Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Camp Butler

ISHS President Russell Lewis and ISHS Director Robyn Williams met serendipitousl...

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ISHS President Russell Lewis and ISHS Director Robyn Williams met serendipitously on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., during the candlelight vigil outside of Ford's Theatre, on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. According to Director Williams, the ceremonies, eulogies, and official commemorations around the anniversary were "amazing," ending the following morning, April 15, with bell-ringing, bagpipes, and silence.

My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Ann...

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My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Assassination. (April 15, 2015)
Living History of Illinois and Chicago
My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Assassination. (April 15, 2015)

Photo Album:

I was invited by, Pete, the Student Historian Program Coordinator to visit the Lincoln Library and Museum for a private tour last month when I judged research papers for the Illinois History Exposition. We were joined by Sam, the Research Historian for the Library.

Our first stop was the Library’s research room. Here is where the public may request materials to study.

Artifacts not displayed in the Museum are stored at the Library. I was taken to the sub-level where there are 6 miles of movable, electronic filing shelves.

The Preservation Department is a very important function of the Library. I was introduced to the staff and allowed to take a few photos. They were working on a few projects. One being the removal of tape residue from a Lincoln document from the mid-1850s. Another person was working on the preservation of the “Members of the House of Representatives of the thirteenth General Assembly of the State of Illinois” photo- montage.

I was escorted into a private conference room where Sam left for a few minutes and came back pushing a cart with boxes and items on it. The painting and bronze statute were in the room along with other historical artifacts.

I was privileged to be allowed to photograph a couple of the items, but not all of them.

The first item is Lincoln’s personal house key to the now “Lincoln Home National Historic Site” at 426 South 7th Street. Just imagine Lincoln using this key every day!

The second item is Lincoln’s personal travel shaving kit which he took with him on trips. Lincoln was clean-shaven when he began running for president. He grew a beard after receiving a letter from Grace Bedell, an 11-year-old girl from New York, in October 1860, a few weeks before the election. Grace said that with a beard he “would look a great deal better for your face is so thin.” Furthermore, she wrote, “All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.”

Lincoln responded to Bedell a few days later in a letter. “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin it now?” he wrote.

Little Known Fact: By growing a beard, Lincoln nearly bankrupted a young entrepreneur named Milton Bradley, who had a booming business selling daguerreotypes of the clean-shaven candidate. Bradley destroyed his supply of daguerreotypes and turned to board games to make money.

I was shown (no photo allowed) a beautiful Tiffany (from New York) heart pendant owned by Mary Todd Lincoln. On one side were perfect diamonds covering the entire heart – on the reverse side was a single heart cut diamond allowing you to view the spectrum of colors from the reverse side making it see-through.

I saw a hand written letter from Mary Todd Lincoln after the assassination, written on mourning stationary (paper with a black border) where Mrs. Lincoln is giving instructions (last will and testament) about what she desired after her death. One sentence asked that she be in state without the top of the casket on for 48 hours. She was afraid of waking up after being pronounced dead and not being able to summon help.

Last but not least, I saw 1 of 3, Lincoln stove-top hats. This was an early one, before becoming President

Historical Marker Unveiling Ceremony You are Invited! Family Service Center of...

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Historical Marker Unveiling Ceremony

You are Invited!

Family Service Center of Sangamon County will unveil a Historical Marker to commemorate 152 years of continuous service to the Springfield community.

We welcome you to join us for the Family Service Center Historical Marker unveiling. It will take place on our playground (South Grand and 7th Street) at 11:30 a.m. on April 30, 2015. We are honored to be celebrating 152 years of service to the children and families in our community. The marker is jointly sponsored by the Illinois State Historical Society, the descendants of Mary Jane Tully (a refugee of the original Home for the Friendless), and the Family Service Center. The ceremony takes place in conjunction with events surrounding the Abraham Lincoln Funeral reenactment.

At a Glance details:

What: Family Service Center Historical Marker Unveiling Ceremony

Where: Family Service Center Playground (South Grand and 7th St)

When: Thursday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m.

Why: To celebrate 152 years of service to Springfield families

For more details, please contact Brooke Thomas

We are excited to be able to share this moment with our community and sincerely hope you are able to attend this important historical ceremony.

Upcoming event information: Getting a Start at Heirloom Gardening Elijah Iles Ho...

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Upcoming event information:
Getting a Start at Heirloom Gardening Elijah Iles House
Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 5:00 PM CDT

If you are a gardener, you’d be interested to know that the Iles House Foundation and the U of I Extension Master Gardeners are co-sponsoring a great seminar designed to help get you off to a great start this garden year. Kay and Mary Jane are excellent and energetic presenters. They put on a great presentation for us last year and this year’s promises to be even better..
Seed Starting with Heirloom Garden Plants The University of Illinois Extension and the Elijah Iles House Foundation are co-sponsoring “Getting a Start at Heirloom Gardening" on Tuesday, April 14, from 5 to 6 pm, at Elijah Iles House, 628 S. 7th St., Springfield, IL. Join University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardener volunteers, Kay Henrichs and Mary Jane Bohall, for a discussion about gardening at Sarah’s Garden. Kay and Mary Jane will also discuss the different heirloom annuals and perennials at Sarah's Garden and how volunteers preserve plants by harvesting seed and establishing offsite reserve. Sarah’s Garden is located at David Davis Mansion in Bloomington, IL. Participants will be able to select flower seeds from plants at Sarah’s Garden, plant them in recycled paper pots and get a start at creating an heirloom garden. Following the presentation, Master Gardener volunteers will lead a walking tour of the Iles House Garden, and docents will be available for those who wish to tour the house itself. Program cost is $5.00, which will be collected at the door. Please register by visiting the Iles House website at

Elijah Iles House - Home


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2015 Symposium


OCTOBER 22 & 23, 2015

At this interdisciplinary conference we will explore the art, experiences and legacies of women artists working in the Midwest from the end of the Great Depression through World War II and the prosperity of the 1950s.

The Midwestern United States consists of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The symposium is organized by the Bradley University Art History Program and the Illinois Women Artists Project with support from the Inland Visual Studies Center and Peoria Riverfront Museum.


Papers considering the art, experiences and legacies of women artists who worked in the Midwest between 1940 and 1960, as well as those that deal with aspects of collecting, exhibiting and publishing the work of these women, are welcomed.

Abstract Submission: Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by May 4, 2015. Include the title of paper, presenter’s name, institutional & departmental affiliation (if applicable), CV and any technology requests.

Submit copies to both of the organizers:

Sarah Glover Associate Professor of Art History, Bradley University

Channy Lyons, Director, Illinois Women Artists Project

Symposium Highlights

The symposium opens the afternoon of Thursday October 22 with a tour of the exhibition Making Their Mark: Illinois Women Artists, 1940 to 1960 at Peoria Riverfront Museum. At 5:00pm Robert Cozzolino, PhD, will give the Keynote Address at the Caterpillar Global Communications Center on the Bradley campus. On Friday November 8, panel presentations and discussions will be held in Westlake Hall on the university campus.

Symposium expenses are being covered by our sponsors and donors. Lunch, travel and overnight expenses will be the responsibility of the symposium participant.

THE SYMPOSIUM IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Registration is recommended.
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