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Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield

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  1. Boehm, Marguerite - Interview and Memoir
    Marguerite Boehm discusses her nurses training at Mullanphy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri in 1917; the 1918 influenza epidemic; difficulties obtaining medical alcohol during prohibition; crime and gang warfare in St. Louis during the 20's; and other experiences from her 50 years in nursing.

  2. Boehm, Mary - Interview and Memoir
    Mary Boehm recalls teaching school in a one-room school house near Bunker, Missouri in 1917. She discusses her training, salary, working conditions, living conditions, square dances, country transportation, and country life.

  3. Bone, Evan - Interview and Memoir
    Bone discusses working on the Ohio River dam system from Pittsburgh to Cairo, technology and equipment used in dam construction, ice piers at Hockingport in 1904, the Fernbank Dam, and hazards.

  4. Bonefeste, Joe - Interview and Memoir
    Bonefeste, member of the Springfield Municipal Band since 1951, discusses changes in the band since it was formed in the 30's, including the admittance of female band members, desegregation, band members, guest conductors and musicians, performances, music performed, and audiences.

  5. Borgognoni, Frank - Interview and Memoir
    Borgognoni, coal miner, discusses his family history and emigra-tion from Italy, violence between the United Mine Workers and the Progressive Miners of America during the 1930's, tactics employed by the coal companies and the unions, hazardous working conditions in the mines, mechanization, cooperation among neighbors, mining communities in Christian County, and the varied ethnic and religious backgrounds of miners. He also discusses the operation of a family tavern which was frequented by PMA members, his upbringing and family life.

  6. Borop, James (Reverend) - Interview and Memoir
    Borop, a retired captain in the United States Navy, discusses family and childhood in rural Illinois, Depression years, education at Eureka College, and his Naval Acade-my training. He discusses service during WWII maintaining the blockade at Panama; service on the U.S.S. Milwaukee and the U.S.S. Marblehead; his eyewitness experience of the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests, and the effects of the explosion on the men, ships, and animals present. He also discusses his experiences working at a ship repair facility in Yokosuka, Japan; Japanese culture; changes in Japan following the war and American occupation. He also describes post-WWII military conditions and the development of nuclear submarines. He also talks about his retirement and work as a pastor of two Disciples of Christ churches in central Illinois.

  7. Bowman, John - Interview and Memoir
    Bowman, professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and faculty advisor for the Students for a Demo-cratic Society (SDS) from 1965 to 1970, recalls student activism on campus: student leaders, riots and demonstrations; the response of faculty, administration, and police to the unrest; seizure of the administrative building; the National Guard; and consequences of the students actions. He also discusses racial relations between students and between students and the administration, conditions of black students on campus, the involvement of the Black Panthers, and consequences of the student strike.

  8. Bradford, Isabella - Interview and Memoir
    Bradford, former executive secretary of the Red Cross, recalls her service with the Red Cross, specifically during the WWII war effort: volunteer projects, war fund campaigns, blood drives, the Nurses Aide Corps, Dietician Corps, and the organization of the Sangamon County Red Cross.

  9. Brasell, Ruth K. - Interview and Memoir
    Brasell, a teacher in one room rural schools, recalls teaching near Beardstown, the school building, students, training and duties as teacher. Also discusses the educa-tional system, Christmas programs and special events, consolidation of rural schools, and teaching in the town of Arenzville. She discusses her life as a farm wife, crops, raising chickens, preparing homemade foods and threshing dinners, her community and St. Peter's Church.

  10. Brasher, Charles H. Memoir
    Brasher, steamboat captain, discusses his experiences on the Ohio River, his family's history working on the river, riverboat technology, and traffic on the Ohio River.

  11. Brauer, Ewell - Interview and Memoir
    Brauer, Cass County farmer, discusses farming methods and their changes over the years, farm implements, machinery, crops, livestock and farm structures. He recalls farm life in the 1920's, his family history, his education, social activities, the Depression years, and conditions during WWII.

  12. Bretz, Geraldine - Interview and Memoir
    Bretz, first female officer of the Springfield Marine Bank, discusses her 44 years at the bank working in various capacities, from secretary to bank officer. She relates changes over the years with regard to her own job responsibilities, service to customers, the bank's physical appearance and also discusses conditions during the Depression and WWII, past bank supervisors, and the centennial celebration in 1951.

