Gerald White
Gerald White

The next meeting of the McDonough County Historical Society will be Monday, March 11, 2019, at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the Spoon River Community College Outreach Center, 2500 East Jackson Street, Macomb, IL. Our program will be provided by Gerald White. He will be speaking about an archaeological dig at his family farm on the Lamoine River. Native Americans lived in this area many years ago. We encourage members to bring guests to our meeting and program.

Victoria Smith
Victoria Smith
Kent Slater
Kent Slater

Mon. Mar. 12, 2018

The McDonough County Historical Society meeting

7pm at Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, Jackson Street, Macomb

Speakers for the meeting: Kent Slater- State Representative 1984 to 1988 and Appellate Court Judge 1988 to 2006


Victoria Smith- Harvard Law School graduate and Faculty member in the Political Science Department, WIU

Title of presentation: Macomb’s Outstanding Legal Tradition


The next McDonough County Historical Society meeting will be

Sept. 12, 2016 at 7pm.

at the Western Illinois Museum, 201 South Lafayette St., Macomb 

The speaker will be Nancy Jameson, 

Administrator of Everly House Retirement Center of Macomb.

Ms. Jameson will speak about the

"History of the Everly Family and Rebecca Everly's contribution to Macomb"

The next McDonough County Historical Society meeting will be this coming Monday, May 9,

in MidAmerica Conference Room B at the Spoon River College Outreach Center on East Jackson Street.


From 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. we will have a members only potluck. 


Beginning at 7:00 p.m. there will be a short business meeting.


After that, Nancy and Ray Krey will present a program entitled

"Forever Young - Mary Ewing - Never Met a Stranger - Treasured Every Friend."

Longtime friends of Mary, Ray and Nancy came to know much about her Bailey ancestry stretching back to pioneer days in Macomb and her deep sense of connection to the family summer getaway at Sequanota, Charlevoix, Michigan.

For this special end of season meeting they will share their knowledge and memories regarding Mary with us by means of words and images and a link to a Sequanota website. The meeting should be an exceptionally nice one, so please plan to attend.


March 14, 2016

May 9, 2016

Sept. 12, 2016

Nov. 14, 2016


see the McDonough County Historical Society website for more details:

Next meeting of the McDonough County Historical Society will be on Mon. Jan. 11

at 7:00pm 

at the Western Illinois Museum

at 201 S. Lafayette St., Macomb IL.

The program speaker will be Dr. Simon Cordery, Chair of WIU History Dept.

He will speak 


"McDonough County Railroads, Yesterday and Today".


Dr. Cordery has just published a book: The Iron Road in the Prairie State: The Story of Illinois Railroading.

McDonough County Historical Society Meeting

Public invited

Nov. 9 2015

7pm at Spoon River College Outreach Center

2500 East Jackson St., Macomb 


Historian John Hallwas has written many outstanding books about McDonough County, and we invite you to attend the introduction of his latest published volume, On Community.  Since Dr. Hallwas is known for his thorough research and riveting presentations, this evening promises to be both fascinating and entertaining.  At the meeting, autographed copies of On Community will be offered together with Society Memberships at a special discounted price. 

We encourage you to bring friends to our 7:00 pm meeting on Monday, November 9th, at the Spoon River College Outreach Center that is located at 2500 East Jackson Street in Macomb.

Also, the date for membership renewal is approaching and the meeting on November 9th is a good time to renew.

All McDonough County Historical Society members and ANYONE interested are invited to attend the October meeting of the

McDonough County Genealogical Society meeting.

The McDonough County Genealogical Society meeting will be on

Oct. 19 at 7:00 pm.

The speaker will be William Daniel Wilson,

Speaking on “Old Forts and Block Houses of the Early Illinois".

The location is the Western Illinois Museum, 201 S. Lafayette St.,

Macomb, IL 61455.
William Daniel Wilson of Albers, Illinois, received

the Illinois State Historical Society's 
"Lifetime Achievement" award at the 2015 Annual Awards Ceremony,

held April 25 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Monday, May 18, 2015 

The McDonough County Genealogical Society


the McDonough County Historical Society

will hold their first joint meeting.

At 6pm both groups are invited to attend a potluck in Conference Room B

of the Spoon River Community Outreach Center on East Jackson Street.  

Please bring table service and a dish to share.

At 7:00 p.m.,

Historical Society member and Genealogical Society president Allen Nemec

will present a program entitled

“Original Town of Macomb Pre-1870 Homes,

illustrated with a PowerPoint presentation.

An authority on local historic homes and author of Macomb Homes with Names: A Look into Macomb, Illinois’ Historic Homes, Their Past Inhabitants and a View of them Today, Allen will talk about the early residents of each of these homes and their contributions to early Macomb.

In addition, former Mayor Tom Carper will provide timely updates on Macomb’s train service situation in a talk entitled

“Amtrak in Illinois 1971-Present: What About Tomorrow?”

and will welcome questions afterward. 

After the program, the two societies will hold individual business meetings.

Colchester Area Historical Society will meet Tues. April 21, 2015 at 7 P.M. 

at Colchester City Hall Community Room at Friendway Park. 

West Prairie Supt. Jonathan Heerboth will present “Two Hundred Years of Technology in School”. 

All interested individuals are invited to attend.

Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You | edX

McDonough County Genealogical Society



Next meeting will be:


Lisa Louise Cook, guest speaker

webinar via the Illinois State Genealogical Society

"Secrets from Google Earth"


 March 16, 2015

 7:00 pm

  at Western Illinois Museum


Colchester Area Historical Society Meeting

The next meeting of Colchester Area Historical Society will be Tues. March 17, 2015 at 7 P.M. at Colchester City Hall Community Room located in Friendway Park.  The program will be “Show and Tell of Historical Items”.  We do not meet in Dec., Jan. or Feb.


of the McDonough County Historical Society 


Monday, January 12, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., members of the McDonough County Historical Society will meet at the Senior Citizens Room at the YMCA on Calhoun Street.


After a brief business meeting, former Mayor Anstine will introduce Shannon Duncan, our Community Development Coordinator.

Ms. Duncan will define the term

“Certified Local Government”

and explain what it means for Macomb, in regard to establishing partnerships with state and federal agencies to support and further local historic preservation activities.

Mayor Michael Inman will follow Ms. Duncan with a talk entitled

“The Plans for the Macomb Downtown Revitalization Project.”

The meeting should be an especially exciting and informative one.

On June 28, at 2:00, as part of this year's Heritage Days event, focused on "Macomb's Military Heritage," there will be a re-enactment of a typical 19th-century Decoration Day ceremony in Oakwood Cemetery. Titled "The Memory Shall be Ours," the script was created by John Hallwas, based on 19th-century GAR manuals and local newspaper accounts of those Civil War remembrance ceremonies. The re-enactment will feature the Macomb Band, under the direction of Michael Fansler, which will play a variety of Civil War songs. Also, the 114th Regiment, reactivated, a noted Civil War soldier re-enactment group from Springfield, will be performing the roles once filled generations ago by local Civil War veterans: posting the flag, speaking about soldiers, and decorating selected soldier graves. In the 19th century, this was Macomb's largest participatory event, which often drew several thousand people to Oakwood Cemetery. The re-enactment will be filmed by WIU Television, with director Roger Kent in charge of the taping, editing, and creation of the film. It is planned to make this re-enactment available on local TV, especially during the Memorial Day holiday each spring. The re-enactment, which is largely a Civil War music concert, is free to the public on the Saturday of Heritage Days.

Dr. Richard Barbuto
Dr. Richard Barbuto

Western Illinois Museum

to host a

Lecture on the

War of 1812

With Dr. Richard Barbuto

Saturday, June 28 at 11:30 am


The Western Illinois Museum, in partnership with the Heritage Days Committee, is pleased to host Dr. Richard Barbuto who will present, “The Battle of Plattsburgh.”  The lecture will be on Saturday, June 28, at 11:30 am, following the Heritage Day Parade, and will be held at the Western Illinois Museum.  The event is free and open to the public.


Dr. Barbuto is a recognized scholar and speaker on the War of 1812.  The talk will explore two of the war’s heroes, General Alexander Macomb and Commodore Thomas McDonough. Both generals left a legacy of clever military strategy that fostered pride in our young country as they fought what was often called the second war of independence with Britain.  General Alexander Macomb and his men were recognized with a Congressional Gold Medal in 1814 for their “gallantry and good conduct, in defeating the enemy at Plattsburg.”  With the bicentennial of the Battle of Plattsburgh approaching, the program offers a rare opportunity to hear an accomplished historian speak about events that set in motion the development of West Central Illinois.


Richard Barbuto is professor and deputy director of the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, and a twenty-three year veteran of the U.S. Army. He was awarded a doctorate in American history from the University of Kansas in 1996. He has authored a number of articles on the War of 1812, as well as the publication, Niagara 1814: America Invades Canada.


The program has been organized by the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Heritage Days Committee.  The Western Illinois Museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s historic Courthouse Square.  For more information, contact the museum at 309.837.2750 or  


Cemetery Symbols and Tombstone History Discussion

University Libraries will be hosting Greg Phelps, "Dead Men's
Tales: Cemetery Symbols and Tombstone History Discussion" on
Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 180 of Leslie F. Malpass

Many Americans visit cemeteries to honor loved ones on Memorial
Day.  Have you ever wondered what the symbols on the tombstones
really mean?  What is the story behind the angel, acronym, or
symbol?  Greg Phelps, a Library Specialist with University
Libraries and President of Scott's Cemetery Association, will
discuss many of the common symbols people see in cemeteries
plus a look at tombstone history.  Attendees will also learn how
to make a tombstone rubbing!  This lecture was presented in the
fall semester 2013 and due to patron interest will be presented
again with some new information added.

This event is free and open to the public.  Any questions,
contact Tammy Sayles at

The Western Illinois Museum

to hold annual

Ice Cream Tasting Festival

Saturday, June 21, 2014 


The Western Illinois Museum will celebrate the first day of summer with its annual Ice Cream Tasting Festival.  The event will hosted by The Old Dairy located at 210 South Lafayette Street on Saturday, June 21 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.  Tickets are $7 and are on sale at the museum.  Blue Bunny Ice Cream has donated 12 flavors for the event and all proceeds will benefit the museum’s exhibit and educational programs.


The museum, which is located across the street from The Old Dairy, will be open during the event and local collector, George Wanamaker, will display his antique ice cream machines, scoops, and other items related to the history of ice cream making. While these artifacts will reveal the changes in how ice cream is made and served, the taste remains one of America’s favorite summer treats.


Tickets for the event are available at the Western Illinois Museum.  With the $7.00 ticket, guests can sample all twelve flavors and enjoy the perfect start to summer!


The Western Illinois Museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square.  For more information, contact the Western Illinois Museum at 309.837.2750 or