The Ogle County Historical Society

The Ogle County Historical Society The Ogle County Historical Society began in 1954 as a project of the Ogle County Federation of Women's Clubs.
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The Nash Home and Museum opened in 1962. It was the home of the Chester Nash family and was built in 1878 of Midwestern prairie-type architecture; square, with long porches and high ceilings. Chester's daughter, Miss Ruby Nash, taught school for 50 years from 1891 to 1941. Nash School, now Nash Recreation Center, was named after her. The Nash Home/Museum is furnished with artifacts from all over Ogle County and from the earliest settlers to present day. In addition to the Nash Home we have an annex building which contains more displays as well as our research and office area. Nash Home & Museum Hours Thursdays 9:00 a.m. to Noon, year round. Sundays 1:00 - 4:00 PM May to September. Some Saturdays - see website. Open also for groups and by appointment. Genealogical research from 1-6 on Wednesdays. For help with research e-mail: [email protected] or send inquiries to: P. O. Box 183 Oregon, Illinois, 61061. Monthly Meetings: Every 4th Monday at 6:30 pm with the exception of December. Come visit us! Tours are available for individuals and groups. Call 815 732 7475 and leave us a message. Someone will return the call as soon as possible. We welcome volunteers and new members at any level of participation. Donations are also greatly appreciated.

Memorial Day Parade looking NW at the National Clothing House on the corner of 4th and Washington Streets, Oregon, Illin...
05/25/2020

Memorial Day Parade looking NW at the National Clothing House on the corner of 4th and Washington Streets, Oregon, Illinois, 1947. To the west along Washington Street you can see Gilbert's Hardware, Hornsby's Five and Dime, the Unity building and the Oregon State Savings Bank building.

This landscaped photo was merged from two pictures taken by Earl “Skippy” Pankhurst on Memorial Day in 1947. The photo was merged by Craig Carpenter and tweaked by professional photographer, Kim Warmolts.

In the merge of the photos, the sign for National Clothing House got a bit jumbled up.

Shirley Tilton American Legion Post #97 veterans at the Memorial Day Parade in Oregon at the Riverside Cemetery on N. 3r...
05/25/2020

Shirley Tilton American Legion Post #97 veterans at the Memorial Day Parade in Oregon at the Riverside Cemetery on N. 3rd Street for the service, 1965.

Left to right: August Reinema, John Dentler, Leon Medlar, Dominic Padulla, Sumner Logan, Harry Hawn, Ralph Thomas, Ben Beard, Judge Leon Zick, Arnold Maxwell, William Johnson, Harry Franklin, James White, Ray Beardsley, Ralph Leigh.

Memorial Day Parades & Services.
05/24/2020

Memorial Day Parades & Services.

Memorial Day Parades & Services
05/24/2020

Memorial Day Parades & Services

The Ogle County Historical Society & Museum
05/18/2020

The Ogle County Historical Society & Museum

Polo High School Orchestra, year unknown.

Photo credit to James Higby, researcher at the Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Rock River Cornet Band on the north lawn of the Ogle County Courthouse, Oregon, around the turn of the century. The Rock...
05/15/2020

Rock River Cornet Band on the north lawn of the Ogle County Courthouse, Oregon, around the turn of the century.

The Rock River Cornet Band performed for many celebrations and events even as early as the September 17th, 1880 dedication of Ganymede Spring and Margaret Fuller Island with over 500 people in attendance. After a speech by Colonel Benjamin Franklin Sheets and the program, the guests explored Margaret Fuller Island and the Eagle’s Nest Bluff. Entertainment included steamboat rides, croquet, dancing, archery and much revelry.

The band stand and police station that can be seen in the background were moved from the Courthouse lawn to the Ogle County fair-grounds on December 23, 1915.

Back row, left to right: Floyd Ellis, Glen Eddleman, George Sitler, Ernest Landers, Ed Connor (leader), Charles Grow, Emery Frye, Howard Schecter, Dee Heller.

Middle row, left to right: Sam Smith, James McDowell, Homer Eddleman, Clint Keplinger, Mo Aldstrand.

Front row, left to right: Billy Ray, Dick Himes (Photo courtesy of E. G. Landers)

One hundred and fourteen years ago today, May 14, 1906, this postcard was postmarked at the Oregon, Illinois Post Office...
05/14/2020

One hundred and fourteen years ago today, May 14, 1906, this postcard was postmarked at the Oregon, Illinois Post Office. It was sent by Ida Matmiller Wade (1866-1934) to her aunt, Julia Parshall in Erie, Pennsylvania. It pictures Jake, the donkey, pulling Ida’s son, Rex Wade (1896-1961) and three of his friends.

