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Archive of: Organizations

Red Cross knitters July 1940

In the summer of 1940, Marietta Howard, McLean County Red Cross executive secretary, issued an “S.O.S.” for local knitters. The local chapter hoped to soon knit 200 sweaters and other items for its war relief program.

We’re not sure who’s who here, or where this scene takes place. If you can help us out with any identification, we’d sure appreciate it.

Ms. Stanberry and Queenie July 21, 1938

Gretchen Stanberry, a senior in the school of music at MacMurray Women’s College in Jacksonville, was the guest speaker before the Bloomington Rotary Club in a July 1938 program at the Illinois Hotel. Ms. Stanberry is seen here with her German shepherd seeing eye dog Queenie.

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.

Redd-Williams Legion Post McBarnes Building, January 1942

Seen here are Redd-Williams American Legion Post #163 members at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street in Bloomington. For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated Legion posts.

If you can identify any of these unidentified gentlemen, please let us know.

Franklin Park’s new evergreens April 1958

In the spring of 1958, the Bloomington-Normal Garden Club planted a series of evergreens at Franklin Park, the city’s oldest green space. Seen here is Joyce Lynn Hall, an Illinois Wesleyan University student, admiring three Pfitzer junipers and a vertical yew recently set in the concrete planter at the park’s center.

Note the city bus heading west on Walnut Street in the background.

Easter Lily Sales March 1958

Here’s a group of Y-Teens from the Bloomington YWCA, March 29, 1958, selling Easter lilies in the State Farm Insurance Co. headquarters downtown. The girls are not identified, but that’s Gladys Martin (left) and Betty Moore in the back.


The girls were raising money for the local chapter of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults.

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.

March of Dimes Coffee Day January 1953

On Friday, Jan. 30, 1953, local restaurants donated proceeds from their coffee sales to the March of Dimes and the campaign to combat infantile paralysis, commonly known as polio. Here is waitress Pauline McGath pouring coffee for truck drivers (left to right) Mack Rutledge, Gene Dreelan, and “Slick” Evans.

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.

LeRoy’s CCC Camp August 1934

Aerial photo of LeRoy CCC camps, 1934.

LeRoy was home to a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work camp during the Great Depression. Camp LeRoy opened in May 1934, and the unmarried young men stationed there worked on soil erosion control projects.

Bloomington Boys Visit Wrigley Field September 13, 1947

Junior baseball player meets Chicago Cubs player, 1947.

Seen here is local boy Bob Lemme, Bloomington Junior Legion ballplayer, with Cubs right fielder Bill “Swish” Nicholson, one of his favorite players.

Winning Pumpkins Normal Parks & Rec, 1963

Normal Parks & Rec winning pumpkins, 1963.

Gordon Jaeger, Town of Normal parks and recreation director, is shown here in late October 1963 posing with the eight winners in Normal’s pumpkin carving contest.

Cooksville Ball Club 1908

Young men in a baseball club, 1908.

Back in the early 20th century baseball was not only the National Pastime but the National Obsession. At this time even tiny communities such as Cooksville fielded competitive teams—though it’s possible this club included a “ringer” or two from elsewhere!

Billy Shelper Home Sweet Home Founder

Billy Shelper, founder of Home Sweet Home City Rescue Mission

Established in 1917, the Home Sweet Home City Rescue Mission (now known as Home Sweet Home Ministries) provides “food, shelter, and hope to the hungry, homeless, and hurting.”

Gold Star Mothers Undated

​The American Gold Star Mothers, undated.

The American Gold Star Mothers organization consists of mothers who have lost a son or daughter to military service. This photograph is undated, though far left is Hazel Millard, founder and president of the Bloomington Gold Star Mothers chapter.

Rescued Homing Pigeon August 1942

Bloomington policeman holds a wounded homing pigeon, 1942

Elmer Lyons, Bloomington Police Department patrolman, holds a wounded homing pigeon that was rescued by two local women and brought to the station. The police cared for the pigeon at city hall for a few days before crating him (or her) up for a flightless return journey to owner.

Girl Scouts Learn Weather Forecasting Camp Peairs, Early August 1950

Girl Scout camp counselor and campers, 1950.

Kathleen Keeley, assistant counselor at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Peairs, talks to Dotty Laudeman and Karen Figg about the weather flag she holds in her hands.

American Legion Carnival Bon-Go Park, July 3-8, 1933

Aerial view of Bon-Go Park carnival, 1933.

The American Legion Louis E. Davis Post No. 56 sponsored a six-day carnival at Bon-Go Park, the popular leisure grounds a few miles south of downtown Bloomington. The carnival included the Beckmann and Gerety Shows, billed as “America’s cleanest carnival.”

A Boy’s Feathered Friend Victory Hall, Normal, c. 1930

Victory Hall boy with a bird, 1930.

Opened after World War I at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families. Seen here is Victory Hall boy George Sanders about 1930.

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