St. Clair County Historical Society

St. Clair County Historical Society St. Clair County Historical Society educates, preserves and disseminates the fascinating story of St. Clair County, Illinois. Founded in 1905 and headquartered in Belleville, Illinois, the St.
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Clair County Historical Society (STCCHS) dedicates itself and its efforts to the legacy of the oldest county in Illinois. The STCCHS endeavors to educate the communites that we serve on their history and heritage through exhibits at our two museums and our publications. The STCCHS engages in the preservation of artifacts that help tell the diverse and intriguing story of St. Clair County, its comm

Clair County Historical Society (STCCHS) dedicates itself and its efforts to the legacy of the oldest county in Illinois. The STCCHS endeavors to educate the communites that we serve on their history and heritage through exhibits at our two museums and our publications. The STCCHS engages in the preservation of artifacts that help tell the diverse and intriguing story of St. Clair County, its comm

Operating as usual

As we’ve seen, trade cards were an advertising standby in the past. To save money, but still get the word out, businesse...
07/01/2021

As we’ve seen, trade cards were an advertising standby in the past.

To save money, but still get the word out, businesses could buy stock designs and stamp their information on them.

Here, we see two examples of that from Belleville businesses: Harvey’s Book Store and Joseph Wiesmann.

Note that Wiesmann sold wallpaper, which grew in popularity with mass production in the mid 19th Century. Also note that Harvey’s was across from the Thomas House, which sat where the Lincoln Theatre is today.

Belleville Historical Society Labor & Industry Museum Belleville Illinois

Be in with the in crowd!Join our growing membership and enjoy our publications, museums, and research services.It’s the ...
07/01/2021

Be in with the in crowd!

Join our growing membership and enjoy our publications, museums, and research services.

It’s the MOST!

Call 618/234-0600 or visit STCCHS.org/join

Be in with the in crowd!

Join our growing membership and enjoy our publications, museums, and research services.

It’s the MOST!

Call 618/234-0600 or visit STCCHS.org/join

Everyone likes a story of the hometown person who makes it big.So it was when the Jackson Advocate, an African-American ...
06/30/2021

Everyone likes a story of the hometown person who makes it big.

So it was when the Jackson Advocate, an African-American newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, reported on Robert Burris in 1955.

Burris grew up in Jackson, but came to East St. Louis, where he was a news anchor and DJ on radio station WTMV. WTMV broadcasted from the landmark Broadview Hotel. #blackhistory

Clipping: Chronicling America, The Library of Congress

The Jackson Advocate East St. Louis Historical Society I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine

Everyone likes a story of the hometown person who makes it big.

So it was when the Jackson Advocate, an African-American newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, reported on Robert Burris in 1955.

Burris grew up in Jackson, but came to East St. Louis, where he was a news anchor and DJ on radio station WTMV. WTMV broadcasted from the landmark Broadview Hotel. #blackhistory

Clipping: Chronicling America, The Library of Congress

The Jackson Advocate East St. Louis Historical Society I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine

In this photo from the Alan J. Dixon Collection, Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye poses with then State Treasurer Alan Dixon...
06/30/2021

In this photo from the Alan J. Dixon Collection, Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye poses with then State Treasurer Alan Dixon during a 1976 campaign event in Chicago.

Little did either man know that they’d serve together in the U.S. Senate from 1981-1993.

Inouye, a highly decorated WWII veteran, served in the Senate from 1963-2012.

Historic Hawaii Foundation: HHF U.S. Capitol Historical Society Hawaiʻi State Archives

In this photo from the Alan J. Dixon Collection, Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye poses with then State Treasurer Alan Dixon during a 1976 campaign event in Chicago.

Little did either man know that they’d serve together in the U.S. Senate from 1981-1993.

Inouye, a highly decorated WWII veteran, served in the Senate from 1963-2012.

Historic Hawaii Foundation: HHF U.S. Capitol Historical Society Hawaiʻi State Archives

Eagle-eyed STCCHS Member Kevin McFarland discovered part of the story of two lost statues.He found a 1912 postcard of Ro...
06/29/2021

Eagle-eyed STCCHS Member Kevin McFarland discovered part of the story of two lost statues.