The scene is looking north on N. 3rd Street where one can see the old (1862) stone church (the Church of God, originally St. Mary’s Catholic Church). When the newly formed Church of God purchased this building for $600.00 in March of 1899 from John Gallagher, it was being used for grain storage. Next south is the 1880s Schiller Piano Factory owned by F. G. Jones. The piano factory started out as the Schaeffer Piano Company and the Schiller started out on the NE corner of 2nd and Washington Street. Later, after a fire, with the dam for power and the rail road spur which helps transfer the pianos to the train depot, F. G. Jones took advantage of this prime location where it produced pianos until 1971. In 1836, the first home was built on the new town plot on the SE corner of 3rd and Franklin Streets. It was built by Jonathan W. Jenkins with the help of early pioneer, John Gale, 2nd great grandfather of Bill Diven. The first male child, Jonathon's son, Lamoile T. Jenkins was born in this house. Jonathon Jenkins was one of the 112 men indicted for the shooting and killing of John and William Driscoll, two of the notorious outlaws who infested the county in 1841, as was John Gale. The home was made of logs as at that time there were no saw mills. This first house was used for many purposes - a residence, a hotel, a boarding house, a public house, a courthouse and a church. It is said that the first sermon ever preached in Oregon was preached in this house by John Baker, a Baptist minister. Next, to the south, is the 1870s Reporter office, Pike Dernier's Rock River Broom Company, where city hall was located at the time with Pike Denier being city clerk, and another broom factory, the Rock River Broom Factory, L. L. Woodville, proprietor. The next building south was C. L. McDowell’s Blacksmith and Horseshoeing Barn.

Across the street to the west was Albert J. Fouch’s Livery Stable and south of that the mid 1840s Rock River House, originally the Moore Hotel, later named the Oregon House, the Black Hawk Hotel and it is now called the Patchwork Inn. Next south on the west side was the photography studio of Charles L. Curtis, a pioneer photographer, who very possibly took the photo.

Ida Matmiller Wade’s father, Jonathon, owned and operated the Sinnissippi Hotel. Jonathon died in 1913 and willed the hotel to Ida. She and her husband, Harry E. Wade (1866-1952) (an Oregon dentist and mayor but not to be confused with his grandson, dentist and mayor, Harry F. Wade) then owned and managed the Sinnissippi Hotel. The hotel passed out of the Wade family’s hands in 1960 and was razed in 1971 despite efforts to preserve it which reached all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Rex Wade (1896-1961), one of Harry E.’s two sons, pops up in the 1976 Bicentennial History of Ogle County as an alleged participant in blowing up one of the two cannons delivered to the foot of Jefferson Street in Oregon for display in front of the courthouse. A group of young men, thinking it would be fun to fire the cannon one last time, blasted pieces around the downtown doing some damage but causing no reported injuries. They later paid for shipping a replacement. However, since records place that event in the 1898-1899 time frame when Rex would have been a toddler, he makes an unlikely suspect.

This original picture postcard is from the William Diven collection.

We have collected locations for graves in several cemeteries in Ogle County. Some on this list are work-in-progress, and...
05/05/2020
GIS Partnership of Ogle County

We have collected locations for graves in several cemeteries in Ogle County. Some on this list are work-in-progress, and some are completed as to this point in time. You can use our website to search for a name and it will show you where they are located in that cemetery.

We have collected locations for graves in several cemeteries in Ogle County. Some on this list are work-in-progress, and some are completed as to this point in time. You can use our website to search for a name and it will show you where they are located in that cemetery.

GIS Partnership of Ogle County
05/05/2020
GIS Partnership of Ogle County

GIS Partnership of Ogle County

If you like looking at maps, here is a work-in-progress of schoolhouses, businesses, cemeteries, churches, etc., in Ogle County. Information is being added regularly depending on time available.

The Story of Oregon, Illinois Sesquicentennial, 1836 - 1986 with its original wrapping for sale by private party for $15...
05/04/2020

The Story of Oregon, Illinois Sesquicentennial, 1836 - 1986 with its original wrapping for sale by private party for $150.00.

Artistic sketches of Oregon, front and back of jacket cover by Jon Spoor.

Please contact The Ogle County Historical Society's page if interested.

Oregon Public School 7th Graders, 1914.
05/04/2020

Oregon Public School 7th Graders, 1914.

