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The Illinois State Historical Society Officers

President: David W. Scott, Springfield
President Pro Tem: Marvin W. Ehlers, Deerfield
Treasurer: Arthur M. Martin, Chicago


Directors, Terms Expire in 2004
Norman C. Berger, Chicago
Timothy Draper, Sugar Grove
Mark Sorensen, Decatur
Patricia J. Walton, Hanover Park
John Weck, Sycamore

Directors, Terms Expire in 2005
Leah J. Axelrod, Chicago
Herbert Channick, Rockford
Redd Griffin, Oak Park
Russell Lewis, Chicago
John Power, Jacksonville

Directors, Terms Expire in 2006
Larry Douglas, Belknap
Stuart Fliege, Springfield
Lawrence McBride, Bloomington
Ellsworth Mills, II, Highland Park

Tom Teague, Executive Director
William Furry, Assistant Director
Mary Lou Johnsrud, Office Manager

            Advisory Board 2003-2004
Michael J. Bakalis, Chicago
Terry Barnhart, Charleston
Michael C. Batinski, Carbondale
Charles Burgess, Bethalto
James Coble, Springfield
Janet Cornelius, Penfield
Mary "Happy" Dean, Peoria
Elaine Egdorf, Homewood
Wolf D. Fuhrig, Jacksonville
D. Bradford Hunt, Chicago
Thomas O. Kay, Wheaton
Jack Kinton, North Aurora
Lindell Loveless, Gillespie
William Malottke, McLeansboro
Micheal Newton-Matza, Oak Park
Jason Peters, Kinderhook
Ted Wachholz, Arlington Heights
Joan Willenborg, Effingham
Warren Winston, Pittsfield
Randall Witter, Springfield
Christopher Young, Jacksonville

            Living Past Presidents
Alexander Summers, San Diego, CA
Robert M. Sutton, Urbana
Gunnar Benson, Sterling
Donald F. Tingley, Savoy
Victor Hicken, Macomb
Katie Fiene Birchler, Chester
Samuel Lilly, Downers Grove
David J. Maurer, Charleston
Wilma Lund, Springfield
Patricia Wallace-Christian, Durham, CT
Mark A. Plummer, Normal
John T. Trutter, Northfield
E. Duane Elbert, Forrest
Raymond E. Hauser, St. Charles
Patricia Grimmer, Carbondale
John Power, Jacksonville
Robert J. Klaus, Chicago
Michael J. McNerney, Carbondale
Robert McColley, Urbana
Barbara M. Posadas, DeKalb
Rand Burnette, Jacksonville

Illinois Heritage
A Publication of The Illinois State Historical Society
March-April 2004                                                              Volume 7 Number 2


3     President's message

4     Letters

4     News

In Brief

27   New members

28   From the archives


6     End of the steamboat era in Jackson County

7     Praise on the prairie: the dark poetry of the Missouri Harmony

9     Beer on the frontier: The brewery at Wanborough

10   A matinee to remember: The Iroquois
theater fire of 1903, including experiences of a young girl who survived

14   Illinois' first lady of history: An interview
with Kathryn Harris, Director of Library Services for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

18    Statewise: Origins for Illinois county names

22    Savage Justice: Law and order in the Northwest Territory

To Our Readers:

Who owns history? That question was asked by Eric Foner in his 2002 book Who Owns History: Rethinking the Past in a Changing World. It is hardly a rhetorical question. History has as much to do with what we do individually and collectively today as what our ancestors and leaders did a century or more ago. And how we interpret and teach history says a great deal about the strength of our communities, state, and nation. "History isn't history unless it is true, a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, might seem an oversimplification to those who see history only in shades ol gray. But as the fog of public memory lifts and the facts get recorded and reported, history and truth do emerge. The American revolutionaries of 1776, the advocates for women's suffrage in 1918, the sit-in protesters for Civil Rights at it Independence Hall in 1965 all helped change the course of American history, and our collective understanding of what it means to lie a part of it.

As you read this issue of Illinois Heritage, we invite you to reflect on the wealth of our state's recorded history, from the founding of the Northwest Territory to the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Our interview with Kathryn Harris, Director of Library Services for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library reminds us that segregation and the institutions that upheld it are still a part of our recent memory. In Frank Norbury's story about the Iroquois Theater fire ot 1903, we recall that history leaves scars and changes lives, but that the human spirit is indomitable. In David Brady's expedition to the Northwest Territory, we learn that justice on the Illinois frontier was a luxury and seldom just. In "Statewise," we rediscover the history of our county names and the roots of an antique patriarchal heritage.

Who owns history? Those who keep and tell our stories to future generations. As members of the Illinois State Historical Society, your passion for history and truth will change lives. May you take your charge seriously and to the trenches.

William Furry

2 | Illinois Heritage

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