Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society

Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society The Essley-Noble Museum was open to the public in 1959 and is named for the parents of E. L. Essley. It is managed by the Mercer County Historical Society.

At the museum is a one-room schoolhouse moved to the site in 1965 and a separate building housing farm machinery, wagons, and tools. Within the original museum are thousands of artifacts and displays designed to help present generations understand and appreciate their own history. In addition to operating the museum, the Mercer County Historical Society demonstrates old crafts for school tours in May, participates in Rhubarb Fest in June, has a booth at the county fair in July, demonstrates tools for Antique Days and maintains a window display in downtown Aledo. Genealogical Resources at Essley-Noble Museum: The Genealogy Division, organized in 1979, has accumulated a large collection of Mercer County material for research purposes. Volunteers will assist in answering queries by email, letter, or a visit to the museum. A reader/printer is on site. Opening the museum for research at times when it is normally closed is at the discretion of the curator, and the curator may refuse such a request. The length of time that research will be allowed is also at the discretion of the curator. There will be a charge of $15 for up to one hour of research, then $10 per hour after the first hour, payable to the Mercer County Historical Society on the date of the requested opening. A person can get up to one hour of research done at the museum by volunteers for no fee. That's one free hour per requester, not one free hour each time a requester contacts a volunteer. There are fees for copies ($.25 per page) and $5.00 for each obituary looked up and copied from microfilm. Fees for copies and obits are payable to the historical society. After a person has logged the one free hour, subsequent hours are at the rate of $15.00 per hour, payable to the volunteer. Anytime a volunteer has to leave the museum for research, such as to go to the courthouse, there is a fee of $15.00 per hour, even if it's the first hour. Also there will be charges that have to be paid for copies at the courthouse. Mercer County Board of Directors - President: Bill A. Bertrand, Vice-President: Dave Duncan, Treasurer: John Huffstutler, Secretary/Newsletter Editor: Mary Jane Sticklen, Stephanie Braucht, Ronn Dillavou, Dave Frieden, Beverly Gray, Twyla Holmes, Doug McCaw, Richard McMeekan, Linda Morrow, Courtney Wright, Misty Holmes Museum Curator: Veda Meriwether *Please Note: Summer Hours are April 1st through October 31st, Wed., Sat., Sun., 1pm - 5pm Winter Hours are November 1st through March 31st, Saturday, 12pm - 4pm

06/04/2019
Grace Runkel Local 4 News

Grace Runkel Local 4 News

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: One day every year fifth graders in Mercer County put down their technology and step into the past at the Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society in Aledo.

FULL STORY: https://bit.ly/315ynu1

06/04/2019
Grace Runkel Local 4 News

We held the tours on May 14,15 & 16.
So happy they came and promoted the things the kids learned about the past.
This is a program that has been done for many, many years.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: One day every year fifth graders in Mercer County put down their technology and step into the past at the Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society in Aledo.

FULL STORY: https://bit.ly/315ynu1

We are holding our annual 5th Grade Tour of our Museum.  We hold this three days every spring.  It is such a fun day for...
05/15/2019

We are holding our annual 5th Grade Tour of our Museum.
We hold this three days every spring. It is such a fun day for all. This is a total volunteer effort. Everybody has a great time.

12/21/2018
Be sure to join us this evening at 7:00pm for our Fall Program and Open Meeting to learn more about the role Mercer Coun...
10/15/2018
Mercer County Historical Society Fall Meeting Features WWI Presentation

Be sure to join us this evening at 7:00pm for our Fall Program and Open Meeting to learn more about the role Mercer County played in World War I.

The Mercer County Historical Society hosting its Fall Open Meeting Monday night. The program will involve Mercer County in World War I says the historical society’s Bill Bertrand. The meeting begin…

08/21/2018

Are you interested in your family's history? If so, please see the following announcement from the Illinois State Museum:

Illinois State Museum seeks photos for immigrant exhibit

Who was the first person in your family to come to Illinois? The Illinois State Museum invites you to share their story!

