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Old Bloomington City Hall, located at the corner of East and Monroe streets downtown, included eight narrow holding cells. These were located in the basement.
William C. Beckley and Bernadine Cleo Moots of Cropsey ready for their September 3, 1938 wedding at Saybrook Methodist Church.
The couple would go on to have three sons: Harlan, Bryon, and Lelan. William Beckley passed away in November 1994, and Bernadine followed in October 2003.
William Knuth, a laid off boilermaker and hobbyist beekeeper, was called to the Darling Poultry and Fish Market, 218 S. Center St., to corral some swarming bees. He located the queen, brushed her into the box, and the others followed.
Illinois Wesleyan University's Wilder Field was built with Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor and materials, the largest of the Depression-era New Deal federal work projects. The football complex is now known as Wilder Field at Tucci Stadium.
From 1901 to 1939, Bloomington was home to the Bloomers of the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. Here’s Len Backer, Waterloo Red Hawks skipper, protesting a call at long-gone Fans Field, the Bloomers home park. That’s Waterloo backstop Clyde Chell on the right. The Red Hawks beat the Bloomers this night 5-1.
Workmen with local contractor Berenz & Son lay asphalt down the 400 block of North Main Street in Bloomington. Today, the Jaeger’s Candy Shop storefront is occupied by Gigi Bottega. The Miller Music storefront is now Bobzbay.
Since its formal opening on June 29, 1932, the Davis Lodge has hosted innumerable wedding receptions, family reunions, public meetings, and the like. It was rebuilt in 2001-2002.
The McLean County Legion Drum Corps, debuting their new uniforms, march south down Main Street on Saturday, May 30, 1936, during Bloomington’s annual Memorial Day parade.
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars John H. Kraus post prepares for its 17th annual poppy sale in this late May 1938 photograph. Left to right: Fred E. Crone, post commander; Marie Cooper, Anderson-Fike auxiliary president; Emmet Koos and Catherine Lawrence, poppy committee members; Ruth McReynolds, auxiliary poppy committee chair; and Grant Cooper, post poppy committee chair.
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.
This lovely Depression-era view of a bustling downtown Bloomington shows the east side of the 300 block of North Main Street, one block north of the Courthouse Square.
What catches your eye?
Margarette Scott’s beauty school was located on the 400 block of North Main Street in downtown Bloomington. “We get personality training too, because we’ve got to please our customers,” one of the students said at the time of this photograph. “Most of the girls are 18 to 25 years old and high school graduates … Nearly half the girls come from farm homes.”
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.
This mystery photograph comes from the Museum’s collection of Pantagraph negatives. We don’t know the names of these kids or the rural location of this cistern or stock pond. If you can help with the identification, let us know!
This circa early 1930s portrait of Elizabeth Paullin Funk was taken by Clara Brian, longtime McLean County Home Bureau adviser. The Museum holds several hundred of her photographs.
Elizabeth Paullin married Marquis de LaFayette Funk in 1864. He built the sprawling country residence outside of Shirley that is now the Funk Prairie Home historic site. Elizabeth is seen here in the Prairie Home’s living room.
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.
First opened in 1910, the Majestic Theatre was located at the corner of East and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington. This March 1937 scene shows folks lined up for a musical variety show presented by the employees of State Farm Insurance. The show was held May 26-28.
This old vaudeville house came down in 1956 to make way for the Bloomington Federal Savings and Loan Association building (today known as the Government Center).
That’s Bob Butler on the white pony towing Eugene Stauffer, third-place soap box derby finisher in the Class B division.
Hockey players Carson, Bower, Smith, Rasmussen, Walsh, and Redman play hockey on Angler's Lake, one of several old play pits. The club has since disbanded.
Excelsior School was one of more than 250 one-room schools in McLean County. Joe and Jack Powell working on the kitchen floor while Gayle Bane looks on.