2019 Best of Illinois History Awards
Charlotte K. Renehan (left) of Grayslake received the ISHS’s “Lifetime Achievement” award for her four decades of advocacy for local history in her community. Renehan served as archivist, curator, interpreter, and docent at the Grayslake Historical Society and the Grayslake Municipal Historical Museum. She wrote three award-winning books on local history, and served on the ISHS board of directors or advisory board for 20 years. During a recent historic 100-year flood in Grayslake, when historical records were threatened or lost to flooding, Renehan rallied support from across northern Illinois to save the collection from total destruction, earning her the respect and admiration of her peers around the state.
The Society’s Olive Foster Teacher of the Year Award went to Tammy Greene (right) of Kings, Illinois.
In a volunteer organization such as the Illinois State Historical Society, a dedicated core of volunteers is at the heart of every successful operation. The Illinois Bicentennial celebration gave the ISHS an unusual opportunity to participate in a statewide effort to place a framed portrait of Abraham Lincoln in every Illinois county courthouse. That effort was achieved through the support of the Illinois Association of Judges and the Illinois State Bar Association and their respective foundations,
But the task of delivering the portraits to all 102 counties fell to the staff and volunteers of the ISHS. While many hands made the work (and the travel) manageable, one volunteer’s efforts to help meet our commitment in several counties, not only by delivering the Hesler Lincoln portrait but by standing in for the Society and speaking on its behalf, was commendable.
In recognition of that commitment and for helping build new relationships with the respective judges, lawyers, and circuit clerks around the state, the ISHS takes great pleasure recognizing John McClarey as ISHS 2019 Volunteer of the Year.
Roger Biles (right) of Bloomington received a Superior Achievement award from the ISHS for his biography of Harold Washington.
Jacob Brown (right) of Peoria was one of three students to win a Verna Ross Orndorff Student essay scholarship.
John Bittermann (right) of Joliet took home the ISHS award of Superior Achievement to the Joliet Area Historical Museum for its exhibit Joliet's Historic Breweries.
Heather Wickens (right) accepts the Certificate of Excellence on behalf of Erika Holst and the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition for its book, "Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: Historic Houses of Lincoln’s Illinois."
Linda Buhman (right) of Carbondale and SIU Press accepts an ISHS Superior Achievement Award for Stanley Harrold and his book "Lincoln and the Abolitionists."
Herbert K. Russell received a Certificate of Excellence for his book "Fluorspar Mining: Photos from Illinois and Kentucky, 1905-1955"
Floyd Ham, Sharon Perkins, and Don Schmidt accepted an award of Superior Achievement for the Stark County Bicentennial Celebration, "Lincoln Day in Stark County."
John Lupton received a Superior Achievement Award for his book "Adjudicating Illinois: Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court."
Jan Jacobi (right) accepts an ISHS Certificate of Excellence Award for his book "Young Lincoln."
David W. Scott received a Superior Achievement Award for his book "A Bicentennial Commemorative of the Prairie State: Readings from the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society."
Dawn McFarland and Courtney Klause took home a Superior Achievement Award for North Mac Intermediate School for its "Hall of Presidents" program.
Tom Pressly III (right) accepts an ISHS Certificate of Excellence Award for his book "Held in Highest Esteem of All."
Members of the Lawrence County Historical Society accept an ISHS Certificate of Merit Award for the exhibit "Dunseth Doll Collection."
The Waukegan Historical Society received a Superior Achievement Award for its program "Waukegan’s Top 50 History Events,” Accepting the award for the Waukegan Historical Society was Ty Rohrer.
Dann Norton, John Clark, John King, and the Lawrence County Historical Society received a Certificate of Excellence Award for their project "A Documentary Record of the First Woman Hanged in Illinois, and a Play: The Saga of Elizabeth Reed."