Archives and Local History Blog

Decoration Day

It was native Illinoisan General John A. Logan, a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)* founder and leader, who declared May 30th (1868) as "Memorial Day" and championed the cause as a national holiday.

International Women's Day

Today is also the centennial of International Woman's Day.   On March 8  (February 23 on the Julian calendar) working women and housewives protested bread shortages peacefully in the Russian capital, Petrograd (Saint Petersburg, Russia) In Highland Park, ...

Did You Know?

Walter E. Durbahn, a long time teacher in Highland Park began a vocational program in the 1920's, where the students actually built homes in the community. This was part of a national movement across the country. For this reason, the high school won first prize in the Better Homes in America national contest in 1931. Mr. Durbahn received an invitation to the White House for the Better Homes in America conference later that same year. 

One hundred years and one day

of women voting in Illinois --on a limited ballot.  

This iconic photograph by Orson Brand captures his 91-year-old mother Mary Salome Brand (née Ott)* at the polls, November 7, 1916. 

As the 1916 presidential election approached, Highland Park clubwomen prepared.  

In their own words:

(Ossoli Club President) "Mrs. Beardsly urged the necessity of registration..."  Ossoli Club, records.  Minutes, October 10, 1916.