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Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield

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  1. 353rd Fighter Group's 1983 Reunion - Interviews and Memoir
    Anderson, Roy R. Briggs, Charles W., Jr. Burlingame, Gordon Cabanne, William C. Canipelli, Joseph Cope, James C. Graham, Charles Harbin, William R. Jordan, William J. Kipfer, Charles W. Martorella, Michael J. Reinhardt, Douglas Seignemartin, Clara Spicer, Hiram Streit, William F. Waggoner, Horace Q. Wheeler, Harman Wurtzler, Charles F. The narrators, members of the United States Army Air Force's 353rd Fighter Group (largely from the 350th, 351st, 352nd Fighter Squadrons) discuss their WWII wartime experiences: operations and bases in England, missions, day-to-day life, personalities, celebrations, waiting on the flight line at the air base, and the end of the war. Also included is an account of Clara Seignemartin's wartime experiences as an army nurse.

  2. "Recollections on Old Springfield" - Bunn, Willard Jr. ("Bunch"), Graham, Hugh, Springer, Lloyd, Trutter, Philip - Memoirs
    Bunn, Willard Jr. ("Bunch"), b. 1913 Graham, Hugh (1910-1994) Springer, Lloyd, b. 1922 Trutter, Philip, (1913-2000) This memoir is a transcript of a program held at the Springfield Art Association on January 23, 1993. Bunn, a banker, Graham, a lawyer, and Springer and Trutter, architects, discuss the histories of Springfield architectural landmarks, including the Springfield Art Association, the Lincoln home, the Dana-Thomas house, the Old State Capitol, various churches, and downtown theaters including the Orpheum. The narrators also recall street cars and trolleys, railroad passenger service, early automobiles and hard roads, the John Hay Homes, Washington Park and other city parks, Oak Ridge Cemetery, and notable fires at the Armory and the Dome Building at the fairgrounds.

  3. Aarup, John C. - Interview and Memoir
    Aarup, long-time resident of Springfield, recalls his work at Lincoln Garden between 1950 and 1971. He discusses his work on the park's rock garden, bridges, and benches. He also discusses his work with the Girl Scouts, damage caused by vandals, co-workers Mrs. Knudson and Mrs. Gaule, and his hopes for future changes in the garden.

  4. Adams, J. Fred - Interview and Memoir
    Adams, Rotary Club member since 1959, discusses Rotary Club members, induction ceremonies, and club meetings at the St. Nicholas Hotel and Elks Club, as well as group activities and field trips.

  5. Ahlberg, Merle - Interview and Memoir
    Ahlberg, a resident of Taylorville, Illinois during the mine wars of the early 1930's, recalls his family's experiences with the PMA and UMW, working conditions in the mines, mining techniques, and his training of women miners in the 1970's. He also discusses strikes, the differences between the union today and in the 30's, and John L. Lewis.

  6. Aikman, Herbert (Bert) - Interview and Memoir
    Aikman discusses his experiences in Macoupin and Montgomery Counties, Illinois; childhood and farmlife, one room school education, homemade foods and remedies, his family's log cabin in Hornsby, children's games, hunting, family recreation, and Christmas celebrations. He recalls his first automobile and early transportation, building the Illinois Central Railroad, paving Route 66 and local roads, and electric trolleys. He also recalls businesses in Raymond, Illinois, travelling entertainers and speakers in Litchfield, and the towns of Honeybend, Morrisonville, Farmersville, and Waggoner. He also discusses farming: hazards, pests, crops, livestock, soil types, field tiling, fences, fertilizers, weather, planting and harvesting, cooperation between neighbors, and superstitions. He recalls employment as a railroad telegraph operator and ticket man and the impact of the railroad on the community, hazards, train wrecks, mail delivery, traffic to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and experiences with railroad people and passengers.

  7. Albright, Carl H. - Interview and Memoir
    Albright, retired Air Force Lt. Col., discusses his career in the Air Force, aviation cadet training, European assignments and missions during WWII; return to U.S., discharge, and return to college; reenlistment, and assignment as a nuclear chemist; and retirement. He also discusses growing up during the Depression in Springfield and attending Feitshans High School.

  8. Alexander, John - Interview and Memoir
    Alexander served as a delegate to Illinois's 1970 Constitutional Convention representing the 52nd district. He discusses his work as a delegate and his feelings regarding public support for the convention. He also recalls the opening of the convention, the election of officers, and convention politics. He describes his duties, committees, chairmanships, Chicago and downstate partisan politics, lobbyists, and public hearings. He mentions Gov. Ogilvie and Paul Simon.

