January 2019 Membership Meeting Held

The Williamson County Historical Society held its first quarterly membership meeting on January 27th at the museum in Marion. Completed and ongoing projects were discussed. Among them were the completion of indexing and reorganizing the 5 x 8 index cards related to the 1917-18 Woman’s Committee of National Defense and the addition of Williamson County Coal Mine Deaths and the 1850 through 1880 Mortality schedules to our online indexes.

Six new horizontal files were added to the museum in December enabling us to properly store large aerial photos, prints, maps and drawings. The file cabinets were much needed and long awaited and were donated to the museum via General Dynamics and was arranged by Michael Spinks.

Two new displays were created on the second floor of the museum by Curator Sharon Vansaghi. The displays house artifacts donated to the museum in November by the Warder Street Baptist Church which ceased operation in October 2018. In addition to numerous artifacts from the church we were also gifted the church records, photos and a $5,000 donation.

A rural school bell used at Chamness School was donated by Robert E. Chamness and was used by this grandfather when he taught at the school.

The first historical marker for the county sanctioned by the Illinois Historical Society is scheduled to be installed at Creal Springs sometime this coming spring and will mark the location and history of the Creal Springs College and Seminary.

Renovation of our display jail cell at the museum continues and will likely take some time to complete.

Our guest speaker was Circuit Judge John W. Sanders who spoke to the group about the structure of our county circuit court system and also discussed his genealogical connections to Williamson County. One of Judge Sander’s grandfathers was Willis T. Harris, past sheriff of Williamson County and his great grandfather served under John A. Logan in the Illinois 31st Regiment during the Civil War.

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