  13. Bridgewater, Lottie - Interview and Memoir
    Bridgewater, a black resident of Springfield, discusses her employment as a housekeeper in various households, treatment by white employers, social conditions faced by blacks in Springfield and in the South, and difficulties encountered in buying her own home. Other topics include her travels in the United States and the Holy Land, attending the 1955 Baptist World Alliance in England, volunteer work at church and at Memorial Hospital, her family history, Springfield in the 1920's, and racial prejudice encountered in her daily life.

  14. Bringer, Edmund - Interview and Memoir
    Bringer, retired Illinois Bell Telephone employee, discusses experiences with Illinois Bell, his education and early employment, improvements in telephone technolo-gy, his work teaching safety courses, and working in Cairo during a flood. He also discusses his childhood in the early 1900's, family history, his marriage and raising a family, effects of the Depression, work during WWII and life on the homefront. Other topics include his vacations along the East Coast, resorts in Havana, Illinois, and anecdotes from his travels through England, Ireland, and Scotland. References are made to Bringer's work on the "Manhattan Project" during WWII, attending the Chicago's World Fair in the 1930's, and meeting Sally Rand.

  15. Brittin, Arthur T. - Interview and Memoir
    Brittin, a resident of Sherman, Illinois, relates a second hand account of the 1908 race riot. He discusses his uncle's involvement, lynchings and destruction in the city of Springfield.

  16. Britz, Dorothy Steele - Interview and Memoir, #1 and #2
    Britz, daughter of a coal miner, recalls living conditions and family life during the period 1920 through WWII. She describes life growing up in Riverton near the Sangamon River, year-round activities on the river, learning to respect the dangers of the river, her family's first car, housework, and recreation. She also discusses coping during the Depression, towns along the river, coal miners and the Progressive Miners of America in the 1930's, the PMA Women's Auxiliary, life as a young working woman in Springfield, and starting her own family. She recalls the resourcefulness of women in maintaining the home during difficult times, the home front during WWI and WWII, and family and friends who served in the WWII. She also discusses presidents and politics from Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Dorothy Britz recalls her life growing up on the Sangamon River in the town of Riverton. She discusses work and play on the river, dangers on the water, the flood of 1926, the landscape, plants and animals in the area, and river pollution.

  17. Brockmeier, John S. (Reverend) - Interview and Memoir
    Reverend Brockmeier discusses his involvement in labor unions, church-union relationships, formation of the Progressive Miners of America, struggles between United Mine Workers and the Progressives, and his work in union arbitration and organization. He also discusses his work with the Springfield community and The Western Catholic newspaper, his WCVS radio program, the formation of the Sacred Heart Credit Union, the Springfield Advertising and Public Relations Club, Depression years in Springfield, ethnic communities in Springfield, and the Ku Klux Klan.

  18. Broeker, Loreine - Interview and Memoir
    Broeker, member of Springfield's First Congregational Church, discusses the events and activities of her association with the church. She recalls Christmas celebrations, Forefathers' Day Dinners, the destruction of the church by fire in 1956, fundraising and rebuilding, support from the religious community, involvement with the choir, church members and leaders, changes in the church building and activities, and women's groups. Broeker also shares her peanut brittle recipe.

  19. Brosch, Charles W. Jr. - Interview and Memoir
    Brosch, Rotary Club member since 1947, discusses the Roy T. Jefferson Memorial Building project, the Rotary International Golden Anniversary held in Springfield, and his correspondence with a Rotary president from Saigon.

  20. Brown, David H. - Interview and Memoir
    David Brown, the flight leader of the 79th fighter group, discusses his experiences as an air force pilot during WWII, the African campaign, and Mareth Line bomb-ing; his capture by Italian soldiers, his escape attempts, internment at the Stalag Luft III prison camp near Sagan, Germany; treatment of prisoners and their relations with captors and other allied prisoners of war. He also discusses prisoner's plans for digging tunnels as a means of escape; the Russian winter offensive and death march; internment at Mooseburg POW camp; and liberation by the American Army led by General Patton. The narrative contains references to many of the names, places and events of WWII. He also discusses his postwar life as the flight leader of the first Thunderbolt Aerobatic Team and as a farmer and owner of a business on Route 66.