In preparation for a new exhibition highlighting immigrants to Illinois from the 18th century to today, the Illinois State Museum invites residents of Illinois to share a photo and brief biography of the first person in their family to come to this state. Photographs received will be printed and posted on a photo mural at the museum. Photos will also be viewable electronically through the Illinois State Museum's page.

Photos should be submitted, via email, by December 15 to [email protected] and include the following information: immigrant's name, birth and death dates, country of origin, year arrived in Illinois, occupation, and nominator's name. Please feel free to write a brief biography or share additional information as well. Photos should be between 150 and 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 100 percent.

The We Are Illinoisans exhibit will open February 23 and run through mid-June, 2019.

07/11/2018
07/11/2018

Be sure to stop in to the Merchants' Building while you are at the Mercer County Fair this week. We will be there with interesting items from Mercer County history.

05/31/2018

Come visit us this weekend during the Rhubarb Festival! The museum will be open on Friday and Saturday with a shuttle running from downtown to the museum.

The Mercer County Historical Society will also have a booth under the Central Park Pavilion on Saturday. Visit us for Rhubarb Pie by the slice (available a la mode as well!), cold water and soda, and ice cream.

Thank you Mercer Co. News for covering our Abraham Lincoln Poster contest!
04/17/2018

Thank you Mercer Co. News for covering our Abraham Lincoln Poster contest!

Mercer County Historical Society’s Abraham Lincoln History poster contest winners were honored at the Essley-Noble Museum in Aledo Sunday, April 15.

Michael Zecher gave a presentation to a crowd of about 85 on “Why Abraham Lincoln still matters today”. After the presentation, awards were presented to 21 students. Following the program, students and other guests were treated to refreshments and allowed to tour the museum.

“We’ve got some very good support from the teachers… the kids have enjoyed it,” said Mr. Zecher.

Posters were judged by members of the Historical Society Board of Directors. This was the second year for the contest.

“I love history. We just need to get younger people more involved in it - the younger they are, maybe they will get more involved in history later on in life,” said Historical Society Board president Ronn Dillavou.

Winners of the poster contest:
New Boston Elementary, Mrs. Carey’s class, 1st place, Dylan Frieden, 2nd place, Dylan Schorr, and 3rd place, Aeson Salyers; Mrs. Shepard’s class, 1st place, Tyler Marlow, 2nd place Exziquio Ocampo, 3rd place Logan Simpson and Honorable Mention went to Lexi Russell; Apollo Elementary, Mrs. Hartman’s class, 1st place Maddie McCrory, 2nd place, Molly Dixon, 3rd place Kinsey Biddle, and Honorable Mention went to John Baldwin; Mrs. Dengler’s class, 1st place, Emerson Price, 2nd place Kolbee Hamilton, 3rd place Alivia Gillespie, and Noah Johnson received Honorable Mention; Mr. Orellana’s class, 1st place, Sofia Johnson, 2nd place, Aubrey Kennedy, 3rd place Aden Kugler, and two received Honorable Mention, Elsie Cook and Kaiden Terrill. The first place winner overall was Ryan Butz from Winola Elementary.

Thank you to Beth and Dave Rylander for a very interesting program on the development of sewing machines and how manufac...
04/17/2018

Thank you to Beth and Dave Rylander for a very interesting program on the development of sewing machines and how manufacturers contributed to war efforts. #museummonday

04/16/2018

Please plan to join us this evening at 7:00pm for our Spring Open Program. There will be a program followed by refreshments and a chance to visit the exhibits at the museum.

William D.T. Travis painted "A Brother Lost" which depicts a Confederate soldier finding his wounded brother, a Union so...
04/09/2018

William D.T. Travis painted "A Brother Lost" which depicts a Confederate soldier finding his wounded brother, a Union soldier, after a battle.

During the Civil War Travis accompanied Major General William S. Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland as a correspondent for Harper's Weekly and the New York Illustrated News. Travis made sketches of what he saw. After the war, Travis produced a 500 foot mural and exhibited it across the United States as he told the story of the Army of the Cumberland. That mural is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

This painting was owned by William Drury, a patron and friend of Travis's, who gave the painting to William and Vashti College. The painting was purchased upon the closing of the college and later donated to the Mercer County Historical Society.

