WELCOME- Peoria History is a site dedicated to free access of privately held documents and artifacts of historical significance to the central Illinois region. It offers an opportunity for organizations and individual collectors to become a community of curators. Utilizing Dublin Core Metadata Initiative specifications, digitized artifacts will be cataloged and made available for the public to appreciate and explore.

We are working hard to digitize our first donated collection. This site remains under construction; please check back at a later date to view our progress.

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  • President William McKinley Letter to George A Zeller

    President (then candidate) William McKinley wrote this letter to Dr. George A Zeller of Peoria on April 20, 1896. McKinley writes in response to a letter from Zeller expressing concerns about an "attack" on McKinley. McKinley acknowldeges his knowledge of the attack and thanks Zeller for his "devotion." Dr. Zeller would later run the Peoria State Hospital Museum. The envelope that that the letter was sent in was addressed to George A Zeller of Peoria. The letter was sent from Canton, Ohio.
  • Prospect Heights Hotel- Lawn Performance Program- 1895

    This 1895 program was created for a performance of "As You Like It" on the lawn of the Prospect Heights Hotel overlooking the bluffs of the Illinois river. Nearly 1,000 people were in attendance at this "open-air" performance. Program Information Page 1: Prospect Heights, Monday. June 17, 1895 Peoria, Illinois, Mr. Wm. Morris presents his picturesque open air performance of Shakespeare's Pastoral comedy in four acts- As you Like It-- Business Staff Morris Co. -- Manager- Mr. D. V. Arthurs, General Representative- Mr. Curtis Dunhamp, Ass't. Manager- Mr. Geo. Manderback, Treasurer- Mr. J. M. Howard, General Agent- Co. Jack Flaherty, Business Managers- Mr. Chas. Young, Mr. Shesgreen- Musical Director- Mr. Harry Rogers, Stage Manager- Mr. John Sainpolis, Master Machinist- Mr. James Barrett, Property Master- Mr. Geo. McCullough, Calcium Lights- M. John Lucy, Wardrobe Master- Mr. Jack Hurley Program Information Page 2: The Cast-- Orlando- Mr. William Morris, Jacques- Mr. Charles D Herman, Duke Frederick- Mr. James Nelson, Banistude Duke- Mr. James Treacy, Touchstone- Mr. L. O. Hart, Oliver- Mr. John Sainpolis, Amiens (with song)- Mr. Frederick Bendell, Adam- Mr. George Dwight, Le Beau- Mr. Sydney Bell, Sylvius- Mr. Paul Gerson, Corin- Mr. William Culver Program Information Page 3: The Cast-- William- Mr. Walter Kilbourne, Charles (the wrestler)- Mr. Edward Gillespie- Cilia- Miss Frances Whitehouse, Phoebe- Miss Amy Lovie, Audrey- Miss Jean Barrie, Rosalind- Miss Etta Hawkins, Guards, Huntsman, etc., by Messrs. Gardner, Allferli, Hein, Cunningham, Phillips, Keene, Bassett, Wallace. Program Information Page 4: Synopsis-- The horns will announce the beginning and ending of each act. The incidental music in the play by Dr. Arne, Bishop and Mendelssohn, performed by a full Military Band under the direction of Mr. Harry Rogers, assisted by Spencer's Band. Costumes Wigs Boots made for Mr. Morris by Schultz & Co of Chicago, Hepner & Co of Chicago, Aiston & Co. of Chicago- Calciums frunished by CHicago Calcium Light Company. Music Programme-- March "Indepentio"- Hall, Overture "Barbe of Seville"- Rosini, Selection from Milloecker's Opera "Poor Johnathan"- arrg. Wiegand, Russian Muzurka "La Czarina"- Ganne, E Flat Cornet Solo: "Ben Bolt", Song from "Trilby"- Kneass Lem Wiley, "Dash" Gallop- Catline Spencer's Military Band under the direction of A. Moll. Advertisers: Chas. S. Duke & Co., Schipper and Block, Walter Wyatt, Turkish and Russian Baths, The F. H. Pfeiffer Crockery Co., Clarkson's Peerless Laundry, Central Electric Co., M. Henebery's, McDougal's Drug Store, The Mark Ament Music House, Walker & Wooke, A. Strumpf, Henning Cycle Co., The Tucker Furniture Co., Crawford & Co., Keefer & Gardner, Odontunder Dentist, Robinson & Whalen, A. S. Cole, Durkin the Druggist, The Big Four, Peoria Carriage & Harness Co., Godel's Royal Hams, John H. Bontjes, Dime Savings Bank, Home Savings and State Bank
  • Women's Club Music Hall Concert- Pupils of Florence Edna Balzer- 1903

