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.

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.

Members of the Mix, Sears, McKenney and Gale families and their friends on what was called Elm Isle or McKenney Island (...
07/06/2019

Members of the Mix, Sears, McKenney and Gale families and their friends on what was called Elm Isle or McKenney Island (today called the Railroad Island) south of the Oregon Bridge, 1895.

Camping in Monroe Center, Illinois in 1890.Left to right: Lillian Gifford, Bert Tyler, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. and Hattie...
07/06/2019

Camping in Monroe Center, Illinois in 1890.

Left to right: Lillian Gifford, Bert Tyler, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. and Hattie Elizabeth [Lee, Gifford] Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Heller and Ollie, Mr. and Mrs Andrew Main and Elias. Andrew Main was the blacksmith in Monroe Center.

4th of July in Rochelle about 1890!
07/04/2019

4th of July in Rochelle about 1890!

Happy Fourth of July from Rochelle looking West on Cherry Avenue about 1890.

The road north of Oregon that would later become Route #2, about 1915. The Black Hawk Statue can be seen on the right wh...
06/29/2019

The road north of Oregon that would later become Route #2, about 1915. The Black Hawk Statue can be seen on the right which was dedicated July 1, 1911.

Restoration and transformation of the Black Hawk Statue will begin the week of July 8th at long last. Won’t that be wonderful to see him every single day and night?

https://archive.org/details/loradotaftsindia00heck/page/n11

A rare photograph taken from the Eagle’s Nest Bluff looking Northwest toward the Elmyr Laughlin farm and creamery. Wha...
06/29/2019

A rare photograph taken from the Eagle’s Nest Bluff looking Northwest toward the Elmyr Laughlin farm and creamery. What would later be Route #2 (then known as the Blackhawk Trail) ran to the west of Elmyr Laughlin’s large estate behind the silo.

Laughlin had a large dairy herd which was very progressive in its operation. He brought his herdsman, John Gavin, who was an experienced dairyman from Germany. He was also interested in truck farming and about 1915 had 20-acres of onions between the Laughlin home and the silo. This later became the Silo Restaurant, an antique’s store and is now a restaurant and bar called Sledgehammer’s.

Today Route 2 meanders through what would have been the onion patch. Before Route 2, the road made a right angle turn north on the west side of the silo, coming out where the highway enters the “narrows,” the portion of the road along the river from this point to Mud Creek Road.

Laughlin’s large estate later became Oregon Bible College, Maxon’s Manor and is today called Maxon’s.

Information from The Story of Oregon, Illinois Sesquicentennial, 1836-1986.

A Rock River scene painted by Leon Makielski (1885-1974) in 1907 or 1908 while he was an Eagle's Nest Art Colony member....
06/17/2019

A Rock River scene painted by Leon Makielski (1885-1974) in 1907 or 1908 while he was an Eagle's Nest Art Colony member.

When the new Carnegie Library was just completed in the fall of 1908, Leon Makielski was asked to have an exhibition and sale of his artworks, most of which were completed during that summer and fall when he lived at the Eagle's Nest Artists' Colony. That was when work had first begun on the sculpting of Lorado Taft's Eternal Indian (Black Hawk) Statue. What an exciting time that must have been. On the first day of his one man show Judge Cartwright and Florence Pullman Lowden bought one of his paintings. The Oregon Women's Council also purchased one of his paintings for the future art gallery, which wouldn't open for another 10 years. He had had an exhibition of his art at the home of Judge and Mrs. Cartwright the previous fall. He returned to the Oregon Public Library Art Gallery October 13th to the 18th in 1913. He exhibited six of his paintings that he'd completed in Europe. He exhibited with others from the art colony including, Lorado Taft, students of Ralph Clarkson, sketch artist, Ralph M. Pearson, Kathleen Beverley Robinson and Albert H. Schmidt. He returned to Oregon in the 1960s and donated another Rock River scene to the art gallery's collection.

Mr. Makielski went on to instruct at the University of Michigan after having been recommended by the Chicago Art Institute. While there, he won foreign travel scholarships for four consecutive years to study art in Europe as The Art Institute of Chicago's most promising student. He went on to become a renowned portraitist and his commissions included Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Robert Frost (1874-1968). The portrait of Robert Frost is displayed in the University of Michigan's Graduate Library.

