Local History and Genealogy Blog

What a Picture Can Tell You…

Horse-drawn dairy wagon, with young teenage male standing in wagon door  Reverse of dairy wagon photograph

E.N. Kirby Dairy was owned by Eugene N. Kirby. He was born in Edwardsville, IL in 1871. By the late 1890s, according to the city directories, he was working for Charles A. Haines a dairyman in Champaign. In 1903, Kirby married Haines’ daughter Carrie Amelia Haines, and eventually opened a diary under his own name. Both the Haines farm and the Kirby residence were on the border of sections 13 and 24 in Champaign Township the current location of Kirby Avenue by Hessel Park. Read more about What a Picture Can Tell You…

Magnavox Company, Urbana

 Magnavox company, Urbana, Illinois

Recently, the community has been discussing the property of the Dart/Solo Cup plant located on the corner of Washington Street and Lierman Avenue in Urbana, former home to Urbana’s Magnavox plant. Check out the links below to Tom’s Mailbag from the News-Gazette to learn more about the conversation:

Read more about Magnavox Company, Urbana

Chanute’s Great Parachute Rescue

Parachute accident at Chanute Field, 1931

Shown above is Private Harold Osborne attempting his graduation jump for completing parachute training in 1931 at Chanute Field. Unfortunately, Osborne’s parachute caught in the tail assembly of the plane during the jump. The pilot, Lieutenant Charles H. Deerwester, was forced to circle above Rantoul for over an hour as Osborne hung by the cords of his trapped parachute. Read more about Chanute’s Great Parachute Rescue

The Snowiest Time of the Year

1977,1978 and 1979 were particularly snowy years in Champaign County.

1977 got off to a cold and snowy start. Throughout the month of January, record low temperatures closed schools across the county, and ice and snow drifts made many country roads impassable. By months end, fuel reserves throughout the state were depleted, prompting many to worry about remaining warm (Courier, January 27, 1977).  Read more about The Snowiest Time of the Year

Snow Days at Chanute

The Chanute Collection includes photographs of Chanuters finding creative ways to survive the snowy winters while stationed in Rantoul.

                                     Chanute snowmobile, 1917 Read more about Snow Days at Chanute