Oregon Public School 7th Graders, 1914.

Oregon Public School, Spring, 1899.
05/04/2020

Oregon Public School, Spring, 1899.

Oregon Public School, northeast corner of 5th and Madison Streets, Spring, 1899.

This school was built in 1896, was later called Madison School and was then named Nash School in honor of Ruby Nash who taught 1st grade (mostly at this school) from 1891-1941. One of these teachers is probably Miss Ruby Nash.

This building is now Nash Recreation Center.

Oregon Elementary 2nd Grade Class, 1914. Back row, left to right: Bill Hitchcock, Ganyer, Leonard Auslander, Peebles, Ma...
04/19/2020

Oregon Elementary 2nd Grade Class, 1914.

Back row, left to right: Bill Hitchcock, Ganyer, Leonard Auslander, Peebles, Mary Wilke, Vivian Lizer, Dorothy Hoover, Eva Woodrick, Elizabeth Keiser, _____, Ruth Allen, Margaret Schneilder, Talene Warner, Katie Bliss, _____.

First row standing, left to right: Warren Knodle, Dan Kump, Orville Linney, George Schroeder, Margaret Loan, Bliss, Helen Moore, Leona Merrill, Maud Lowry, Anna May Dale, Grace Rippberger, Helen Mutty, Persie Tilton.

Back row standing, left to right: _____, Don Peebles, Don Bergner, Everett Edelman, Kenny Rummery, Horace Arbogast, ______, Mutty, Art Mumford.

Front row sitting, left to right: Billy Jack, Garner Stevens, Gerry Fearer, Chuck Himes, Don Carr, Harry Hinkle, Bud Burnett, Adolf Opetz, Frank Wilson, Gene Beck, Irvin Huston, Bernard Reilly.

Professor Taylor and teacher, Hazel Stover standing with students.

Oregon High School Graduating Class, 1914.In another notebook from the historical society, the students who were graduat...
04/18/2020

Oregon High School Graduating Class, 1914.

In another notebook from the historical society, the students who were graduates in 1914 are listed as follows. NOTE: This list is NOT the order of the students in the picture.

Maude Cross, Marjory Etnyre, Charles Hay, Etta Mae Henry, Irma Jones, Lawrence Jones, Helen Jacobson, Minnie Mackey, Cornelia Warmolts, Warren Sandage, Olive Stoffregen, Florence Griswold, Clara Howard.

Does anyone have grandparents, great aunts or uncles that graduated in 1914?

The Oregon Women’s Relief Corps proudly presents “Cornzapoppin” under the personal direction of Rose Farha of Kansas Cit...
04/10/2020

The Oregon Women’s Relief Corps proudly presents “Cornzapoppin” under the personal direction of Rose Farha of Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday & Thursday, December 4th and 5th, 1946 at the Oregon Coliseum. For the benefit of the children of disabled and Gold Star World War II veterans.

Front, left to right: Dr. Cannova, Orin Hiscox, Domminick Padulla, Jack Walters, Frank Reid, Clarence Lumsden, Floyd Reed, Gene Miller.

Middle row, left to right: Addie Lumsden, Marie Pettenger, Verda Huffman, Dr. Isbicky, Ken Corcoran.

Back row, left to right: Anna Cannova, Vena Colson, Lucille Lumsden, Winnie Fouch, Wayne Bettner, Rev. Prehn, Roy Van Amburg, Dr. Catey, Earle Barnhart, Bob Lippert, Rose Farha.

The Ogle County Historical Society & Museum
04/06/2020

The Ogle County Historical Society & Museum

Looking east across the 1867 iron bridge, Oregon, Illinois. The photo is labeled January, 30, 1875. At this time, Washington Street was called Bridge Street.

The first bridge to cross the Rock River at Oregon was built in 1852, on piles rather than piers but was swept away by ice in February of 1857. The next bridge was started in 1858 of more "substantial and durable character on stone piers" and was completed in 1859. This bridge remained until 1867 when it was felled by ice. A new iron bridge of the Howe truss pattern was erected on the piers of the old bridge. On Saturday, September 7th, 1867 it was crossed by teams and the ferry was no longer needed. At the time of the writing of the History of Ogle County, Illinois book in April of 1878, this bridge was "in urgent need of extensive repairs and must be rebuilt at no very distant day."

