Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 30: Gertrude Fifer and Grandson Joe Bohrer

August 28th, 2013

Unitarian Church, Downtown Bloomington Easter Day 1932, Seen here are Gertrude Lewis Fifer and her grandson Joseph Fifer Bohrer, Easter Day, March 27, 1932, leaving the Unitarian Church, which back then was located at the southeast corner of East and Jefferson streets in downtown Bloomington. Fifer was the wife of Joseph Wilson Fifer, Illinois Governor from 1889 to 1893. Florence Fifer Bohrer, Gertrude's daughter and Joseph's mother, was the first woman to serve in the Illinois State Senate. The local Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal congregation eventually built a new church at 1613 E. Emerson St. on the city's fast-growing east side, with the first service held in September 1960. The old church building at 209 N. East St. was torn down to make way for a modern Corn Belt Bank building (now home to PNC). Gertrude Fifer was an active member of the Bloomington Unitarian Church, serving until late in life as pianist for the Sunday school. She passed away on September 30, 1932, less than six months after this photograph was taken by The Pantagraph. Grandson Joseph, who died in 1993, served on the church board and as board president.

Bill Kemp


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