  21. Brown, Douglas - Interview and Memoir
    Douglas Brown discusses WWII and its impact on local businesses: war-time restrictions, war-time production, rationing, transportation, ordnance plants and military facilities in and around Springfield. References are made to Pearl Harbor and Victory Gardens.

  22. Brown, Ogden - Interview and Memoir
    Ogden Brown, long-time Springfield resident and member of the First Congregational Church, discusses church activities, Fore-Fathers' Day Dinners, destruction of the church by fire in 1956, support from the Temple B'rith Sholom, fundraising and reconstruction, and changes in the church over the years. He also discusses some of the positions he has held within the church including steward-, moderator, a member of the Handy Andys, and a member of the Pulpit Committee.

  23. Browne, Richard G. - Interview and Memoir
    Richard Browne discusses issues confronting higher education, the Board of Higher Education's budget matters during the early 1960's, the attitude of larger universities toward the establishment of community colleges, the work of the Junior College Board (1965-1971), his consulting work, and the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention. He relates his experiences as student, instructor and administrator, his tenure as Director of the Illinois Legislative Council, Research Director of the Illinois School of Finance and Tax Commission, and the years he served on the Teachers College Board and the Illinois Commission on Higher Education. Other topics include his family history and education, teaching high school in Marion, Illinois, studies at Northwestern University, and recollections of educators, administrators and politicians. He also relates anecdotes about the naming of Altgeld Hall at the University of Illinois.

  24. Brumfield, Lloyd and Brumfield, Shirley - Interview and Memoir
    Lloyd and Shirley Brumfield, owners of "Brumie's Bait Shop" near Mahomet, Illinois, discuss life along the Sangamon River. They discuss the fish and wildlife in the area, raising their children on the river, the change of seasons, trapping, hunting, fishing, fish fries and camping as well as the river's dangers.

  25. Brunner, Harold D. - Interview and Memoir
    Brunner, U.S. Marine, recalls his experiences as a prisoner of war. He discusses his capture by the Japanese in the Philippine Islands, imprisonment at the Osaka Prison Camp, treatment of prisoners, punishments, living conditions, working with Japanese civil-ians on work detail, prisoners' health problems, and his liberation and recovery. He also discusses some of the lasting effects of his P.O.W experience.

  26. Bryden, Olive Leone - Interview and Memoir
    Bryden, a long-time Springfield resident, recalls her early years in Decatur and moving to Springfield in 1906. She relates stories from her childhood, family life, holiday celebrations, chores, housework, illnesses and remedies, marriage, and raising her own family. She also discusses the city of Spring-field and its transportation facilities, roadways, parks, businesses, social activities, recreations, parks, schools, and neighborhoods. She also discusses the 1908 Springfield race riot, her father's employment with the Wabash Railroad, her participation with her husband in the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, and employment as a social worker for Sangamon County.

  27. Bucari, Doris - Interview and Memoir
    Doris Bucari, former co-chairman of the International Visitors Commission in Springfield, discusses the early days of the commission, its work, visitors from Indonesia and China, and people who worked on the commission.

  28. Buckles, Joseph R. - Interview and Memoir
    Buckles discusses life in the early 20th century in Pawnee, Illinois. He discusses experiences working for the Peabody Coal Company, the Depression, conflict in the mines, and bootlegging. He also discusses the people and businesses of Pawnee, the 1911 riot and hail storm, 1918 flu epidemic, immigrant neighbors, and changes in the town over the years.

  29. Budinger, Francis J. - Interview and Memoir
    Budinger, former president of Springfield's Franklin Life Insurance Company, recalls work with the company beginning in 1923: the life insurance business, former executives, and changes made in the company. He also discusses his involvement in the Rotary Club, Springfield College and its Charles E. Becker Library, fundraising for St. John's Hospital, Prairie Capital Convention Center, and arts organizations. He also discusses his family back-ground, childhood in Chicago, education and early work experiences in sales, enlisting in the Student Army Training Corps at the University of Kansas, the 1918 flu epidemic, the Depression, his move to Springfield, and enrollment at Sangamon State University. He discusses awards and honors he has received, hobbies, family life, his life philosophy, European travels, and flying on the Concorde jet.