Taken from History of Ogle County, Illinois, H. F. Kett & Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1878, pages 380-384.

https://archive.org/stream/historyofoglecou00kettrich#page/380/mode/1up

Postcard postmarked July 16, 1909 with four young men in front of the Rock River Hotel, originally the Moore Hotel, late...
04/05/2020

Postcard postmarked July 16, 1909 with four young men in front of the Rock River Hotel, originally the Moore Hotel, later the Black Hawk Hotel and now the Patchwork Inn on N. 3rd Street in Oregon.

The scene is looking north on N. 3rd Street where one can see the old (1862) stone church (the Church of God, originally St. Mary’s Catholic Church). When the newly formed Church of God purchased this building for $600.00 in March of 1899 from John Gallagher, it was being used for grain storage. Next south is the 1880s Schiller Piano Factory owned by F. G. Jones. The piano factory started out as the Schaeffer Piano Company and the Schiller started out on the NE corner of 2nd and Washington Street. Later, after a fire, with the dam for power and the rail road spur which helps transfer the pianos to the train depot, F. G. Jones took advantage of this prime location where it produced pianos until 1971. In 1836, the first home was built on the new town plot on the SE corner of 3rd and Franklin Streets. It was built by Jonathan W. Jenkins with the help of early pioneer, John Gale, 2nd great grandfather of Bill Diven. The first male child, Jonathon's son, Lamoile T. Jenkins was born in this house. Jonathon Jenkins was one of the 112 men indicted for the shooting and killing of John and William Driscoll, two of the notorious outlaws who infested the county in 1841. The home was made of logs as at that time there were no saw mills. This first house was used for many purposes - a residence, a hotel, a boarding house, a public house, a courthouse and a church. It is said that the first sermon ever preached in Oregon was preached in this house by John Baker, a Baptist minister. Next, to the south, is the 1870s Reporter office, Pike Dernier's Rock River Broom Company, where city hall was located at the time and Pike Denier, city clerk, and another broom factory, the Rock River Broom Factory, L. L. Woodville, proprietor. The next building south was C. L. McDowell’s Blacksmith and Horseshoeing Barn.

Across the street to the west was Albert J. Fouch’s Livery Stable and south of that the mid 1840s Rock River House, originally the Moore Hotel, later named the Oregon House, the Black Hawk Hotel and it is now called the Patchwork Inn. Next south on the west side was the photography studio of Charles L. Curtis, a pioneer photographer, who very possibly took the photo.

Postcard photo credit to Dave Zeke Zellers

03/27/2020

Please message this page if you could help The Ogle County Historical Society transcribe documents from your home.

Is there anyone who loves to transcribe documents? Do you have a computer with Excel, LibreOffice Calc or OpenOffice Calc? Bored at home with nothing to do? You could be transcribing documents vital to the research at the Ogle County Historical Society! If you are interested, please contact me and I will scan documents and email them to you. You would be helping tremendously! Some of us are trying to do this all by ourselves!

GIS Partnership of Ogle County
03/24/2020
GIS Partnership of Ogle County

GIS Partnership of Ogle County

Emergency Daycare License and Home Daycare Resource Links added! Scroll through to see if you've missed anything previously posted.

03/16/2020

Out of an abundance of caution we have made the difficult decision that the Ogle County Historical Society will be closed to the public effective immediately. We are also canceling our monthly meetings. Please check our website and page for more information as the situation evolves.

Hotel Spoor livery driver, George Twogood at Ganymede Spring at the base of the Eagle's' Nest Bluff north of Oregon alon...
03/15/2020

Hotel Spoor livery driver, George Twogood at Ganymede Spring at the base of the Eagle's' Nest Bluff north of Oregon along the Rock River with businessmen from Chicago, 1890s.

River Road used to hug the Rock River and multiple daily livery rides and steam boats brought people to visit Ganymede Spring as well as Margaret Fuller Island. Both were so dedicated on Friday, September 17, 1880 in a ceremony attended by in excess of 1,500 people including many notables.

The 1918 influenza pandemic lasted from January, 1918 to December, 1920.
03/14/2020

The 1918 influenza pandemic lasted from January, 1918 to December, 1920.

If the Coronavirus is the biggest pandemic for this generation, the Spanish Flu of 1918 was the biggest pandemic of the last century. By the end of the outbreak, there were between 50-100 million deaths. In Illinois, there were more than 300,000 cases, with about 6,000 cases in the Rockford area. Medical doctors were sent from Camp Grant (pictured) to the surrounding areas to help cope with the patient load.