Find more information on William D. T. Travis, William Drury, William and Vashti College, and Mercer County in the Civil War at the Essley-Noble Museum in Aledo, Illinois.

#museummonday

This wreath, made of human hair, was made by Carrie Alice Mardock Hudson over 120 years ago.  The hair was taken from he...
04/02/2018

This wreath, made of human hair, was made by Carrie Alice Mardock Hudson over 120 years ago. The hair was taken from her family members and lovingly crafted into flowers, leaves, and the butterfly in the center of the wreath.

The practice of using human hair to create items of remembrance was popular during the Victorian era. Patterns could be found in common publications and the art form was widely used to remember friends and family members. Some hair wreaths or hair jewelry were made from hair taken from the recently deceased, but other pieces were made in church, school, or family groups.

Find this and other interesting items at the Essley-Noble Museum in Aledo, Illinois.

#museummonday

This flyer from the Keithsburg Civil Defense Authority was recently donated by a resident who remembers participating in...
03/26/2018

This flyer from the Keithsburg Civil Defense Authority was recently donated by a resident who remembers participating in drills during his time at school.

See this flyer and other information about Mercer County during World War II and the Cold War at the Essley Noble Museum in Aledo, Illinois.

#museummonday

This machine was used around 1900 in Keithsburg and New Boston along the Mississippi River to make pearl buttons from th...
03/19/2018

This machine was used around 1900 in Keithsburg and New Boston along the Mississippi River to make pearl buttons from the mussel shells found in the river.

The second photo shows a closer view of the shells from which the buttons were cut. According to the Muscatine History and Industry Museum the average cutter could use up to 100 pounds of shell a day, resulting in about twenty-five gross, or 3,600 blanks.

This machine, along with more information about the pearl button industry in Mercer County can be found at the Essley Noble Museum in Aledo, Illinois.

#museummonday

02/22/2018

Please note that we have an updated web address. You may view our website by visiting mercercountyhistoricalsocietyil.org.

We may not be able to give you these things, but there are so many great sources in the genealogy department at the muse...
12/02/2017

We may not be able to give you these things, but there are so many great sources in the genealogy department at the museum. Come visit today between 12 & 4 pm and see what details you can uncover about your family!

If you're paying a visit to Santa this weekend, go ahead and add these items to your wish list—it's really not asking too much.

This photograph was donated to the museum. None of the men pictured are identified.  If you are able to identify any of ...
11/29/2017

This photograph was donated to the museum. None of the men pictured are identified. If you are able to identify any of the men, or the occasion, please let is know.

11/18/2017

Will you be visiting family in Mercer County over the holidays? The museum will be open from noon - 4 pm on Saturday, November 25th and Saturday, December 30th for your research needs and your visiting convenience.

11/01/2017

A friendly reminder to you all:

Winter hours are in effect from November through March.

Open on Saturday from noon to 4:00pm.

If you have specific information you are looking for in our genealogy department appointments can be made as staff is available.

10/09/2017

In the next seven days we are hosting two events that will give you the opportunity to learn more about your community.

First, on Wednesday, October 11th at 6:00pm, we will host a Change Over Time session for Mercer County, Better Together. We will examine county wide efforts on events and history while discussing how these efforts have been successful, or not, and what we should do into the future.

Next, on Monday, October 16th at 7:00pm, we will host our annual Fall Open Meeting. The topic of this meeting will be Midwestern corn husking contests. We will screen a locally produced documentary called "When Farmers Were Heroes" and hear from a participant and hall of fame inductee, Dick Humes, about his experiences.

Both events promise to be both educational and entertaining. Please plan to join us!

Here is the obituary and information on arrangements for our board member, Stephanie Braucht.  Our sympathies are extend...
10/06/2017
Obituary for Stephanie A. (Sirotnak) Braucht | Fippinger Funeral Home

Here is the obituary and information on arrangements for our board member, Stephanie Braucht. Our sympathies are extended to her family.