  30. Buechler, Donna K. - Interview and Memoir
    Buechler, nurse, discusses her Air Force experiences as nurse in the Vietnam War: serving as a flight nurse between Vietnam and Japan, nursing duties, hospital at Cam Ranh, living conditions, coping with work, feelings toward the Vietnamese people and the war, the anti-war movement, treatment of female Vietnam War veterans, and the lasting effects of the war.

  31. Bumgardner, Alfred O. - Interview and Memoir
    Bumgardner, retired auto mechanic, discusses early automobiles, road conditions, effects of the Depression and WWII on the garage business, prohibition, and his sons serving in WWII.

  32. Bunch, Charles F. Sr. - Interview and Memoir
    Bunch, retired state employee, discusses life in Centralia, Illinois as an African American; social conditions and school segregation, gambling and the Emancipation Day celebration. He also discusses Springfield neighborhoods, schools, and businesses in the 1930's and 40's, segregation and discrimination as both a citizen and state employee. He describes racially mixed neighborhoods, his 34 years as an employee of the state with the maintenance department, Illinois politicians, his poetry, family history, their education, and people who have influenced him. References are made to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jacob Bunn Jr., Simeon Osby (see OS2*), and Illinois Secretaries of State Edward J. Hughes, Richard Yates Rowe, Edward J. Barrett, Charles F. Carpentier, and Paul Powell.

  33. Bunn, George W. Jr. #1 - Interview and Memoir
    George Bunn, Springfield businessman, discusses his family's history in Springfield: his grandfather's 1840's businesses, formation of the Marine Bank, and the Springfield Watch Company. He recalls his education at Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and Princeton University, work in New York as a reporter and editorial assistant, WWI service, and Springfield during the Depression. He also discusses his involvement with the Abraham Lincoln Association, his tenure as trustee and president of the Public Library Board, War Fund Council 1941-1945, the Springfield Art Association, and the Hobby Horse press.

  34. Bunn, George W. Jr. #2 - Interview and Memoir
    Bunn, former president of the Springfield Marine Bank, discusses his involvement with the bank beginning in 1928, effects of the Depression on Springfield banks, employees and officers, the 1951 centennial celebration, and the Henry Bunn scholarship.

  35. Bunn, Willard Jr. - Interview and Memoir
    Willard ("Bunch") Bunn Jr., former President and Chairman of the Board, discusses the history of the Springfield Marine Bank. He recalls changes to the bank building and its services, effects of the Depression and WWII on local banks, employees and bank officers, and "Captain Marine."

  36. Burch, Marie - Interview and Memoir
    Burch, farmer from near Divernon, Illinois, discusses her childhood home, family and farm life, homemade foods, housework, clothing, country schools, holiday celebrations, and leisure time activities. She recalls her graduation trip, her college years at the University of Illinois, campus life, WWI, marriage and early widowhood, trip to Europe in 1930, Depression, WWII homefront, and the housing of couples released from German concentration camps. Also discusses agriculture, farming equipment, livestock, butchering, raising chickens and egg production, 4-H club, women's club, immigrant neighbors, and a trip to the Orient in 1972.

  37. Burditt, George - Interview and Memoir
    Burditt, member of the Illinois House of Representatives 1964-73, discusses his achievements in public aid, health, welfare and safety, environmental protection, education, revenue and transportation. He recalls lobbyists, political ethics, Illinois Republican politics, his work on legislative committees (education, higher education, judiciary, and elections and reapportionment), the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention, and his unsuccessful 1974 bid for the U.S. Senate. Also discusses his involvement with Chicago area civic organizations and the Western Springs Plan Commission, work for the Republican party and the Eisenhower campaign, and experience with pure food laws. He also recalls his childhood in LaGrange, family, childhood entertainments, athletics, education, Depression, attending Harvard College, experiences in the air corps during WWII, law school and practice.