From the Byron Express Newspaper, October 20, 1918: "The county executive committee of the State Council of Defense took an important action...'That in the interest of fuel, light, and labor, all retail mercantile establishments in Ogle County, except hotels, restaurants, drugstores, places of amusement, confectionaries, and garages, are hereby directed to close...this order to be effective on and after October 21, 1918.'"

Bessie and Dick Aschenbrenner with grandchildren, left to right: James Vaughan, Jeanette Wilson-Sexton, Marilyn Wilson S...
03/12/2020

Bessie and Dick Aschenbrenner with grandchildren, left to right: James Vaughan, Jeanette Wilson-Sexton, Marilyn Wilson Sheffer, Valerie Wilson and Carolyn DeZwarte.

Another grandchild, Darlene DeZwarte Currens is being held by her grandmother, Bessie Aschenbrenner. This picture was taken at 1004 S. Fourth Street in Oregon, the home of Millard Wilson and Fern Aschenbrenner Wilson in about 1944.

Photo credit goes to Jeanette Wilson Sexton.

American Experience | PBS
03/03/2020

American Experience | PBS

On March 3, 1913, more than 5,000 suffragists marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. It was the first major national event in the long campaign for women's right to vote. (Photo: The Library of Congress)

Address

111 N 6th St
Oregon, IL
61061-1301

Opening Hours

Wednesday 13:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 12:00

Telephone

(815) 732-7545

Alerts

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Contact The Museum

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Our Story

The Nash Home and Museum opened in 1962. It was the home of the Chester Nash family and was built in 1878 of Midwestern prairie-type architecture; square, with long porches and high ceilings.

Chester's daughter, Miss Ruby Nash, taught school for 50 years from 1891 to 1941. Nash School, now Nash Recreation Center, was named after her. The Nash Home/Museum is furnished with artifacts from all over Ogle County and from the earliest settlers to present day. In addition to the Nash Home we have an annex building which contains more displays as well as our research and office area. Ruby Nash Museum

111 N Sixth Street

Oregon, IL 61061

815 732-7545

Open hours:

Wednesdays 1:00 to 6:00, year round. Thursdays 9:00 a.m. to Noon, year round. Saturdays 1:00 - 4:00 PM May to September. Open also for groups and by appointment for tours and research. Call 815 732 7545 and leave us a message. Someone will return the call as soon as possible. Genealogical research from 1-6 on Wednesdays. For help with research e-mail: [email protected] or send inquiries to: P. O. Box 183 Oregon, Illinois, 61061. Monthly Meetings: Every 4th Monday at 6:30 pm with the exception of August when we have a pot luck dinner for all and December. We welcome volunteers and new members at any level of participation. Donations are also greatly appreciated.

Nearby museums


Comments

I have really enjoyed walking around Oregon while working from home. There are so many fun architecture pieces! I thought it would be fun to have a scavenger hunt. Can anyone tell me where I found this beauty? Play along and post your own pictures and we can try to find them on our walks!
Dale Gilbert would be a POW at the infamous Japanese camp at Cabantuan where 4,000 out of 7,000 prisoners would die from torture, murder and malnutrition before a raid would free the survivors. Rochelle News, February 25, 1943. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raid_at_Cabanatuan https://www.facebook.com/RochelleFlaggTownshipMuseum/photos/a.1090179917788002/1600019040137418/?type=3&av=273005526172116&eav=AfZFR9gjKdaWnqQ6pZQ7g0PHqF16-DIFwq-mAoDV5Ux3VsQnA-x3vFp7Z4dW4ERcjlw&theater
General Sam Whiteside final resting place Hunter Cemetery near Mt.Auburn Illinois.
Hello! I am looking for any descendants of the Mullen (or Hicks) family still living in Ogle County. My friend, Dave, believes there may be some descendants of brothers James/Jim, b. 1811 and Samuel Mullen, b. 1816 still in the area. Please respond, if there are and if they are interested in the family history. Thank you!
Pulled these out of the basement tonight for Christmas decorating. Old set of sleigh bells from my great great grandfather August Henry Zumdahl from Mt Morris given to me by my grandma Lois Scheffler. Not sure but the 15 may mean 1915? Very glad we can pull these out to listen to them and remember our family heritage in Ogle county. Happy holidays everyone! Martha Speakes Don Scheffler
I was just wondering if anyone had any old pics of Paynes Point buildings or businesses from way back when?
found in old book
Browse Ogle County history: http:historyoglecounty.info
Local bikers outside the Reporter Office, approximately 1920?
Book done by grandson, Jeremy B Strang, 2018