He found a 1912 postcard of Rock Junior High in East St. Louis (top). In front of the school were large seated statues of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Wanting to know more, Kevin explored their origins.

Working with our Curator, Kevin discovered that the statues likely came from the Illinois Building at the 1904 World’s Fair.

Check it out and see what you think!

East St. Louis Historical Society I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine 1904 World's Fair Society

Eagle-eyed STCCHS Member Kevin McFarland discovered part of the story of two lost statues.

He found a 1912 postcard of Rock Junior High in East St. Louis (top). In front of the school were large seated statues of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Wanting to know more, Kevin explored their origins.

Working with our Curator, Kevin discovered that the statues likely came from the Illinois Building at the 1904 World’s Fair.

Check it out and see what you think!

East St. Louis Historical Society I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine 1904 World's Fair Society

The Roger Schlueter Library at the Daphne Sumner History Discovery Center will welcome all to explore our county’s amazi...
06/29/2021

The Roger Schlueter Library at the Daphne Sumner History Discovery Center will welcome all to explore our county’s amazing story through our collections & educational programs.

Learn more about this exciting project and make your gift here: stcchs.org/discovery #localhistory

The Roger Schlueter Library at the Daphne Sumner History Discovery Center will welcome all to explore our county’s amazing story through our collections & educational programs.

Learn more about this exciting project and make your gift here: stcchs.org/discovery #localhistory

Here’s two great ways to make this year’s Fashion Promenade one to remember.Your donation of vintage treasures and/or ev...
06/28/2021

Here’s two great ways to make this year’s Fashion Promenade one to remember.

Your donation of vintage treasures and/or event tickets will make our silent auction a can’t-miss treat!

See the flier for more information. You can also message us here.

Here’s two great ways to make this year’s Fashion Promenade one to remember.

Your donation of vintage treasures and/or event tickets will make our silent auction a can’t-miss treat!

See the flier for more information. You can also message us here.

Last week, we shared a grocery store photo and a trade card from Belleville’s history.Here’s one of each from the same b...
06/28/2021

Last week, we shared a grocery store photo and a trade card from Belleville’s history.

Here’s one of each from the same business!

August Storr’s grocery & notions store sat on the northeast corner of W. Main & 13th Streets (the building, heavily altered, still stands). That’s Mr. Storr in the photo.

Before 1918’s renaming of streets in Belleville, 13th Street was Iron Street. Notice the street signs on the building.

We also know that this card was printed before 1882, when the Village of West Belleville merged with Belleville.

These items were donated in 1989.

Belleville Historical Society Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce West Belleville Promotional Committee

Last week, we shared a grocery store photo and a trade card from Belleville’s history.

Here’s one of each from the same business!

August Storr’s grocery & notions store sat on the northeast corner of W. Main & 13th Streets (the building, heavily altered, still stands). That’s Mr. Storr in the photo.

Before 1918’s renaming of streets in Belleville, 13th Street was Iron Street. Notice the street signs on the building.

We also know that this card was printed before 1882, when the Village of West Belleville merged with Belleville.

These items were donated in 1989.

Belleville Historical Society Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce West Belleville Promotional Committee

Our Curator was on the road today, talking nonprofit finance with our friends at the Southern Illinois Association of Mu...
06/26/2021

Our Curator was on the road today, talking nonprofit finance with our friends at the Southern Illinois Association of Museums. It’s always great to share ideas with our colleagues.

Our gracious host was the West Franklin Historical Museum in Mulkeytown, Illinois.

Their museum is in the old grade school in Mulkeytown. #localhistory

Our Curator was on the road today, talking nonprofit finance with our friends at the Southern Illinois Association of Museums. It’s always great to share ideas with our colleagues.

Our gracious host was the West Franklin Historical Museum in Mulkeytown, Illinois.