  9. Allerton, John Gregg - Interview and Memoir
    John Gregg Allerton, adopted son of Robert Allerton, an art collector, discusses meeting Allerton at the University of Illinois, his adoption, acquisition of art pieces and statues, home life, landscaping of formal gardens, parties, and distinguished guests. He also discusses the Allerton estate at Monticello, Illinois, the Allerton library, and his friendship with Adlai Stevenson II.

  10. Allison,"'Duke" Vern - Interview and Memoir
    Allison, coal miner, recalls working conditions, hazards, pay, and relations between co-workers in Christian County, Illinois. He also discusses work done at the mine, reaction to the Progressive Miners movement, mechanization, and the problems of unemployment and obtaining insurance.

  11. Anderson, Howard Phineas - Interview and Memoir
    Howard Anderson discusses his great-grandfather, a Revolutionary War veteran, and his father's education and career as teacher and county superintendent of schools. He also discusses his own experiences teaching in small rural schools around Virginia, Illinois, including changes in school curricula, attitudes toward education, school activities, and discipline.

  12. Anderson, Lowell E. - Interview and Memoir
    Lowell Anderson discusses the restoration of the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield during Governor Ogilvie's administration. He recalls the condition of the mansion, contents of the attic, termite problems, and structural changes that had been made to the roof and staircase. He discusses the process of restoration, selection of architects, craftsmen, and furniture, the Executive Mansion Association, project funding, and the construction of the rear addition to the building.

  13. Anderson, Yeatman - Interview and Memoir
    Yeatman Anderson recalls his work as a deputy inspector with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, river boats, dam construction at New Richmond, Ohio and problems prior to the dam's construction. He also discusses towboat experiences, supervising a dredge crew, and conditions for crew members on packetboats.

  14. Anker, Dorothy - Interview and Memoir
    Anker, retired owner of a Springfield photo studio, recalls her life in Germany prior to WWII, conditions for Jewish people in the 30's, memories of Crystal Night, and the effects of Nazi government policies on her family and their business. She also discusses her training in photography prior to the war, emigration to England and to America, arrival in Springfield, operation of a photo studio, and involvement in the Springfield community.

  15. Armbrust, Wilda Hayden - Interview and Memoir
    Armbrust recalls her childhood on a farm near Petersburg in Menard Co., Illinois, grade school at Indian Point, butchering, and food preparation. She also discusses nurses training at Deaconess School of Nursing in Lincoln, Illinois, classmates, working at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, her career as a private and hospital nurse, experiences working at a printshop, and recuperation from two broken hips.

  16. Armitage, Katherine - Interview and Memoir
    Armitage, charter member of Sangamon State University library faculty, recalls her interview and hiring, impressions of the university, library staff, curriculum committee, and the opening of the university. She also discusses the temporary library in the Osco building and the early circulation policy.

  17. Arnold, John - Interview and Memoir
    Arnold, a "Marine Against the War," discusses the development of his political and social beliefs and his decision to enlist in the Marines to learn the truth about the Vietnamese Conflict and organize anti-war sentiment from within the military. He describes training experiences, treatment of recruits, involvement with a military underground paper, lack of training and supplies for troops being sent into war, living conditions at An Hoe Combat Base in Vietnam, and the military's treatment of the Vietnamese. He retells his tour of duty and reflects on life after military service, his work for the War Resisters League and Vietnam Vets Against the War, the treatment of veterans, destroying his military medals in protest, and the lasting effects of the war on veterans.

  18. Artis, Orville - Interview and Memoir
    Artis, long-time African American resident of Springfield, discusses his family history, growing up on a farm near Buffalo, and attending a one room school house. He recalls his move to Springfield, conditions for black residents, black businesses, and neighbors. He describes Chicago race riots and conditions after the 1908 Springfield race riots. He discusses his work as an AFL union counselor for building service employees, a contractor laying linoleum, and tax assessor. He discusses race prejudices and discrimination, relations with white neighbors, racial stereotypes, and impressions on the progress of black civil rights.

  19. Ault, James - Interview and Memoir
    Ault, riverboat musician, recalls his experiences as a musician on board riverboats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers: music and songs performed, bands and musicians, working conditions, and the cargo transported on the boats.

