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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy

School News

State Normal University - From a dispatch in the Chicago Tribune and Bloomington Pantagraph, we learn that Bloomington has been selected as the location of the State Normal University, the vote was unanimous. Bloomington offered $95,000 in cash and 45,000 in real estate, make a total of $140,000, a magnificent subscription. We do not know whether the outlay will be justified for the advantages derived from its location, though there is one thing certain, liberality of Bloomington has placed the State in a position to try the system thoroughly. If the Institution does not succeed, it will not be for want of men; for the means in the hands of the Committee is greater than any similar Institution has in the West. See proceedings in another place.

State Normal School - Peoria, May 7

The Board met at the city of Peoria, on Thursday, at 3 o’clock P.M. and was called to order by the President. The Board proceeded to open and examine the various proposals made for the location of the Universtiy. It was found upon examination that four propositions had been made from the following places: Batavia, Washington, Bloomington and Peoria.

The village Washington, Tazewell Co., offered in cash, land and buildings the sum of twenty thousand dollars.
The city of Batavia offered in cash, land and buildings estimated at forty-five thousand dollars.
The city and county of Peoria offered cash and land estimated to be worth eighty thousand dollars.
The city of Bloomington and county of McLean offered cash and land valued at one hundred forty-one thousand dollars.

Mr. Sloan offered the following resolution.

Resolved, - That the Normal University be located in the county of McLean near Bloomington, on the one hundred and sixty acres of land which is to be granted for the construction and sue of said University, provided, however that the said location shall not be made until the full amount of the appropriation in the manner in which the same is proposed is fully and safely secured by the execution and delivery of all necessary deeds of conveyance and all other papers which may be required to secure the said appropriation for the construction and use of said University as aforesaid.

Mr. Lovey offered the following amendment which was adopted.

Provided that if within sixty days the conditions of this resolution be not complied with, then the said Normal University shall be located in Peoria.

Mr. Sloan’s resolution was then unanimously adopted.

On motion, the Board then adjourned to 8 o’clock P.M.

Evening Session, 8 P.M.

The Board convened pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Rex offered the following resolution which was adopted.

Resolved – that an executive committee of four be appointed to attend employing counsel and having the necessary papers executed to secure to this Board the subscriptions and Land proffered by the citizens of McLean county, and attend to such other business as the Board shall direct.

The Chair appointed the following gentlemen upon the committee: Messrs Rex, Wright, Moulton and Wilkins.

On motion, Messrs Edwards, L’ovey and Powell were added to the committee.

On motion the Board proceeded to the election of Treasurer.

On motion J. E. McClun, Esq. of Bloomington was unanimously elected.

Mr. Wilkins, on motion was added to the building committee.

On motion Mr. Bouson was added to the committee on course of study and text books.

On motion Mr. Uden was added to the committee on officers.

Mr. Rex moved that when this Board adjourn, it adjourn to meet at Bloomington on the 23d of June next.

On motion Mr. Stuart of Springfied, was elected as the attorney to advise with the executive committee in the preparation of the necessary papers etc.

On motion, Messrs Rex and Hovey were appointed a committee to visit the various normal and high schools of the east and report to the board upon the subject, of buildings internal arrangements.

On motion, the secretary was authorized to procure a seal and record book for the use of this board.

On motion, the board adjourned.

N. W. Edwards, Pres’t

W. H. Powell, Secretary

[Illinois State Chronicle (Decatur, Illinois) May 14 1857 - Submitted by: Nancy Piper]

Illinois Wesleyan University:
 The commencement exercises of the Department of Letters and Sciences of the Illinois Wesleyan University were held at Bloomington Thursday. The resignation of President Adams, offered because of ill health, was not accepted, but an indefinite leave of absence was granted. [Source: "Daily Inter Ocean"(Chicago, IL.) Friday, June 17, 1887; transcribed by GT Transcription Team]

McLean County (Illinois) Teachers - Special to The Republic - Bloomington, Ill., May 2 -- The Teachers’Association of McLean County was in session here two days, ending this forenoon. Two hundred teachers were present. A very interesting and valuable paper was read by Professor B. F. Colton of the State Normal University. He discussed “Science and co-relation of drawing in grades.” He advocated the teaching of nature from living objects, whenever possible. Other papers were: “Principles and Duties.” by Superintendent Van Petten of Bloomington and J. R. Simer of Danvers; “Reading.” Helen Price of Bloomington; “School Government.” by Dr. Hewett, ex-president of the State Normal University; “Arithmetic.” Professor David Felmley of the State Normal; “Course of studies and libraries.” County Superintendent Shawhan of Champaign. Last night an address on “Pedagogy” was delivered by Professor Arnold Tompkins of the University of Illinois. [1896 May 3 - St. Louis Republic]


April 25, 1939. There was little leaning on shovels at Illinois Wesleyan university when students and faculty abandoned classes to participate in Campus Cleanup day. This is the first time that students and faculty have taken a day off to work on the campus since 1932, when the whole school painted the fence around Wilder field.
[25 Apr 1989 - Compiled by Phyllis Liston - The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois]


Lexington Class of ‘38 catches up on the past - Twelve members from Lexington High School’s class of 1938 met together June 11 to hash over old times and catch up on the past 50 years. Gathering at the high school’s learning center for the fiftieth high school reunion were Jake Bauman, Pontiac; Dale Brown, Bloomington; Gladys Coyle Jones, Elliot; Donald Elder, Lexington; Jane Guthrie Freeburg, Morton; Elizabeth Halane Spirduso, Streator; Delbert Jones, Lexington; Edna Meyer Willhite, Iowa; Martha Miles Brown, Bloomington; Keith Siron, Morris; Geraldine Haworth Coffman, Bloomington; and Bernadine Leach Moncelle, Bloomington. Of the 25 graduating class members, four are deceased. They are Frank Claggett, Jr., Ray McCowan, John H. Pritt and Ora M. Wick. Also attending the reunion were former coach and principal Harris Dean, Tampa, Florida and former home economics and physical education teacher Marie Gantzert, Dwight. Following their reunion at the learning center, the group traveled to The Elms in El Paso for dinner. [7 Jul 1988 - The Lexington Unit Journal, Lexington, Illinois]


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