Their museum is in the old grade school in Mulkeytown. #localhistory

Our June newsletter’s feature story takes you to East St. Louis in 1866, when a famous detective (Allan Pinkerton), an i...
06/25/2021

Our June newsletter’s feature story takes you to East St. Louis in 1866, when a famous detective (Allan Pinkerton), an infamous counterfeiter (John McCartney), and the mayor of the city (John Bowman)crossed paths.

It’s a thrilling tale set on the bustling riverfront!

Don’t get our newsletter? Join us here: stcchs.org/join

East St. Louis Historical Society I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine

Our June newsletter’s feature story takes you to East St. Louis in 1866, when a famous detective (Allan Pinkerton), an infamous counterfeiter (John McCartney), and the mayor of the city (John Bowman)crossed paths.

It’s a thrilling tale set on the bustling riverfront!

Don’t get our newsletter? Join us here: stcchs.org/join

East St. Louis Historical Society I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine

From our Sen. Alan J. Dixon Collection, we see a great 1988 photo of Alan’s wife, Jody (left), with then Second Lady Bar...
06/25/2021

From our Sen. Alan J. Dixon Collection, we see a great 1988 photo of Alan’s wife, Jody (left), with then Second Lady Barbara Bush (right). Mrs. Bush wrote a personal note at the bottom.

Alan Dixon and George H.W. Bush both started new jobs together in 1981: Dixon as a U.S. Senator and Bush as Vice President.

In the center is Nancy Thurmond, wife of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond.

We received the Dixon Collection in 2016 from Mrs. Dixon.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum George and Barbara Bush Foundation

From our Sen. Alan J. Dixon Collection, we see a great 1988 photo of Alan’s wife, Jody (left), with then Second Lady Barbara Bush (right). Mrs. Bush wrote a personal note at the bottom.

Alan Dixon and George H.W. Bush both started new jobs together in 1981: Dixon as a U.S. Senator and Bush as Vice President.

In the center is Nancy Thurmond, wife of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond.

We received the Dixon Collection in 2016 from Mrs. Dixon.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum George and Barbara Bush Foundation

Think of trade cards as the pop-up ads of the 19th Century. Given out by businesses as advertising, their attractive des...
06/24/2021

Think of trade cards as the pop-up ads of the 19th Century. Given out by businesses as advertising, their attractive designs joined marketing savvy to create interesting items.

This cute card is from Romeiser’s, one of Belleville’s major clothing stores.

Something tells us that our friends on Abend Street will particularly enjoy this card.

The Brick and Maple Keywayterrace Belleville Historical Society

Think of trade cards as the pop-up ads of the 19th Century. Given out by businesses as advertising, their attractive designs joined marketing savvy to create interesting items.

This cute card is from Romeiser’s, one of Belleville’s major clothing stores.

Something tells us that our friends on Abend Street will particularly enjoy this card.

The Brick and Maple Keywayterrace Belleville Historical Society

Help the 18th Fashion Promenade become unforgettable with your kind donation for the silent auction!Our amazing business...
06/24/2021

Help the 18th Fashion Promenade become unforgettable with your kind donation for the silent auction!

Our amazing business sponsors are emerging from a challenging year and, now more than ever, help from friends like you is critical

See the fliers for more information. Thanks!

Help the 18th Fashion Promenade become unforgettable with your kind donation for the silent auction!

Our amazing business sponsors are emerging from a challenging year and, now more than ever, help from friends like you is critical

See the fliers for more information. Thanks!

“Shop small,” and, “shop local,” are great ideas, but they aren’t new ones.Before the mid 20th Century, most shopping ha...
06/23/2021

“Shop small,” and, “shop local,” are great ideas, but they aren’t new ones.

Before the mid 20th Century, most shopping happened in small, specialized neighborhood stores. Grocery stores were no exception. Cities and towns abounded with small, local markets.

Here, we see the grocery store of Rauschkolb & Eggersmann at 423 E. “A” Street in Belleville in 1889. Check out the wide variety of items on offer, everything from canned food to galoshes!

In front, we see proprietor George Rauschkolb; the boy is William Hochner.

