the ceremony on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. (Photo by Candace Summers)

The State of Illinois will celebrate its 200th birthday on Dec. 3, 2018. To help kick off a yearlong celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial, communities across the state hosted a simultaneous Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony at noon on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.

Collection Storage Improvement Fund Drive Underway

Surgeon kit of Dr. Lee Smith, 26th president of the McLean County Medical Society.

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.

CIADA Makes Donation to FiHC

Museum educator Hannah Johnson expresses her thanks to Mary Lynn Edwards and the CIADA for a generous donation to Futures in History Camp.

Newsletter: Fall 2017

Click here to download the Fall 2017 newsletter.

Museum, Prairie Pride Coalition host trip to Albert Cashier musical in Chicago

Albert Cashier made national news after doctors discovered his female biological gender after years of living as a man, including years of fighting in the Union Army during the Civil War. He is shown as both a young soldier and a senior later in life.

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.

Museum to be Beneficiary of Schnucks' Bags 4 My Cause Program

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.

Young Men's Club Funds Scholarships for Eight Campers

Pictured L-R: John William Yoder, Hannah Johnson, McLean County Museum of History, Frank Hoffman, President YMC
Photo Credit: Robert E. Handley (YMC)

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.

Jesse Smart Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Jesse Smart

Jesse Smart was born on April 29, 1939 on a small family farm in Pike County, IL.

After graduating as class valedictorian at East Pike High School, Jesse went on to study agricultural education at the University of Illinois. It was there, in Urbana-Champaign, that Jesse met his wife Susan.

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