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Local History and Genealogy Blog

Happy and safe Memorial Day everyone.

Dick Stillwell decorating graves of veterans in Mount Hope Cemetery, News-Gazette 30 May 1993

#TBT "Dick Stillwell, 58, of American Legion Post 24 in Champaign, has been helping decorate graves of veterans with American flags since he was a junior in high school helping his father, who was a veteran of World War I and II."

Here he is decorating graves in Mount Hope Cemetery, Champaign, IL for Memorial Day in 1993.  News-Gazette, 30 May 1993 page D-1, photographer Curt Beamer.   

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The Benefits of Fresh Air in Education

The open air school movement was based on the concept that fresh air, good ventilation and exposure to the outside contributed to good health. Originating in Europe, the model was quickly adopted by the United States as a way to provide care and education for children who were anemic, malnourished, or who had been exposed to tuberculosis. The first open air school in the United States was located in Providence, Rhode Island (1908).

While in Europe the schools were usually conducted in forests or rural compounds, the open air schools in the United States were often placed in unused school buildings, ferryboats, roofs, porches, or tents [1]. The first open air school in Chicago was conducted by the Chicago Tuberculosis Institute in cooperation with the school board during the summer of 1909. It was so successful that a year-round school was opened on the roof of the Mary Crane Nursery located in Chicago’s city center [2]. In addition to the benefits of fresh air, hygiene and nutrition were also emphasized. Students were fed a morning snack, a hot dinner, and a glass of milk if possible [3].

Open Air School #1 and #2 - On roof of Mary Crane Nursery, Chicago, IL

Open Air School #1 and #2 - On roof of Mary Crane Nursery, Courtesy of The Library of Congress

 

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Mothers, Sisters, Aunts, and other Feisty Female Ancestors

Anyone who has conducted genealogical research knows that sometimes finding female ancestors can be a tricky business.

 

Pictured are (from left): Katie Springer, Ann Springer, Elsie Cora Springer, Georgia Springer

 

Sometimes women can be found by searching a husband's name. For example, this photograph of the Springer family is located ithe "Springer, William L." Photographs envelope at the Champaign County Historical Archives. 

 

 

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