This issue also includes Gina Wysocki’s history of the Will County Poor Farm, reprinted with permission of the author and the Will County Historical Society, which published the piece nearly a decade ago. Many counties had their own facilities for indigent populations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; none was especially memorable as a comfortable haven for the poor. But it is instructive for us to know how our Illinois forebears dealt with the sick and impoverished within their own communities, before there were state operated agencies to serve as safety nets. These institutions deserve greater study, and perhaps will inspire some of our student historians!
Finally, we include two new features in this issue: An Illinois Crossword puzzle, courtesy of Blue River Press; and a canvas of Illinois “heroes” submitted by several of our 2,700 Facebook friends. Not a Facebook friend of the ISHS? Join the discussion and share your Illinois Heritage! Happy, happy Spring!