We received this photograph in 1989.

Belleville Historical Society Belleville Main Street Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce Livelovebelleville

“Shop small,” and, “shop local,” are great ideas, but they aren’t new ones.

Before the mid 20th Century, most shopping happened in small, specialized neighborhood stores. Grocery stores were no exception. Cities and towns abounded with small, local markets.

Here, we see the grocery store of Rauschkolb & Eggersmann at 423 E. “A” Street in Belleville in 1889. Check out the wide variety of items on offer, everything from canned food to galoshes!

In front, we see proprietor George Rauschkolb; the boy is William Hochner.

We received this photograph in 1989.

Belleville Historical Society Belleville Main Street Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce Livelovebelleville

This post is a little weaselly, but trust us, you’ll learn a lot.At center, we see a spinner’s weasel, a mechanical yarn...
06/23/2021

This post is a little weaselly, but trust us, you’ll learn a lot.

At center, we see a spinner’s weasel, a mechanical yarn winding machine. As the yarn was spun on the wheel, a weasel was often used to wind the yarn into skeins (bundles).

Gear-driven, the wheel wound the yarn until a mechanism inside measured a set length. Then, the device made a “pop” sound. It’s likely the origin of the nursery rhyme, “Pop Goes the Weasel.”

We also see a simpler yarn winding device, a niddy-noddy, at lower right. The winder would hold the center rod and wind the yarn around the ends.

Both donated in 1978, they’re on display at the Emma Kunz House. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site Illinois State Museum

This post is a little weaselly, but trust us, you’ll learn a lot.

At center, we see a spinner’s weasel, a mechanical yarn winding machine. As the yarn was spun on the wheel, a weasel was often used to wind the yarn into skeins (bundles).

Gear-driven, the wheel wound the yarn until a mechanism inside measured a set length. Then, the device made a “pop” sound. It’s likely the origin of the nursery rhyme, “Pop Goes the Weasel.”

We also see a simpler yarn winding device, a niddy-noddy, at lower right. The winder would hold the center rod and wind the yarn around the ends.

Both donated in 1978, they’re on display at the Emma Kunz House. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site Illinois State Museum

We’re getting very close to realizing our dream for the Daphne Sumner History Discovery Center.Daphne led the way, so le...
06/22/2021

We’re getting very close to realizing our dream for the Daphne Sumner History Discovery Center.

Daphne led the way, so let’s finish the job!

Help us create a home for local history by learning more & making your gift here: stcchs.org/discovery

We’re getting very close to realizing our dream for the Daphne Sumner History Discovery Center.

Daphne led the way, so let’s finish the job!

Help us create a home for local history by learning more & making your gift here: stcchs.org/discovery

Check out the staff of the Belleville News-Democrat in front of their offices in 1898.  Pressmen and copy boys, editors ...
06/22/2021

Check out the staff of the Belleville News-Democrat in front of their offices in 1898.

Pressmen and copy boys, editors and typesetters, reporters and secretaries-they literally made the news every day. We received these photos in 1993. @bellevillenewsd @ILNewsProject

We’re excited to welcome you back to the 18th Fashion Promenade on August 14th!See the flier for more information.Reserv...
06/21/2021

We’re excited to welcome you back to the 18th Fashion Promenade on August 14th!

See the flier for more information.

Reservations will be available very soon!

St Clair Country Club #localhistory

We’re excited to welcome you back to the 18th Fashion Promenade on August 14th!

See the flier for more information.

Reservations will be available very soon!

St Clair Country Club #localhistory

The concert zither gained popularity in the late 19th Century as a versatile instrument that was easy to learn. Plucked ...
06/21/2021

The concert zither gained popularity in the late 19th Century as a versatile instrument that was easy to learn. Plucked with a pick or the fingers, it has a fretboard like a guitar.

This zither was made in St. Louis in 1884. It’s on display in the parlor of the Emma Kunz House.

The concert zither gained popularity in the late 19th Century as a versatile instrument that was easy to learn. Plucked with a pick or the fingers, it has a fretboard like a guitar.

