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Central Illinois Perspective
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Peoria Progress

iBi: Welcome to 2011!

Happy New Year...We hope that you and your families had a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to a great year in 2011!
iBi ushers in the new year with a look back atPeoria-area history. From distilleries and breweries to earthmoving and manufacturing, the history of the region is a series of one fascinating tale after another.
Read on for a sampling of some of the articles in this special issue for January...

Made In Peoria: The Birth of Industry
by Jerry Klein
If one might be permitted to amend the remark by Calvin Coolidge which goes, “The business of America is business,” it might read, “The business of Peoria is making things.” For about the time that President Coolidge made that observation, it was claimed that 900 items bore the title, “Made in Peoria.”
Six Degrees of Murray Baker
by Jan Wright, Publisher
As we worked on this issue, one thing in particular stood out to me: all of the loose threads that weave these stories together.
Chillicothe, Tom Callahan and J.C. Penney
by Gary Fyke, Chillicothe Historical Society
When I first heard that James Cash Penney had come to open a store in Chillicothe, I became curious. I learned that Penney had somehow been involved in business with a man from Chillicothe, Thomas M. Callahan, out in Colorado. And the details I found tell the story of Chillicothe, Thomas Callahan and J.C. Penney.
R.G. LeTourneau: God’s Businessman
by Norman V. Kelly
This mover of men and mountains was a prolific inventor and engineering genius in the tradition of Robert Fulton, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Taking Care of Business for 100 Years
by The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
In 1911, a group of businesspeople with a strong faith in community came together to form the Peoria Association of Commerce. A chamber of commerce stands for many things: attracting new business, helping existing businesses develop and working to build a strong local economy. But it starts with civic pride.
The Ideal Alum: Ronald Reagan and Eureka College
by Dr. Brian Sajko, Eureka College
It may sound like hyperbole to state that never was a U.S. president so intimately bound with his college, but in the case of Ronald Wilson Reagan and Eureka College, there can be no overstatement.
Before It Became Museum Square: The History of the “Sears Block”
by Marilyn Leyland, Peoria Historical Society
The site has a long history, including 12,000 years of Native American settlement in the Illinois Valley.
Fort Clark Constructed at Peoria in 1813
by Mark L. Johnson, Peoria Historical Society
Just over 200 years ago, the small village at Lake Pimiteoui was adjusting to life as a part of the new nation of the United States.
Women Answer the Call in Wartime
by Amy Chovan
The needs and opportunities of the World War II era led to a surge of women entering the workforce for the first time.
Lessons from Lincoln
by Emily H. Wilburn, VanFleet Law Offices
Lincoln’s career path provides insight into the business climate of his day.
A History Built Brick By Brick
by Keith Steffen, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
The historical roots of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center date back to the 19th century.
90 Years of Business Ethics, Integrity and Self-Regulation
by Jessica Tharp, Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois
Since 1920, the business community in central Illinois has steadfastly supported ethics, integrity and self-regulation in the marketplace.
Really, Really Exciting Real Estate Development!
by Jim Bateman
What if you had a lottery and everybody who bought a ticket won a big prize? In 1902, that was a premise of the developers of The Uplands.
Preservation Stories: It’s Not Just About the Objects
by Robert L. Killion, Peoria Historical Society
We are surrounded by a myriad of relics of the past. But what makes something worth preserving?
The Women of Peoria Women’s Club
by Dehlia Ruggles
The Peoria Women’s Club was established in 1886 by some amazing local women who were doing important work in the community.
Peoria’s Civil War Heroes
by Brian “Fox” Ellis, Prairie Folklore Theatre
Here are a few of Peoria’s Civil War heroes who have been portrayed in the annual Springdale Cemetery Tour.
On Special Collections: A Conversation with Charles Frey, Bradley University
The Special Collections Center at Bradley University houses archival materials and other resources that require special management.
Carnegie Legacy is Alive and Well in Peoria
by Edward J. Barry Jr., Farnsworth Group
For 40 years, Andrew Carnegie funded the establishment of free-access public libraries throughout America.
Ever-Changing Peoria High
by Dr. Peter J. Couri
Looking back at the history of Peoria High School helps us understand why it has been saved.
Q&A with Bud Grieves: Mark Twain Hotel & Packard Plaza
Grieves purchased the present-day Mark Twain Hotel in 1990 and the adjacent Packard Plaza the following year.

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