  20. Baker, J. Harold "Bud" - Memoir
    Baker, a lifelong resident of Waggoner, Illinois, discusses changes which have taken place in the community, farm technology, and transportation. He recalls businesses, electrification, and social activities in Waggoner. He also discusses railroad service, stockyards and grain elevators near the tracks, depot activity, and local lumberyards and trucking services. He discusses farming in the 20's and 30's, planting, harvesting, threshing, fertilizers, pest control, crop storage, farm implements, livestock, butchering, and canning. He discusses cooperation between farmers, farming hazards, "well witching," road improvements, the Ku Klux Klan, and neighbors who served in WWI.

  21. Banton, Albert - Interview and Memoir
    Banton, National Park Service Superintendent at the Abraham Lincoln Home in Springfield, discusses his work in creating the Lincoln Home National Historic Site as well as his interest in the Park Service.

  22. Baptist, Marty - Interview and Memoir
    Baptist, a member of the Springfield Rotary Club since 1970, recalls his reasons for joining, induction ceremony, social activities, fundraisers, and fellow members.

  23. Barber, Henry - Interview and Memoir
    Henry Barber, a member of the Springfield Rotary Club since 1947, recalls international and fund-raising activities, his involvement with the Board of Directors, his service as president, changes in the Rotary, and the club's impact on the community.

  24. Barnes, Russell - Interview and Memoir
    Russell Barnes, former patient aide at the Jacksonville (Illinois) State Hospital, discusses changes in treatment and public attitudes toward mental illness. He recalls working conditions, daily tasks, and relations between supervisors and co-workers. He also discusses patients' living conditions, recreation, meals, and therapy. He also discusses the hospital's tuberculosis cottages, underground tunnels, gymnasium, gardens, carousel, and miniature golf course.

  25. Barringer, Floyd - Interview and Memoir
    Dr. Barringer, neurosurgeon and historian, discusses experiences as a doctor; early years in Emden, Illinois; his father, a country doctor; education in Lincoln, Illinois and at the University of Illinois; medical training in Chicago; his work as a volunteer for the "Doctors for Britain Project"; conditions in England during WWII; training for neurosurgery; and returning to practice in Springfield following the war. He discusses changes in health care over the years and the qualities of good doctors. He also discusses his interest in history: his involvement with the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Sangamon County Historical Society; the restoration of the Governor's Mansion, Elijah Iles House, Freeman-Hughes House, and the Dana Thomas House; and his books: Historic Homes of Springfield, Oak Ridge Cemetery, and Historic Tour of Springfield; papers and research projects: The History of Memorial Medical Center, Florence Nightingale, and The Spring Creek Anthology.

  26. Bartscht, Hurshel - Interview and Memoir
    Hurshel Bartscht, member of Springfield's First Congregational Church, discusses the rebuilding the church after it was destroyed by fire in 1956; support from the Springfield religious community; services in Temple B'rith Sholom; groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church; and his thoughts on service to the church.

  27. Bartscht, Ruth - Interview and Memoir
    Ruth Bartscht, member of Springfield's First Congregational Church, discusses church events, women's fellowship activities, the church choir, fund-raisers, church fire in 1956, rebuilding process, support from the religious community, and the groundbreaking of the new church at Bates and Cherry Streets.

  28. Batson, Bob (Robert) - Interview and Memoir
    Batson, a consultant in Public Administration, discusses the process by which Sangamon State University was formed in 1968-1970, the ideas which influenced its conception, the hiring of the first faculty, difficulties in the recruiting process and implementation of plans, concerns regarding cronyism and nepotism, and the opening of the university in 1970.

  29. Battuello, Jack #1 - Interview and Memoir
    Battuello, coal miner, discusses his participation in the Progressive Miners of America, its activities and leaders, and helping to write its constitu-tion; also working conditions in Illinois coal mines of the 1930's, union activities, black lung disease, and the Mulkeytown march. He also discusses living conditions for miners, community response to miners, union leadership, women's support, and violent protests.

  30. Baumhardt, Walter - Interview and Memoir
    Baumhardt, German-American, discusses attitudes toward Germans during WWII while in the Army, and the treatment he received because of his parentage. He also discusses his experiences as a translator for German prisoners of war, and visits to Germany after the war.

  31. Baxter, Ivan - Interview and Memoir
    Baxter discusses pioneer families who settled in the Sangamon Valley in Cass County, Illinois.