The Oregon Public Library is hosting a coffee reception in the art gallery to welcome and meet four of the member's of Leon Makielski's family this Friday from 9:30-11:30. The Ogle County Historical Society would like to invite you to come meet his family and learn more about this artist's amazing life.

http://oregonpubliclibrary.com/art-gallery/

A portrait of Eleanor O'Keefe Kleis of Ann Arbor, Michigan painted by Eagle's Nest Art Colony member, Leon Makielski (18...
06/17/2019

A portrait of Eleanor O'Keefe Kleis of Ann Arbor, Michigan painted by Eagle's Nest Art Colony member, Leon Makielski (1885-1974). This is one of three paintings the Oregon Public Library has in the art gallery that were completed by this prolific artist. The family of Eleanor O'Keefe Kleis donated the portrait of her to the art gallery in 2011.

When the new Carnegie Library was just completed in the fall of 1908, Leon Makielski was asked to have an exhibition and sale of his artworks, most of which were completed during that summer and fall when he lived at the Eagle's Nest Artists' Colony. That was when work had first begun on the sculpting of Lorado Taft's Eternal Indian (Black Hawk) Statue. What an exciting time that must have been. On the first day of his one man show Judge Cartwright and Florence Pullman Lowden bought one of his paintings. The Oregon Women's Council also purchased one of his paintings for the future art gallery, which wouldn't open for another 10 years. He had had an exhibition of his art at the home of Judge and Mrs. Cartwright the previous fall. He returned to the Oregon Public Library Art Gallery October 13th to the 18th in 1913. He exhibited six of his paintings that he'd completed in Europe. He exhibited with others from the art colony including, Lorado Taft, students of Ralph Clarkson, sketch artist, Ralph M. Pearson, Kathleen Beverley Robinson and Albert H. Schmidt. He returned to Oregon in the 1960s and donated another Rock River scene to the art gallery's collection.

Mr. Makielski went on to instruct at the University of Michigan after having been recommended by the Chicago Art Institute. While there, he won foreign travel scholarships for four consecutive years to study art in Europe as The Art Institute of Chicago's most promising student. He went on to become a renowned portraitist and his commissions included Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Robert Frost (1874-1968). The portrait of Robert Frost is displayed in the University of Michigan's Graduate Library.

The Oregon Public Library is hosting a coffee reception in the art gallery to welcome and meet four of the member's of Leon Makielski's family this Friday from 9:30-11:30. The Ogle County Historical Society would like to invite you to come meet his family and learn more about this artist's amazing life.

http://oregonpubliclibrary.com/art-gallery/

One hundred years ago today, June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and ...
06/04/2019

One hundred years ago today, June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives had voted 304-89 and the Senate 56-25 in favor of the amendment. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920 granting women the right to vote.

Photo from The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing, LC-DIG-hec-12221.

https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/076_vfw.html?fbclid=IwAR12aQXFJcR5nJC4KxzSJWb7zlNHp0zyRPCBu_ZM2spklQX9FGotXsrgXwY

One hundred years ago today, June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and ...
06/04/2019

One hundred years ago today, June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives had voted 304-89 and the Senate 56-25 in favor of the amendment. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920 granting women the right to vote.

Photo from The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing, LC-DIG-hec-12221.

https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/076_vfw.html

Today in History: U.S. Congress approves 19th Amendment for women's suffrage, 1919 https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/june-04/?loclr=fbloc

06/02/2019

The Ruby Nash Museum and Historical Society is open from 1:00-4:00 today. I can't seem to fix the Facebook hours.

Oregon High School Orchestra, 1912. The Oregon Public School, built in 1896 was on the SW corner of Madison and 5th Stre...
05/31/2019

Oregon High School Orchestra, 1912. The Oregon Public School, built in 1896 was on the SW corner of Madison and 5th Street. This served as the high school until a new high school was built on 10th Street and Madison. That school was opened in the fall of 1937 and continues to serve the Oregon Community 82 years later.

Camping on Margaret Fuller's Island in 1899From left: Mr. Matmiller, Harry Wade, Ida (Matmiller) Wade, Lilian (Gifford) ...
05/30/2019

Camping on Margaret Fuller's Island in 1899

From left: Mr. Matmiller, Harry Wade, Ida (Matmiller) Wade, Lilian (Gifford) Sears and husband, Joe Sears are on either side of attorney Joseph Sears, who is standing with the staff. Mr. McKinney next to Sears. Julia (McKinney) Gale, her husband Charles Gale and daughter Martha. Lady telling fortunes is Mrs Mix.

Lady having fortune told is Bessie McKinney. Next to her is her brother, Dick McKinney, Little Ada Gale, daughter of the Gales, is lying on the rug.

Lawnridge Cemetery in Rochelle, Illinois, Memorial Day, 2018. The Floyd J. Tilton VFW Post #3878 sees that their large A...
05/27/2019

Lawnridge Cemetery in Rochelle, Illinois, Memorial Day, 2018. The Floyd J. Tilton VFW Post #3878 sees that their large American Flags are displayed every year for Memorial Day.

