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Molly Crusen Bishop: From County Kilkenny, Ireland to Peoria

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mollylogoBelow is the Peoria Star Monday May 7th, 1923 obituary for my Great Aunt Maggie

Mrs. Margaret Nolan Caffyn

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Griffith Dickison, true pioneer

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mollylogoGriffith Dickison was one of Peoria area’s earliest settlers. He was born to farmers in Indiana on Nov. 27, 1811. His education was the real world and real life, and whatever minimal schooling was available...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Flanagan House is oldest standing home in Peoria

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The Flanagan house located at 942 N. E.  Glen Oak Avenue is the oldest standing home in the city of Peoria. It was given this honor on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is an American Federal style home.

mollylogoIn 1837, the Flanagan house...

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Who was R. G. LeTourneau?

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laternouAll of us remember our first jobs and the thrill of earning our own money. I bet you also hold in your fond memory your first ‘real job.’  Mine was 1950 when I went to work for the R.G. LeTourneau Company right here in Peoria, Illinois.

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Molly Crusen Bishop: The Heneberys were important in local history

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mollylogoMathew and Mary Daniels Henebery were extraordinary citizens in Peoria’s history.

Mathew and Mary Daniels were both born in Ireland in 1834 and they helped make up the wealth and whiskey...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Pioneers and Log Cabins

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mollylogoThe census of 1810 said the Illinois territory had a population of around 12,000 people. At the time Illinois was an undeveloped land with the indigenous people and a few French and other immigrant settlers.

Illinois had a very harsh climate with limited resources and supplies for folks relocating...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Barker had a Midas touch

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I grew up on Barker Avenue on Peoria’s West Bluff. I often wondered as a young girl if my street had been named after the television game show host Bob Barker, and found this quite odd. There wasn’t anything taught or known about his namesake street in my world growing up.

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Holidays with the Greenhuts

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“It can be said of Mr. Greenhut, more than any other one man that he has made Peoria commercially, for he has been connected with practically every business movement and enterprise of importance here.”

mollylogoThe above is a direct quote from the book History of...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: The Shelton Gang history, as told by a Shelton

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mollylogoI first met Ruthie Shelton last fall at the North Branch of the Peoria Public Library, where she was speaking to a room filled to the brim with people. She was speaking about a book she’d written about her father Carl Shelton, of the infamous Shelton Gang....

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Trefzger's legacy lives on

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mollylogoOne sunny October morning in 2016, in Peoria Heights, I was walking along Prospect Road delivering newsletters for Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation to all of the unique shops and establishments. I decided to stop by the newly renovated Trefzger’s Bakery, the work done by the incredibly talented Farnsworth Group, to take a...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: The GAR Hall is a downtown historical gem

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The Greenhut Memorial GAR Hall is located at 416 Hamilton Boulevard in Peoria. I attended Spalding High School in downtown...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: From where her hopes spring eternal

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mollylogoMy memories of neighbors on the West Bluff are vast and still can bring forth sweet emotions from the days of yesteryear. The first distinct one takes place early in the mornings on weekends with Mr. Van Norman playing his bagpipes and pacing from one end of his large front porch to the other. His handlebar...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Elizabeth Lindsay Davis an overlooked treasure

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mollylogoElizabeth Lindsay Davis is one of Peoria’s overlooked treasures. Elizabeth was an African American woman born before the Civil War who used her brilliant mind to educate, write and fight for rights for other African Americans as well as for the women’s suffrage cause.

Pre-civil...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Thomas Harris Lindsay was a Peoria pioneer

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mollylogoThomas Harris Lindsay was born in McConnelsburg, Pennsylvania, in August of 1830, and later became one of Peoria’s first black citizens. His obituary says he came to Peoria when he was only a boy of 7 years old.

Peoria had a population around 1,400...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Annie Turnbo Malone, early entrepreneur

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mollylogoOne of the most brilliant minds to ever come out of Peoria, Illinois was Annie Turnbo Malone. Separated from slavery by a single generation and a graduate of Peoria High School, she was one of the first African American women to attain the official status as millionaire.

Annie...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: East Bluff folks work to help others

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mollylogoThere are many people in Peoria who never travel through the older neighborhoods and could literally live here for decades and never see what large sections of Peoria have going on.

We hear things on the news and then we complain about crime or poverty,...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: When Ingersoll spoke, people listened

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mollylogoRobert Green Ingersoll was one of the most popular speakers in the latter half of the 19th century. He lived in Peoria around the time of the Civil War....

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Molly Crusen Bishop: The importance of Ward Chapel A.M.E. to Peoria history

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mollylogoThere is a church called Ward Chapel A.M.E. at 511 Richard Allen Drive in Peoria, Illinois. It is there African Americans in Peoria first began to get an education.

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Woodruff got things done despite controversy

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Editor’s note: E.N. Woodruff was one of Peoria’s best known mayors during the last century. Columnist Molly Crusen Bishop used various sources to piece together this biography so our readers could get to know him better.

mollylogoEdward Nelson Woodruff was born Feb. 2,...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Whiskey Baron event to benefit local history

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mollylogoOne thing we all have in common in Peoria is being its citizens and sharing the rich history that comes with it. No matter where someone lives in Peoria, we all have a hand in taking care of our city and passing on a legacy of pride and preservation...

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Molly Crusen Bishop: Fond memories of Corn Stock; proud of its diversity

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The tall, green,mollylogo curly slide standing tall amidst the trees is my first memory of upper Bradley Park. The next is around age 5, losing one of my cool new Buster Brown shoes with the shark tooth attached on the thick brown shoe string in the sandbox.  I ran around in my cute Garanimals searching for that shoe.  I never did find...

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