  32. Beatty, John - Interview and Memoir
    John Beatty describes river life: growing up on the Ohio River; steamboats; people who made their living on the water; salvaging logs on the Big Sandy River; lumber mills; saloons in Catlettsburg, Kentucky; and running whiskey during prohibition. He also recalls riverboat collisions, wrecks, and the salvaging operations involved. Also discusses diving to salvage scrap iron, operating a crane, running a tow boat and scrap derrick, and working for the marine underwriters Neare Gibbs & Co. as a marine surveyor.

  33. Beatty, W. C. - Interview and Memoir
    W.C. Beatty recalls boats, captains, and various river men who made their living on the Big Sandy and Little Kanawha Rivers in the early 20th century. He discusses logging, lumber mill business, signals used by boatmen, equipment on boats, construction of coal barges, iron works at Ironton, Ohio, river hazards, and his river occupations.

  34. Becker, Helen - Interview and Memoir
    Becker recalls early 20th century life in Springfield: her family and home life; education at Sacred Heart Academy and the Bettie Stuart Institute; funerals; childhood games; neighborhoods; and volunteer activities. She also mentions the homefront during WWI and WWII, the 1908 race riot, and Springfield entertainments.

  35. Bedford, Virginia - Interview and Memoir
    Bedford, an employee of the Pleasant Plains school lunch program, discusses the operation of the school cafeteria, ordering food, menu planning, and working conditions for employees.

  36. Bell, Mary - Interview and Memoir
    Mary Bell discusses her early family life as the child of Japanese immigrants in Seattle, Washington; growing up in an international community; education at both American and Japanese schools; Japanese customs; her family's visit to Japan in the mid 1930's; and her father's illness which required them to stay in Japan during WWII. She also describes her home life in Japan; temple customs; Buddhist funerals; holidays; education at a Canadian Missionary School; feelings about WWII; wartime conditions in Japan; government control of war news and information; rationing; fire bombing of Tokyo; and the occupying American soldiers and General MacArthur. She also discusses her courtship and marriage to Charles Bell, an American soldier stationed in Japan following the war, her return to America, arrival in Springfield and employment with Horace Mann.

  37. Bellaver, John - Interview and Memoir
    Bellaver, coal miner, discusses his experiences working in Illinois coal mines: hazardous working conditions, changes brought by mechanization, the United Mine Workers Union and Progressive Miners of America, Mulkeytown march, and shootings in Taylorville and Springfield. He also talks about his family history, his father's immigration from Italy, relations between different ethnic groups, mining communities, and family support. Also discusses bootlegging and organized crime in Christian County during the 1930's.

  38. Benedict, Ann - Interview and Memoir
    Ann Benedict, wife of Donald Benedict, discusses the development of her personal ideology; teaching experiences; family background; views on feminism, civil rights, and social issues; sexist attitudes in society; women ministers; her involvement in the women's movement; ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois through the Religious Coalition for the ERA (RCERA); and her involvement with the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.

  39. Benedict, Donald - Interview and Memoir
    Donald Benedict, socialist and pacifist, husband of Ann Benedict, discusses his studies at Albion College and Union Seminary; socialism and pacifism; living in Harlem, New York in the 1940's; experiences with racism and coal mine unions in the south; his arrest for refusing to register for the WWII draft; and events which eventually convinced him to enlist in 1945. Also discusses his efforts to promote racial equality; combating police brutality and violence encountered during protests; the 1943 race riots in Detroit; establishment of East Harlem Protestant Parish Group Ministry and West Side Parish in Cleveland, Ohio; service as executive director of the Community Renewal Society of Chicago; and as a clergy member of the United Church of Christ.

  40. Bennett, Dr. Basil - Interview and Memoir
    Dr. Bennett, resident of Shawneetown, Illinois since 1916, recalls the location of buildings in the town, the bank's interior, his duties working for the state as a veterinary surgeon, and experiences during the 1937 Ohio River flood.

  41. Benson, Leon - Interview and Memoir
    Benson, a railroad worker for the Chicago, Burlington, Quincy and Santa Fe railroads in Galesburg, Illinois, discusses changes in railroad technology, work, and travel; railroad structures, engines, and personnel; methods of communication between engineers, crew members, and depots; transportation of grain and livestock; working and living conditions for section gangs; railroad strikes; Galesburg businesses using the railroad; conditions on passenger coaches; mail delivery; and his experiences on the Rock Island-Southern Railroad.