This zither was made in St. Louis in 1884. It’s on display in the parlor of the Emma Kunz House.

A very Happy Father’s Day from the St. Clair County Historical Society!
06/20/2021

A very Happy Father’s Day from the St. Clair County Historical Society!

A very Happy Father’s Day from the St. Clair County Historical Society!

As we celebrate #Juneteenth for the first time as a national holiday, let’s look at how African-Americans in St. Clair C...
06/19/2021

As we celebrate #Juneteenth for the first time as a national holiday, let’s look at how African-Americans in St. Clair County celebrated the end of slavery in the past.

Several dates were celebrated, one being September 22nd, the date in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Order.

Here, we see local African-American communities celebrating freedom in September of 1906. John Robinson, a formerly enslaved Civil War veteran, often organized and led emancipation celebrations in East St. Louis.

For a local Juneteenth commemoration later today, check out Juneteenth-Metro Eastin East St. Louis.

To learn more about this important day in American history, read an excellent article here: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/what-is-juneteenth/

I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine East St. Louis Historical Society #BlackHistory

As we celebrate #Juneteenth for the first time as a national holiday, let’s look at how African-Americans in St. Clair County celebrated the end of slavery in the past.

Several dates were celebrated, one being September 22nd, the date in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Order.

Here, we see local African-American communities celebrating freedom in September of 1906. John Robinson, a formerly enslaved Civil War veteran, often organized and led emancipation celebrations in East St. Louis.

For a local Juneteenth commemoration later today, check out Juneteenth-Metro Eastin East St. Louis.

To learn more about this important day in American history, read an excellent article here: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/what-is-juneteenth/

I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine East St. Louis Historical Society #BlackHistory

Address

701 E Washington St
Belleville, IL
62220

General information

The offices, library and archives of the STCCHS are located at our Victorian House Museum, a restored 1867 Greek Revival house, located at 701 E. Washington Street in beautiful downtown Belleville, Illinois. Our hours at the Victorian House Museum are Monday-Friday, 10:00AM-2:00PM The STCCHS also maintains the Emma Kunz House, a restored 1850 neoclassically inspired German Street house, at 602 Fulton Street in Belleville. The Emma Kunz House is available for tours by appointment. Call or write the STCCHS for details. The Messinger Cemetery, located at 3450 Old Collinsville Road in Belleville, is also under the care of the STCCHS. Many early settlers to St. Clair County are buried there as is its namesake, the surveyor John Messinger. The cemetery is open to the public every day from dawn to dusk.

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 10am - 2pm
Wednesday 10am - 2pm
Thursday 10am - 2pm
Friday 10am - 2pm

