Press Release: State Historical Society Presents Annual Awards to Illinois "Best of the Best"
2015 ISHS Annual Awards
Best in Illinois history awards presented at Old State Capitol
On Saturday, April 25, the Illinois State Historical Society hosted its 116th annual meeting and presented its “best of the best” Illinois history awards to individuals, organizations, publishers, and exhibitors around the state.
The event was held at the historic Old State Capitol in Springfield, with a luncheon served in Foundation Hall and the awards presented afterward in the House of Representative Chambers.
“What an incredible assortment of nominations,” said ISHS Executive Director William Furry, noting that this year’s entries represented the depth and breadth of Prairie State history. “The anniversaries of the Eastland disaster, World War I, and numerous other commemorations have inspired the historical community to retell our state’s stories, and these reflections have rewarded us all with outstanding projects.”
Among the presentations were four “Lifetime Achievement” awards honoring the work of citizen/historians who have made significant contributions to their communities and to the state. Receiving Lifetime Achievement” awards were R. Eden Martin of Wilmette, Illinois; Kathryn Harris of Springfield; William Daniel Wilson of Albers; and Mark Sorensen of Decatur.
The Society also recognized Debra Liu as this year’s Olive Foster Teacher of Year. Ms. Liu, a social studies teacher for 18 years at Solomon School in Chicago, has been a participant in the Chicago and Illinois history fairs for 14 years, and continues to engage her students in historical enquiry and to enrich social studies programs at all levels. ($1,000 cash prize.)
The 2015 winner of the Verna Ross Orndorff Illinois history scholarship is Jessica Winter of Mowequa, a student at Pana High School, for her essay “Abraham Lincoln: A Congressman of the Prairie State” ($1000 scholarship).
The 2015 Harry E. Pratt Award for outstanding article printed in the 2014 Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society was given to Suellen Hoy for her article “Chicago Working Women’s Struggle for a Shorter Day, 1908-1911” ($400 prize.)
The 2015 Malkovich Award for Young Museum Professional was presented to Anne Moseley, Assistant Director of the Lincoln Heritage Museum in Lincoln, Illinois. (This prize comes with a stipend to attend a professional museum conference in the Midwest).
2015 Annual Awards
Nominee: Clint Cargile, Five-Mile Spur Line: A Railroad History of Sycamore, Illinois
Category: Publications Scholarly
Nominator: Sue Breeze
Award: Certificate of Excellence
“125+ years ago, DeKalb and Sycamore were locked in a heated race over which town would bring the first rail service to the county. When DeKalb secured the first railroad, Sycamore’s town leaders built their own five-mile spur line to connect their town to the main line at Corland, linking Sycamore to Chicago. Clint Cargile’s history of the Five-Mile Spur Line puts the Sycamore spur into its historical context, and shares the stories of how the railroad touched everyday life in and around Sycamore. This is good, solid local history.”
Nominee: Earl Halbe, A Question of Loyalty.
Nominated by Steve Thompson.
Category: Special project/Play.
Award: Certificate of Excellence
“Creating, compelling approach to a complex local history topic, with great juxtaposition of loyalty to country vs. loyalty to a lover. Such productions are immensely important, offering local history enthusiasts an opportunity to revisit significant events in regional history and bringing new and insightful interpretations into the public discussion. Overall, this is an excellent community effort to tell a little known- story