Local History and Genealogy Blog

Air-Mail Service Comes to Champaign

On November 19, 1928 air mail came to Champaign. Acclaimed to be “the country’s smallest city to be accorded the privilege of air mail service,” Champaign linked the surrounding territory to Chicago and Evansville, Ind. Two days before the inaugural flight the Champaign post office had 12,000 pieces of mail on hand waiting to receive a special stamp informing the receiver that the letter was sent on the opening flight of the airmail service from Champaign-Urbana. On the big day 75 pounds of mail left Champaign.

Inaugural Champaign-Urbana Air Mail Envelope, 1928

Champaign Fire Company's hose team, September 27, 1888

On September 27, 1888 the Champaign Fire Company sent representatives to a hose race in Lincoln, IL. 

Champaign Fire Company Hose Team, September 1888

The Champaign County Herald (October 3, 1888) described the news item as thus: "The Champaign fire company attended the Lincoln tournament last Thursday, and carried off the second prize in the principle race. The Effinghams took first with a record of 40 seconds and beat our boys only one second. Quite a number of people from here were present. The boys returned Saturday, and were escorted up and down Main street by the ninth regiment band, after which they had a photo taken. Their uniforms are quite neat and attractive in appearance." 

#TBT St. Patrick Catholic Church

St. Patrick's Day ThrowBackThursday Edition 

Catholic Church

St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 708 W Main Street, Urbana, circa 1978


Lara, Archives Assistant

Where in the World is Your Last Name?

Shakespeare Quote


Have you ever wondered if people around the world share your surname? With billions of people living around the globe, where does that leave your name? Where could the highest population of individuals with your surname live today?

Extra, extra! Read all about it!

Staff of the Courier Herald, 1909

This photograph was taken in the basement pressroom of the Courier Herald in 1909. The photograph includes most of the paper's staff; even the newspaper boys are featured standing atop a table to the left.

Local Newsletter Collection

Sprigs of Thyme cover, summer 2015

Did you know the Archives houses a collection of local organization newsletters?

Dr. Ellen Miner and Women’s Medical History in Champaign County

The Champaign County Historical Archives recently processed the papers of Dr. Ellen Miner, a Champaign County native who practiced gynecological and obstetrical medicine starting in 1896. Dr. Miner graduated from the Medical Department for Women at Northwestern University in 1893 and returned to Champaign to practice medicine in 1896. Her well-respected practice operated out of her home, and she was an active member of the medical community in Champaign until her retirement. 

Portrait of Ellen Miner