Photo credit: Jennifer Albright. .

From the Diven  Family Collection, Memorial Day Parade on N. 4th Street, Oregon, 1947 or 1948. Pictured are Bill Diven's...
05/27/2019

From the Diven Family Collection, Memorial Day Parade on N. 4th Street, Oregon, 1947 or 1948. Pictured are Bill Diven's mother, Martha Betty Putnam Diven and Patricia Hilger, later Mrs. John Franklin, troop leaders.

Photo credit: Bill Diven.

Memorial Day Parade, May, 1961 on N. 5th Street, Oregon, near Roger Bruner's Standard Station about to march east onto W...
05/27/2019

Memorial Day Parade, May, 1961 on N. 5th Street, Oregon, near Roger Bruner's Standard Station about to march east onto Washington Street.

Memorial Day Parade, May, 1955 on N. 5th Street near Roger Bruner's Standard Station and about to march east on Washingt...
05/27/2019

Memorial Day Parade, May, 1955 on N. 5th Street near Roger Bruner's Standard Station and about to march east on Washington Street.

Photo credit: Craig Carpenter.

Memorial Day Parade on N. 5th Street near Roger Bruner's Standard Station and about to march east on Washington Street, ...
05/27/2019

Memorial Day Parade on N. 5th Street near Roger Bruner's Standard Station and about to march east on Washington Street, May, 1955.

Photo credit: Craig Carpenter.

Tribute to the fallen of all wars, Memorial Day in Oregon at the corner of Franklin and N. 4th Streets near the Oregon C...
05/25/2019

Tribute to the fallen of all wars, Memorial Day in Oregon at the corner of Franklin and N. 4th Streets near the Oregon Coliseum, 1947.

Memorial Day Service at the Riverside Cemetery on N. 3rd Street in Oregon, year unknown. Sue Kuhn Hackl's dad,  Robert K...
05/25/2019

Memorial Day Service at the Riverside Cemetery on N. 3rd Street in Oregon, year unknown. Sue Kuhn Hackl's dad, Robert Kuhn can be seen on the right. Elwood Leary Mott has identified Norman Nelson on the far left and maybe Lee Ossmann, 3rd from the right.

Who else do you recognize?

Memorial Day Parades and Services
05/25/2019

Memorial Day Parades and Services

7th and 8th graders at Union School, 7th and Franklin Streets in Oregon, 1880. First row, left to right: Frank Foot, Jen...
05/23/2019

7th and 8th graders at Union School, 7th and Franklin Streets in Oregon, 1880.

First row, left to right: Frank Foot, Jennie Adams, Sadie Burright Stinson, Lizzie Farrell March, Mamie Beck, Effie Stout, Mamie Light, Bessie Peek.

2nd row, left to right: Miss Veazle, Emma Campbell, Mamie Schultz, Frank Crowell, Katie Schultz, Ross Beck, Charlie Mix, Bella Campbell, Leonard Miller, Professor Wadsworth.

3rd row, left to right: Sam Etnyre, Bert Gilbert, George Stevens, Lizzie McDonald, Lizzie Clover, Clara Thayer, Mamie Nohe, Nellie Seyster.

Oregon High School class of 1954. Front row, left to right: Doris Buchem, Mary Messer, Margaret Buchem, Elaine Suter, Ma...
05/14/2019

Oregon High School class of 1954.

Front row, left to right: Doris Buchem, Mary Messer, Margaret Buchem, Elaine Suter, Marietta Walker, Letha Huffman, Marilyn Hodges, Rebecca Camplain, Beverly Pumfrey, Shirley Ziegler, Patricia Jones, Nancy Chamberlin, Barbara Carpenter, Louis Reimer.

Second row, left to right: Shirley Brown, Robert Rees, Eleanor Humphreys, Betty Glosser, Robert Stroh, Jack Simpson, Jill Ingraham, Phyllis Anderson, Donald Morehouse, Shirley Tilton, Bonnie Kearns, Elaine Lapp, Karlyn Whetsel.

Third row, left to right: Sabra Stouffer, Joan Hepfer, Jack Smith, Clyde Stremke, Mary Anderson, Gerry Webb, Edward Bowers, Harold Hay, James Mitchell, Charles Slagle, Donald Davis, Raymond Bettner, Levon Spratt, Jacquelyn Leddy.

Fourth row, left to right: Ronald Slex, Gerald Sauer, Donald Johnston, James Kuntzelman, Thomas Elliott, Arlen Wilson, Richard Dick, Richard Smith, James Thomas, Richard Johnson, John Bechtold, Robert Lacher, Gerald Young, Phyllis Wiles.

Graduates not in the picture are: Margaret Messer, Lloyd and Shirley Gann.