Obituary for Stephanie A. (Sirotnak) Braucht | Stephanie A. Braucht, 69 of Joy, IL died Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at UnityPoint Health in Rock Island, IL. Services are 10:00 a.m. Monday October 9, 2017 at Buffalo Prairie Presbyterian Church. Burial is in the Buffalo Prairie Cemetery. Visitation is 2-...

We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our board members this week. Stephanie's contibutions to the research and s...
10/05/2017
Mercer County Loses Valuable Resource In Braucht; Joy Woman Had Great Passion For Local History – WRMJ.COM

We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our board members this week. Stephanie's contibutions to the research and sharing of Mercer County history will be cherished by many.

Western Illinois Today Mercer County Loses Valuable Resource In Braucht; Joy Woman Had Great Passion For Local History by Jim Taylor • October 5, 2017 • Comments Off on Mercer County Loses Valuable Resource In Braucht; Joy Woman Had Great Passion For Local History The Mercer County community losing…

Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society
09/20/2017
Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society

Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society

If you weren't able to catch the Fran Riley Feature on KWQC last week, take a moment to watch the video from his visit to the museum and learn more about the Shale City Brick Yard and its connection to Wrigley Field.

If you weren't able to catch the Fran Riley Feature on KWQC last week, take a moment to watch the video from his visit t...
09/18/2017
Bricks and Baseball

If you weren't able to catch the Fran Riley Feature on KWQC last week, take a moment to watch the video from his visit to the museum and learn more about the Shale City Brick Yard and its connection to Wrigley Field.

Mercer County has a connection to the “big leagues.” A century ago, the Shale City Brickyard was one of the largest employers in the county. Nearby, the cliffs provided the shale and clay for the raw material to make bricks.

Did you see us on the 4:00pm news? Fran Riley paid a visit to the museum recently to learn more about the Shale City Bri...
09/16/2017

Did you see us on the 4:00pm news? Fran Riley paid a visit to the museum recently to learn more about the Shale City Brickyard.

BASEBALL AND BRICKS! Mercer County's connection to Wrigley Field! #Funat4!

In case you missed it - the Chicago Cubs played in Aledo.  You can listen to Jim Taylor's interview with Stephanie Brauc...
09/14/2017
WRMJ Interview: That Day When The Chicago Cubs Played In Aledo – WRMJ.COM

In case you missed it - the Chicago Cubs played in Aledo. You can listen to Jim Taylor's interview with Stephanie Braucht at the link below.

The fall issue of the Historical Society newsletter will include a more in-depth article about this same event. All members will receive a copy of the newsletter. If you are not a member visit the museum or contact us to join today so that you don't miss out!

http://wrmj.com/wrmj-interview-that-day-when-the-chicago-cubs-played-in-aledo/

Local Sports, Western Illinois Today WRMJ Interview: That Day When The Chicago Cubs Played In Aledo by Jim Taylor • July 3, 2017 • Comments Off on WRMJ Interview: That Day When The Chicago Cubs Played In Aledo WRMJ News/Sports Director Jim Taylor spoke with Stephanie Braucht from the Mercer County H...

As summer draws to a close we are looking back at the fun that was had at the Mercer County Fair.  Congratulations to Ju...
09/05/2017

As summer draws to a close we are looking back at the fun that was had at the Mercer County Fair.

Congratulations to Justin Hobart for winning our Name the Tool contest at the fair. He correctly identified 12 out of 14 tools. The answers to the tools are as follows:

1) broom holder
2) knapping hammer (Breaks rock like flint into small pieces)
3) wagon wheel wrench
4) tack puller
5) can opener
6) sock stretcher
7) crackling squeezer
8) bricklayer’s hammer
9) cream separator wrench
10) corn dryer
11) Model T valve compressor
12) buttress (Used in horse shoeing)
13) tire chain crosslink wrench
14) framing hammer

You can learn about many more objects like these at the Essley-Noble Museum. Be sure to visit soon!