Telephone

(618) 234-0600

Alerts

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Comments

Fitting I'd find him this weekend. I think this is the brother of my great (x2) grandfather Joseph C. Fry. I'm confused why he didn't join his dad Absalom and brother in the Confederate North Carolina 26th Reg from Moore County NC. It looks like he died shortly after enlisting in the Union while in training at Camp Butler IL. I attached the 1860 census I think is him (Patrick Frey) living in St Clair Il. I also attached all I've found for him on fold3. I'm still researching why he was farming in Illinois in 186o. Thanks! Name: Patrick Fry Rank: Corporal Company: H Unit: 5th Illinois Cavalry Height: 5' 8 Hair: DARK Eyes: HAZEL Complexion: DARK Marital Status: Single Occupation: Farmer Birth Date: Abt 1840 Birth Place: Moor CO, NC War: Civil War War Years: 1861-1865 Service Entry Age: 21 Service Entry Date: 17 Sep 1861 Service Entry Place: Mascoutah, IL Joined By Whom: CPT COX Period: 3 YRS Muster In Date: 8 Dec 1861 Muster In Place: Springfield, IL Remarks: DIED OF DISEASE DEC 28, 1861 AT CAMP BUTLER ILL Residence Place: Mascoutah, St Clair CO, IL Record Source: Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls
Please join us on Saturday, April 10th, as we celebrate National Poetry Month with Dr. Eugene B. Redmond, #PIONEER Poet and #LEGENDARY Scholar! There will also be a Special Poetry Performance by The Soular System Ensemble! #PoetryBLACK! #CNPAC2021 #GloballyBLACK #JoinTheCulturalMovement
In the late 1700s, William Whiteside, patriot of the Revolutionary War, brought his large family, kids, wives and grandchildren, from North Carolina and settled in St Clair County, IL (now Monroe County). They found a home at the old, abandoned Flannery Fort, which became know as Whiteside Station. They also brought slaves with them from North Carolina. John Whiteside and his wife Phoebe/Phebe brought slave Winney/Winnie with them to the Station where they lived for some years until they removed to St Louis. Slave Winney/Winnie sued for her freedom, and the freedom of her children. Documents can be found athttps://www.sos.mo.gov/Images/Archives/SupremeCourt/B134F11.pdf I am attaching a few of the many pages of documents. Winney/Winnie and her children, born at Whiteside Station, were found to be free persons of color.
I'm working on my family genealogy (Henry Clay Johnson) and hit a dead-end. Apparently, my great-grandfather's family lived in "District 5" of St. Clair County according to the 1850 census. Would anybody have a map of this county district?
I have a pair of eyeglasses that belonged to a lady named Catherine Will Hare 1865-1943. The glasses are in the original case so they've been somewhat protected. Wondering if you could recommend where they could be taken to have the frames and side pieces cleaned. The side pieces are a very thin wire.
My husband was kind enough to digitize this from the VHS it was recorded on. My great grandfather, Elmer McCarron, is featured on it. I also recognize many of the photos as taken by my other great-grandfather, George Hankammer.
Take a six minute smile break from politics and COVID! Episode 27 of “A Great Route 66 Adventure” was released; each episode is about 6 minutes long. Do me a favor and give it a view and subscribe. In this episode of the Route 66 Adventure we begin meeting St. Claire Administrator James Ardt and Mayor Ron Blum. From there we met Deloris Pat Todd at the St. Claire Historical museum. Our next stop is the landmark, the Lewis Cafe, where owners Chris and Douglas Short talk about their business and show off their award winning pies. The episode concludes with Dixie Dickinson Tyree sharing an old road memory. I hope the maps I am providing makes mapping out your adventure easy. https://youtu.be/NJkDYg8dhmQ This is some press we got in St. Claire when we visited…https://www.emissourian.com/local_news/saint_clair/happy-trails/article_85b405d2-b6d3-11df-91af-001cc4c002e0.html Please help me meet the YouTube monetization metrics: 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months, and 1,000 subscribers. Too late to correct the credits: Gordon Nelson Jr. sings ‘All American” in this series. Check out the music of Gordon Nelson Jr.: https://www.traxsource.com/artist/272563/gordon-nelson-jr Check out the music of the Road Crew: http://roadcrew66.com/
Going through old pictures and I came across this one of The Black Jack School (note under the middle window there is a sign saying Black Jack School). Many of my ancestors from the Patton family, McDonald family, and Teter family attended school there - and I believe my Mother attended 1st grade there. As a young girl I remember that this building was still standing which would have been in the 1940's or 1950's. It was later torn down - it was located on what is now named the New Athens Darmstadt Road near what is now named the Heller Road which was north of the town of Lenzburg, St. Clair County, Illinois. (sorry the white spots something had stuck to the picture and left these spots). Hope you can use it in your records of The Black Jack School. (The first picture is I pretty sure the inside with students which would be about 1915 or 1916. The second picture is the one of the school.)
This duplex worker’s cottage is right down the street from the SCCHS. It appears to have been vacant for a while. Do you know anything about it?
Can anyone tell me where to find information about the St. Clair County Nature Preserve? The sign says it is a gift from Fred J. Tecklenburg. It is near 161 and Dutch Hollow Rd.
I finished this book for Jr. High kids in 2019. There are two books in the Illinois Heartland Library System, a combination of four regional library systems in Southern and Central Illinois.
Could anyone please tell me where the old town of Barcoville is?