  42. Bertetti, Frank - Interview and Memoir
    Frank Bertetti, a Superior Coal Company employee in Benld, Illinois, discusses the mine wars, United Mine Workers, Progressive Miners, and his participation in the Mulkeytown march. He discusses the ambush of PMA members on the Mulkeytown march, sit-down strikes, treatment of dissenters, the role of the mines and unions in the community, impact and resistance to competing unions, and working conditions at the mines. He discusses his later work as superintendent of schools and discusses his thoughts on education, communism, and political economy.

  43. Bettag, Otto - Interview and Memoir
    Dr. Bettag, former Director of the Illinois Department of Public Welfare, discusses his medical training and experiences combating tuberculosis; experiences at Cincinnati General Hospital and the Veterans' Administration at Hines, Illinois; and as chief surgeon at Whitehaven Sanitorium in Pennsylvania, treating tuberculosis patients and miners with "black lung" disease. He discusses treating tuberculosis at the Pontiac prison; his tenure as the first state tuberculosis medical official and as tuberculosis control officer of Chicago; term as Director of the Depart-ment of Public Welfare, relationship with Governor Stratton; organization of state services through the Department of Public Welfare; and changes in the treatment of patients at psychiatric institutions. He discusses allegations of fraud in the Welfare Department; Governor Stratton's trial for income tax evasion; and the use of drugs in the treatment of mental illness. Articles written about and by Bettag are interspersed throghout.

  44. Bettinghaus, George - Interview and Memoir
    Bettinghaus, an employee of the Springfield Marine Bank discusses banking during the 1920's, the Depression and WWII; changes which have occurred in the profession, personnel, banking equipment and practices; working conditions, bank location, organization of departments, branch banking, the American Institute of Banking at Springfield College, the 1951 Marine Bank Centennial Celebration, and the closing of the Ridgely-Farmers National Bank in 1932.

  45. Beyer, Dorothy H. Wolf - Interview and Memoir
    Beyer, proprietor of one of the first nursery schools in Chicago, discusses her childhood, education, and married life with regard to her divergence from tradi-tional female roles. She relates family history, childhood in Garnett, Kansas; entertainment, social life and education in the early 1900's; electricity in the home, and her first automobile. She also discusses the Depression, WWI and WWII, her life in Chicago, her trip around the world, and reflects on the lives of her children and her reluctance to adhere to prescribed female behavior.

  46. Bird, Fred - Interview and Memoir
    Bird, press secretary for Governor Ogilvie, 1969-1973, discusses his role in the administration; the role of the press; and Governor Ogilvie and his administration. He also discusses the reporters covering the Ogilvie administration; department heads; administrative techniques; office and staff relations; steering the governor through controversial issues; mistakes that were made; impact of the Kent State shootings on Illinois campuses; the 1968 Democratic Convention; and 1969 budget concerns.

  47. Blackburn, Don - Interview and Memoir
    Blackburn, a member of the Rotary Club for 48 years, discusses changes in the organization, activities and service to the community, experiences with Rotary Club International, fund raising activities, and vocational guidance for young people.

  48. Bliss, Robert R. - Interview and Memoir
    Bliss, long-time editor of the Montgomery County News, recalls changes in downtown Hillsboro, Illinois, in the 20th century. He recalls his work as a paperboy, beginnings as a journalist, the "boom times" of the 1920s, the effects of the Great Depression, and the impact of chain stores such as Sears and Wal-Mart on downtown Hillsboro. He discusses the construction and destruction of buildings in downtown Hillsoboro, and the succession of businesses there. He also recalls changes in agriculture, local government, banking and education in the course of the century.

  49. Boch, Frank - Interview and Memoir
    Boch, coal miner, discusses working conditions in the mines, competition between mines during the 20's, the Progressive Miners of America, conditions after the PMA strike, John L. Lewis, and strike breakers.

  50. Boch, Frank and Frederick Boch - Interview and Memoir
    Frank and his brother "Fritz" Boch, coal miners, discuss coal mining in Taylorville, Illinois: the process of hand loading in the coal mines, mechanization and layoffs, working conditions, mining equipment, hazards, miners' social activities, relations between bosses and miners, strikes and riots. They also discuss their family life, father's coal mining experiences, and their parent's experiences as German immigrants.

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