Photo courtesy of Oregon Community High School Photography Club.

Does anyone know of the Wilber family of Polo, Illinois?
05/13/2019

Does anyone know of the Wilber family of Polo, Illinois?

Angoline Wilber
Died at 72
Mother of J.P. Wilber
Polo, IL

Byron Museum of History and Lucius Read House
05/09/2019

Byron Museum of History and Lucius Read House

At the next weekly Round Table session Thursday, May 16 at 10:00 AM Mary Rose Fillip will give a brief presentation about W.A.S.P. Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol
On April 3, 1940, the women of the Rockford area founded W.A.S.P. Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol, within months this effort swept nationwide & was the first women’s ambulance program in the country.

World War, II veteran, Stanley Joworski from Oregon, Illinois, about 1944.
05/05/2019

World War, II veteran, Stanley Joworski from Oregon, Illinois, about 1944.

Oregon High School female archers, 1940s. Identity of the archers is unknown. Can anyone help?
04/30/2019

Oregon High School female archers, 1940s. Identity of the archers is unknown. Can anyone help?

Oregon High School Select Chorus, spring, 1969. Picture from the Little Blackhawk yearbook, 1969.
04/30/2019

Oregon High School Select Chorus, spring, 1969. Picture from the Little Blackhawk yearbook, 1969.

Though this is labeled the Brooklyn School in Rockvale Township, it has been brought to my attention that it has been mi...
04/28/2019

Though this is labeled the Brooklyn School in Rockvale Township, it has been brought to my attention that it has been mislabeled. The location of the Brooklyn school was on the east side of River Road and 0.3 miles north of East Spring Creek Road but it was not the school that is pictured. I will be posting an old picture of the Brooklyn school that is now a home occupied by Phil Young and his wife for the last 23 years.

Information taken from Leonard Jacobs booklet called Little Markers, For Ogle County One Room Schools, May, 1990. We have more of these booklets available for sale at The Ogle County Historical Society.

http://www.oglecountyhistoricalsociety.com/?fbclid=IwAR3y_s6cTAvRV9G4m3vQaAvlUXE8cxCGYWVbHzKZYzoRrvUJ5-DF3Oj06tc

A Whitcomb 50-ton Switching locomotive (Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1) in Rochelle, Illinois at the Railroad Park, April 22, 2014...
04/24/2019

A Whitcomb 50-ton Switching locomotive (Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1) in Rochelle, Illinois at the Railroad Park, April 22, 2014. Photo credit to Bubba Harmon of Bubba's Garage.

"The Rochelle Railroad Park is situated in the eastern side of a diamond crossing between the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) mainlines. It is one of only a few places in the US where two double tracks cross each other at grade to form four “diamonds.” It is a very busy spot for train watchers with up to 120 trains passing in a 24 hour period. There is a nice pavilion to shield you from the elements as well as listen to the train chatter from the trains which is broadcast over speakers. There is also "hobo art" hung in the rafters. A Whitcomb 50-ton Switching locomotive (Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1) is here on display as well. Rochelle was home to Whitcomb Locomotive which made more than 5000 locomotives from 1907-1952."

http://blog.bubbasgarage.com/2014/04/traveling-lincoln-highway-day-5.html?fbclid=IwAR2GgvTDnvt7ThnJvLrn1xhRyws0D3eN52n7lOe5K6_15Og07cuozZkNk7k

04/16/2019

Back in the day, social news was in every local paper. Here are some items from the May 20, 1898 Monroe Center News:
From Davis Junction:
Miss Mae Ward of Rockford visited at the home of Marie Bagley last Sunday.

Miss Florence Kennish came home from Rockford to visit her parents for a short time.

Mr. Hopkins went to Oregon Wednesday.

Miss Bessie File who has been confined to her home on account of sickness is again able to resume her school duties at Holcomb.

Mrs. S.S. File visited at the home of her sister in Monroe, Wednesday.

Mrs. Gould at Rockford called on friends here last Saturday.

Will Spink came home from Rockford Thursday morning to view the remains of the cyclone.

Mr. Hoffman and Mrs. Harmon of Aurora visited at the home of Mr. A.G. Bagley the past week. Mr. Hoffman, assisted by his son from Woodstock, disposed of most of their household goods Thursday.

A cyclone passed about two miles north of here last evening demolishing the homes of James Foster and Frank Rumelhart and damaging a barn belonging to Mr. Pope.

Any familiar names in this news?

Address

111 N 6th St
Oregon, IL
61061-1301

Opening Hours

Wednesday 13:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 12:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(815) 732-7545

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Ogle 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 The Ogle County Historical Society:

Category

Nearby museums


Other History Museums in Oregon

Show All