Check out our page on National Geographic's interactive website about Mississippi River tourism, and come visit us in pe...
08/31/2017
Essley-Noble Museum | The Mississippi River

Check out our page on National Geographic's interactive website about Mississippi River tourism, and come visit us in person!

The Essley-Noble Museum, managed by the Mercer County Historical Society, preserves the past so present generations can understand and appreciate their own history. The museum at 1406 SE 2nd Avenue in Aledo, IL, is named for the parents of E.L. Essley, the man who donated the money to build it. In M…

Thanks to Jim Taylor and WRMJ for this interview about a slice of Mercer County's history!
07/04/2017
WRMJ Interview: That Day When The Chicago Cubs Played In Aledo – WRMJ.COM

Thanks to Jim Taylor and WRMJ for this interview about a slice of Mercer County's history!

WRMJ News/Sports Director Jim Taylor spoke with Stephanie Braucht from the Mercer County Historical Society this morning. She detailed a story from 1923 when the Chicago Cubs played an exhibition game at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.

Aledo Main Street
05/26/2017

Aledo Main Street

On display at our featured business of the week;
Essley Noble Museum and Mercer County Historical Society. This remembrance quilt is beautiful! Plan a trip to the museum to see this and so much more!

We're Aledo Main Street's featured business of the week!
05/25/2017

We're Aledo Main Street's featured business of the week!

Essley Noble Museum our featured business of the week! The Mercer County Clay Pottery were made in the midcentury out of clay from Mercer County. The Barnes sisters led classes and other Mercer County Citizens made pieces. Take an afternoon and tour the museum and learn some great historical information about our community!

Jim Taylor of WRMJ Radio recently interviewed one of our board members about this piece of Mercer County history.
04/23/2017
Shale City Brickyards & Wrigley Field: A Local History Lesson

Jim Taylor of WRMJ Radio recently interviewed one of our board members about this piece of Mercer County history.

For nearly 60 years the Shale City Brickyards were one of the largest employers in Mercer County. And legend has it that bricks used in the construction of Wrigley Field were produced at the Shale …

04/02/2017

Join us Monday, April 17 for our spring open program, 7:00 p.m., here at the Essley-Noble Museum. Our own Ronn Dillavou will present "The Hobby of Collecting," giving tips on why we collect and how to collect, and he will display examples form his collection of farm primitives. Whether as a hobby after retirement, or if you just want to get into or already enjoy collecting, Ronn will share advice on how to get started, as well as tips for proceeding. The program is open to the public with no admission charge. Refreshments will be served afterwards, and you will have an opportunity to socialize and explore the museum's exhibits.

Here's a link to a segment on KWQC Channel 6 news last night and this morning, telling about research we did at the muse...
03/18/2017
'March Madness' originator has ties to QCA

Here's a link to a segment on KWQC Channel 6 news last night and this morning, telling about research we did at the museum to document Mercer County's connection to the term "March Madness." There's a video and an article here.

Henry V. Porter, the founder of the term March Madness served as principal of Keithsburg High School in 1915.

Curious about Mercer County's history? Stop by the museum and pick up a copy of Mercer County by our very own Twyla Holm...
02/07/2017

Curious about Mercer County's history? Stop by the museum and pick up a copy of Mercer County by our very own Twyla Holmes and Stephanie Braucht for only $21.99!

12/20/2016

We'll be closed Christmas Eve (24th) and New Years Eve (31st) - we'll be back open on the 7th. Happy Holidays!

10/17/2016

Don't forget tonight at 7:00 pm is our Fall Annual Meeting at the Essley-Noble Museum! Come hear guest speaker Brian Parkinson tell of his search to locate the exact trail that Indians used as they passed through Mercer County in their travels to Iowa. We hope to see you there!

Address

1406 SE 2nd Ave PO Box 269
Aledo, IL
61231

Opening Hours

Thursday 13:00 - 17:00
Friday 13:00 - 17:00
Saturday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(309) 582-2280

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Essley-Noble Museum & Mercer County Historical Society:

Videos

Category

Nearby museums