Growing up 'different' in St. Charles
By JUDY REINERT
Kane County Chronicle
ST. CHARLES — Yvonne Almo, an artist following in her father William Luckett's steps, can trace her family's arrival in St. Charles to the 19th century
"Grandma Joanna Garner Came to St. Charles in 1865 from Halifax County, Va., through Missouri," Almo says softly, every word articulated to perfection. "They probably would have gone on, but the Civil War was over."
And, they were no longer slaves.
"They found the town (St. Charles) friendly," she said, "so they stayed working in agriculture acquiring property."
Luckett was trained as an artist at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Almo said. When Almo was a girl, she recalls that her father did 'a lot of restoration work. He was commissioned by antique dealers and stores such as Marshall Field's to restore fine antiques.
The Lucketts were respected and left alone. However, they are remembered as part of the city's history. Almo's parents are painted into a mural in the reception area of the St. Charles Municipal Building. The artist, Thomas Mahady, captured them formally posed on their wedding day from one of Almo's family photos.
Almo, an only child, did not associate with white children when she was a youngster. Being the only child at school of African-American heritage, she was different. And she was aware of it.
Bob Gerrard — Chronicle photo staff
Yvonne Almo, pictured at home with one of her contemporary works, takes after her father, William Luckett, an artist whose family settled in St. Charles in 1865.
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