Local History and Genealogy Blog

Another Installment of "Newspapers, Get Your Newspapers Here!"

Sidney Times newspaper, August 28,1908, front pageIn our last newspaper post, we presented you with some exciting and off-beat campus area newspapers from the 1970s and 1980s. There are more of those to examine, and we'll get to those in upcoming blog posts but for now, let's look at some of the early small-town papers, starting with the August 28, 1908, Sidney Times. This edition of the Sidney Times is ten pages long and has a LOT of information packed into those ten pages. The front page starts right off with advertising, perhaps not much different than newspapers of today. The remainder of the front page provides commentary on weddings, social club events, funerals, stories about the Sidney Horse Show and Corn Carnival, and the Illinois State Fair. This publication came out in the morning and cost a reasonable 5 cents. There is a pleasant announcement right on the title banner that you should get one of your own if you are reading a borrowed copy of this paper, no word on whether the good citizens of Sidney heeded this demand. Read more about Another Installment of "Newspapers, Get Your Newspapers Here!"

In Memoriam: Robert K. McCandless (1928-2020) and Raymond Bial (1948-2021)

Champaign County lost two prominent community photographers over the holiday season, Robert K. McCandless and Raymond Bial.

Robert McCandless with former Archives Director Anke Voss, 2013Robert (Bob) K. McCandless was the owner and photographer of McCandless Photography, a studio in Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, specializing in portraits. Born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, McCandless worked at the Evening Standard in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and in the Air Force from 1951-1953 (in Korea from 1952-1953) as a public information officer. In April 1956, he joined the Urbana Courier as a photographer. In 1965, McCandless left the Courier and opened his own photography studio at Washington and Race Streets in Urbana. He moved the studio to 113 W. University Avenue in Champaign in 1974 - 1975 and moved to Lincoln Square Mall in 1983. He closed the studio in 2011. Read more about In Memoriam: Robert K. McCandless (1928-2020) and Raymond Bial (1948-2021)

The Battle of Seattle and Founding of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

 WTO protests in Seattle, November 30, 1999 Pepper spray is applied to the crowd.On the morning of November 30, 1999, an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered around the Paramount Theatre and Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.[1] They were protesting the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference. They were a small part of approximately 40,000-60,000 protesters gathered in Seattle, along with another 400,000 online, from November 28 to December 3. The 10,000 protesters at the Paramount Theatre were engaging in peaceful protest, which ultimately resulted in the cancellation of WTO events. Seattle police responded with tear gas and other riot gear, while a larger crowd of 25,000 marched toward the Convention Center from the Memorial Stadium, creating a massive conflict. The Seattle Protests of 1999, also known as the Battle of Seattle, concluded after the WTO decided to end the conference early in lieu of the backlash. 

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Retiree Activities Program at Chanute Air Force Base

Chanute Air Force Base was the key starting point for many service members' careers throughout its 75 years of existence. Men and women began their education, professions, and families at the base and were supported by the Chanute and Rantoul communities. The Chanute Collection has many examples of community groups coming together to help one another and positively impact the Rantoul area. From the Officer's Wives Club that supported the local nursing homes to the YMCA's children programs, there was a place and activities for all.

Retiree Activities Program Group Photograph Read more about Retiree Activities Program at Chanute Air Force Base

First commercial airline delivery of clothes

In 1919, Isaac Kuhn took a risky decision and became the first retailer to receive a shipment of clothing via commercial airplane. In 1919, passenger planes had only been invented eleven years earlier, and commercial airlines were just beginning to establish themselves. These planes flew without air routes, ground navigation, or regulated licensing.

People assembled after the plane landed, Isaac Kuhn is fifth from the right, 1919. Read more about First commercial airline delivery of clothes

Soldiers Monument in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, IL

Soldiers Monument in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, IL. (abt. 1902)

The Soldiers Monument in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, Illinois, is just one of many memorials erected by city, township, county, and state governments or organizations in the latter part of the 1890s and early 1900s. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) and the Woman's Relief Corps (W.R.C.) were behind many of the efforts to raise money and erect the monuments that served as memorials to the men who fought for the Union during the Civil War. Read more about Soldiers Monument in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, IL

Changing the Code on Campus Affairs

The body of the letter sent by Diana Lenik, Chair of the CCWPC, in support of a new University of Illinois nondiscrimination policy. Champaign County Women’s Political Caucus Collection 276, Box 1, Folder 3.

The body of the letter sent by Diana Lenik, Chair of the CCWPC, in support of a new University of Illinois nondiscrimination policy. Champaign County Women’s Political Caucus Collection 276, Box 1, Folder 3.

Those who have conducted archival research before know that it can be a winding, circuitous process. It is all too easy to get diverted by the information that catches your eye but is unrelated to your true research goal. However, these research rabbit holes may ultimately lead to a brand new perspective  - or a blog post! One such sidetrack happened to me as I investigated the Champaign County Women’s Political Caucus for the CCHA’s’ new exhibit, “From Homemaking to Municipal Housekeeping: 20th Century Women’s Clubs in Champaign County.Read more about Changing the Code on Campus Affairs

Car Ads from 100 Years Ago

A lot of items that we use today are technological advances from years past. Take, for example, the automobile. In 1920, you might not have been able to buy an SUV with rearview cameras and a collision-avoidance system, but you could still buy an automobile. In this post, I have collected some car advertisemetns that were featured 100 years ago.

One option available for sale was the Paige Light Six, which was dubbed “The Most Beautiful Car in America.”

Advertisement for Paige Light Six, The News-Gazette, July 8, 1920 Read more about Car Ads from 100 Years Ago

Chanute Spotlight: Mark A. Greene

Group Photograph, Air Corps Supply and Techinical Clerks Class 1, January 25, 1935; Greene is the fourth from the left

On January 25th, 1935, Mark A. Greene graduated from the Air Supply and Technical Clerks course at Chanute Field. This course covered clerical subjects like typewriting, shorthand, organization, office machines, operations, business arithmetic, bookkeeping, military correspondence, and more. Greene described Chanute as “rundown buildings, many leftover from World War I.” According to Greene, “As a private, I was too poor in those days to afford a camera, but I don’t recall much that was worth photographing anyway.” Read more about Chanute Spotlight: Mark A. Greene