    This program outlines the performances by the pupils of Florence Edna Balzer on June 10th, 1903 at the Peoria Wome's Club. Names of performers: Florence Edna Balzer, Orpha Ide Kendall, Edith M. Taylor, Maria Donly, Edger Donly, Maude M. Kendal, Jesie L. Mortag, Edith M. Taylor, C. Pearl Miller, Genevieve P. Anderson, Edith M. Taylor, Linna B. Whitfield, Frank Hirth, Arthur Dietrich
  • Charity Ball Dance Card- Home of the Good Shepherd- 1903

    This is a dance card for a "charity ball for the benefit of the Home of the Good Shepherd." Contents of the Card: Charity Ball for the Benefit of the Home of the Good Shepherd- Thursday Eve. February 12th, 1903 at the Coliseum- Committee of Arrangements- T. N. Gorman, G.T. Kennedy, M. Chapman, J. H. Burns, Mrs. F. T. Slevin, Mrs. C. N. Louis, Mrs. H. N. Spurck, Miss N. Hanlon, Mrs. K. Gould, Mrs. W. W. Murphy, Miss K. Fogarthy- Floor Committee- Mr. Frank Cahill, Chairman., Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Dolan, Mr. Fox, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Kenny, Mr. W. Langton, Mr. C. Merkle, Mr. R. Martin, Mr. Ritschel, Mr. Sinclair, Dr. Slevin, Mr. Welte, Mr. J.os. Miller- Programme- 1. Promenade-Waltz, 2. Two-Step, 3. Schottische, 4. Quadrille, 5. Two-Step- Refreshments- Anyone not partaking will be arrested.- 6. Waltz, 7. Schottische, 8. Quadrille, 9. Two-Step, 10. Waltz, 11. Jones, 12. Two-Step, 13. Waltz, 14. Two-Step, 15 Waltz
  • Home of the Good Shepherd Benefit Advertisement Card- 1903

    This was an advertisement for a benefit of the Home of the Good Shepherd which was to take place on February 12th, 1903 at the Coliseum. The Home of the Good Shepherd was a Catholic institution devoted to helping women and children. The name "W. H. Rich" is written on the back. This could possibly be William H. Rich, Secretary of the Corning Distilling Co. Contents of the Card: Grand Concert Charity Ball for the benefit of the Home of the Good Shepherd- at the coliseum- on Lincoln's Birthday- Thursday Evening, February 12th, 1903- Tickets $1.00 per Couple.- Additional Lady 25 Cts.- Concert from 7:30 to 9:30 P. M.
  • Frank C. O'Boyle- Mark D. Batchelder Co.- Business Card- Circa 1900

    This business card was for, Frank C. O'Boyle, an employee of Mark D. Batchelder Co. Business Card Content: Frank C. O'Boyle- Mark D. Batchelder Co.- Street Car Advertising- Peoria, IL
  • John L Seery- Rouse, Hazard and Company Business Card- Circa 1889

    John L Serry's name is written on this Rouse, Hazard and Company business card. John Seery worked as a bike repairer and later foreman for the Rouse, Hazard and Company. Contents of the Card: Rouse Hazard & Co.- (incorporated)- Successors to Geo. W. Rouse & Son.- Bicycles and Typewriters- 110 S. Washington St.- Peoria, IL.
  • Assistant General Freight Agent- Alonzo P Bryant- Business Card- 1909

    This is a business card for Alonzo P Bryant, assistant general freight agent for Minneapolis & St. Louis R. R. Co. and Iowa Central Railway Co.
  • Schipper and Block Incorporated- Letter- 1910

    Schipper and Block wrote this letter on June 4, 1910 addressed to Health Merry Go-Round Co in Quincy, Illinois regarding subtracting the cost of shipping from a payment made for a merry go-round. It was received on June 6, 1910. Letterhead contents: Henry Block, President- Theo. Kuhl, Vice President- C. C. Block, Secretary- H. H. Block, Treasurer- Schipper and Block Incorporated- The Big White Stare- Retailers and Jobbers- Dry Goods, garments, furniture, carpets, Men's Furnishing, Clothing, Shoes, Books, Millinery, Furs, Draperies, Pictures, China & Housefurnishings- Tea Room on 7th Floor- (An image of the store appears in the upper left. A street car, automobile, and carriages can be seen on the street)
  • Peoria Railway Company- Ticket- circa 1906

    This is a ticket for "one fare" on the Peoria Railway Company. A copy of the president of the company's signature, William B McKinley, is printed below the title of the company. The ticket is numbered 036765.
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