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Archive of: 1940s

Route 66 Hit-and-Run Towanda, May 1948

In the early morning hours of May 19, 1948, a hit-and-run truck driver knocked down two gasoline pumps at D.E. Henderson’s service station in Towanda. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Who remembers when gas pumps looked like this?

Dr. Moate becomes proficient knitter April 1946

Dr. Thomas Moate, who practiced medicine in Gridley for 50 years, picked up knitting at the age of 70. He’s seen here in mid-April 1947 at the age of 74. By this time Moate was bedridden, but knitting helped pass the hours.

“I don’t know what heaven’s like, but if it’s anything like Gridley, I’ll like it,” he told The Pantagraph at the time. Dr. Moate passed away on May 31, 1947 at the age of 75.

Pointer and Setter Club Field Trials, April 1946

That’s “Jake,” a pointer puppy owned by “bird dog man” G.S. Bryant of Springfield and handled here by E.T. Burke of Farmersville. Jake was a guest, one might say, of the Bloomington Pointer and Setter Club, which staged its annual spring trials in early April 1946 on club grounds outside of the Village of Downs.

Robert Underwood, casting ballot April 9, 1945

Seen here is 30-year-old judicial candidate Robert C. Underwood (left) at an unidentified Town of Normal polling station, casting his ballot in the spring 1945 election. Underwood, in his first bid for elective office, would defeat sitting County Judge Dewey Montgomery by a nearly two-to-one margin.

Cotton’s Village Inn 401 N. Main St., Bloomington

Melton “Cotton” McNabney and his wife Millie took over management of this downtown eatery in 1948. Located in the basement of the three-story building on the northeast corner of Main and Monroe streets, some old-timers might remember Millie McNabney’s ham loaf, creamed chicken pie, or Swiss steak and pan gravy.

Illini Coach Ray Eliot, 1942 Young Men’s Club luncheon

University of Illinois head football coach Ray Eliot addressing the Young Men’s Club at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington

On February 10, 1942, new University of Illinois head football coach Ray Eliot (that’s Eliot with one “L”) addressed the Young Men’s Club at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington. Eliot would go on to lead the Illini for 18 seasons, winning 3 Big Ten titles and 2 Rose Bowls.

Television comes to Danvers June 1949

Who remembers television coming to their home? In June 1949, The Pantagraph reported on the arrival of television to several area communities.

‘Tied in knots’ outside of Heyworth June 1949

A massive knot disfigured an old black oak on the Charles Hall farm one mile east of Heyworth.

A massive knot disfigured an old black oak on the Charles Hall farm one mile east of Heyworth. Seen here is young Eugene Smith of Heyworth examining this unnatural-looking natural oddity.

Hot Times on in Downtown Bloomington June 19, 1949

This early summer scene shows a crowd gathered outside the Western Union office on the 200 block of West Washington Street. The business had been evacuated due to a fire call (note the BFD engine parked in the middle of the street).

‘Craig’s Wife,’ February 1947 Community Players, Bloomington

On February 6 and 7, 1947, Community Players Theatre staged the domestic drama “Craig’s Wife.” The theater company’s current home on Robinhood Lane did not open until 1962, so at this time plays were held at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts).

We don’t know who’s who here. If you can identify anyone, please let us know.

Spring Training Illinois Wesleyan, early March 1942

Spring training for Major League Baseball clubs began this week. In this early March 1942 scene on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus (that’s still-standing Memorial Hall) senior catcher Hugh Dickie (with bat) plays a little “pepper” with teammates (left to right) Berthyl Brigham, Walter Wadington, Jim Fletcher, and Ralph Zeitz.

Shirley by Horseback March 5, 1942

area resident visiting downtown Shirley on horseback

An area resident visited downtown Shirley on horseback, presumably as a way to limit the wear and tear on his auto or tractor tires!

‘Brick’ Young, March 1936 Pantagraph Sports Editor and Official

Pantagraph sports editor Fred “Brick” Young sitting at a desk typing on a typewriter

Way back on December 8, 1940, Pantagraph sports editor Fred “Brick” Young was the field judge in the Chicago Bears 73-0 whopping of Washington in the league’s championship game (the Super Bowl debuted in 1967).

Valentine’s Day 1947 Raymond School, Bloomington

a little boy handing a little girl a valentine in their classroom

The Pantagraph ran this photograph on Valentine’s Day 1947—nearly 70 years ago. Seen here are Raymond School students Jackie Myers and Carol Ann Kominoski sharing a special valentine’s moment … while the teacher isn’t looking, of course!

Do you have any school day valentine memories?

WW II Rubber Shortage Shirley Farm, March 1942

Arnold Beatty (left) and Colman Hicks, at the O.V. Douglass farm outside of Shirley, demonstrate patching a worn-out tire after yet another blowout. With a severe wartime shortage of rubber tires, area farmers were calling for the reintroduction of metal wheels for tractors and wagons.

Rockets, mid-1940s Twin-City Recreation Center

Photo of the Rockets basketball team

The Rockets were an informal team connected to the Twin-City Recreation Center, 318 S. Main St., Bloomington. They played games Friday night at the old Jefferson School. Reggie Whittaker (far left) was the head coach, and Willy Tripp (far right) his assistant.

Twin Cities Bowler Peggy Schultz February 1942

Photo of a woman sitting on a bench with a bowling ball on her lap.

We don’t know why this photograph was taken, or why it never appeared in the newspaper. We don’t even know the bowling alley Ms. Schulz is patronizing. Can anyone out there help clue us in?

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.

Moose Hunters Bag Rabbits January 23, 1947v

Members of the Bloomington Loyal Order of the Moose staged a rabbit hunt in south-central Illinois, between Pana and Vandalia, in January 1947.

Normal Police Chief Lectures ‘Prisoner’ February 14, 1947

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