  38. Burgess, David - Interview and Memoir
    Burgess, Union Seminary WWII conscientious objector, discusses his experiences at Union Seminary as a student and conscientious objector to WWII, involvement with student peace groups, the migrant ministry, working for the CIO labor union, and his experiences with the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the Delmo Homes. Also discusses conditions in India and Indonesia, his work with the Peace Corps, racism and civil rights, experiences as Deputy Director of UNICEF, and the influence of his parents who served as missionaries in China.

  39. Burhans, Robert L. - Interview and Memoir
    Burhans, Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives 1949-65, discusses his years in the General Assembly: campaigning 1946 and 1948, Peoria County politics, legislative techniques, judicial legislation, Illinois political and judicial personalities, the press corps, and his judicial candidacy. He also recalls his youth in Peoria, Illinois, family, his father's medical practice, the Depression years, his education, attending the University of Michigan law school in 1935, and WWII experiences in the Navy.

  40. Bushnell, Harold R. - Interview and Memoir
    Bushnell, manager of the clothing department at Jacksonville State Hospital, discusses changes within the clothing and inventory departments, in staff uniforms, employee benefits, hiring practices, treatments for mental disorders and in the services offered by the hospital. He also recalls living conditions for employees on the hospital grounds.

  41. Butcher, Irene - Interview and Memoir
    Butcher, Springfield businesswoman and owner of the Butcher Tavern, discusses Springfield in the early 1900's: its citizens and businesses, downtown, changes from rural to urban atmosphere, prohibition, race relations, and the Chinese regiment at Camp Lincoln during WWII. Also discusses her father's work as a coal miner in Pennsylvania and his role as co-founder of the United Mine Workers in that state, John F. Kennedy's assassination, the American system of government, political parties, and Illinois politics.

  42. Butler, Edith Anderson - Interview and Memoir
    Butler, a descendant of Moses K. Anderson, an early settler of Springfield, discusses her family history, childhood, and early singing career in Springfield with the Billy Sunday Revival. She recalls the Sunday family, her courtship and marriage to a fellow singer Charles Butler, his singing career and death. Butler also discusses entertaining troops during WWI and compares Billy Sunday to Billy Graham.

  43. Byerly, Mabel - Interview and Memoir
    Byerly, member of the First Congregational Church, discusses her participation in church activities, former pastors, Forefathers' Day Dinners, 1956 church fire, assistance from the Temple B'rith Sholom, new church building, women's activities, and affiliation with the United Church of Christ.

  44. Caldwell, Fred - Interview and Memoir
    Caldwell discusses Shawneetown and the Shawneetown Bank, the Justice of the Peace office in the bank basement, and describes the building's lobby, vault, stairway, offices, and kitchen.

  45. Callarman, Mabel - Interview and Memoir
    Callarman, member of Christ Church, recalls her membership with the church, family, church members, cooking, and women's groups at Christ Church in Springfield.

  46. Campbell, Ira - Interview and Memoir
    Campbell, resident of Jeffersonville, Indiana, discusses building boats at the Howard Shipyard, family, and riverboats.

  47. Campo, Nick - Interview and Memoir
    Campo, Italian immigrant, discusses life in the early 20th century: early years in Sicily and emigration to Springfield; railroad employment; unions, boarding houses, and working conditions as a coal miner in Pawnee, Kincaid, Taylorville, and Divernon; army experiences during WWI; managing Springfield restaurants: Gingham Gardens, Villa Valenca, and Travelers Inn; prohibition; working as a sales representative for Goebel Brewery; managing a food stand in the Illinois State Capitol; politicians; discrimination; Ku Klux Klan; the Italian community and in Springfield; and the Italian American Club.

  48. Cantrall, Evans E. - Interview and Memoir
    Cantrall, farmer, discusses rural life in the late 19th and early 20th century near Springfield: family life, a trip to Yellowstone National Park, education, employment, 1908 race riot, WWI, insurance business, hunting and farming.

  49. Cardose, C. Victor - Interview and Memoir
    Cardose discusses Springfield and the Italian-American community: businesses, activities, the Italian Consulate, immigrants, and the Roman Culture Society.

  50. Carlson, Clara - Interview and Memoir
    Carlson, lifelong resident of Virginia, Illinois, recalls family history, grandparents, Cass County in the 19th century, and quiltmaking.

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