Conference on Illinois History

Twenty-Third Annual
Conference on Illinois History
October 7-8, 2021

Conference Program:

MPR1 = Multipurpose Room 1    MPR2 = Multipurpose Room 2    C = Classroom

Thursday, October 7

8:30 - 10:00 Concurrent Sessions

Chicago History (MPR 1)

Moderator: Mark Pohlad, DePaul University

“’Committees of One:’ Letters to President and Mrs. Roosevelt from Struggling Homeowners in Chicago, 1933-1936," Matthew Amyx, Loyola University Chicago

“It All Started Here: The History of the Top-secret Submarine,” Richard Lee, Lemont Area Historical Society

“Chicago’s Second Greatest Fire: Union Stock Yards Fire of 1934,” Jeff Stern, Independent Scholar

Early Illinois (MPR 2)

Moderator: Robert Sampson, Illinois State Historical Society

"The Peoria Indians at Le Rocher, Starved Rock," Mark Walczynski, Starved Rock Foundation, Utica, IL

“The First Medical School in Illinois,” Robert Berry, Independent Journalist, Illinois College, B.A. and Western New England University, M.B.A.

“Indentured Servants and Indentured Apprentices in Illinois, 1827-1865,” George Provenzano, Independent Scholar

Prisons, Corruption, and Delinquency in Illinois (C)

Moderator: Daniel Worthington, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“Come to Jail: Dark Tourism and Educational Value of Prison and Jail Museums,” Pamela Monaco, Vice President, Wright College, Chicago

“’Crime and Juvenile Delinquency –my pet hobby at present’: Margaret Walkerand the Chicago School of Sociology,” Kathi King, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

“Frank Comeford and the Illinois Legislature's First Impeachment,” Bernie Sieracki, Independent Scholar

10:15 – 11:45 Concurrent Sessions

Interpreting Historic Sites (MPR 1)

Moderator: Brad Winn, Camp Dubois Lewis and Clark Historic Site

“Race, Class, and Gender at the Lincoln Home,” Dr. David D. Bowlby, Motlow State Community College

“Flower in the Crannied Wall: A Material Culture Analysis of the Dana-Thomas House and Susan’s Existence Within It,” Katie Brethorst, University of Illinois Springfield

“Allerton Park Before the Allertons,” Brian Adams, Illinois State Archaeological Survey


Doing Oral History: Case Studies and Practical Advice  (MPR 2)

Moderator: David Joens, Director, Illinois State Archives

Dino Robinson, Founder, Shorefront Legacy Center (Evanston, Illinois)

Mark Hanson, Curator, Museum of the Grand Prairie (Mahoment, Illinois)

Mark DePue, Director of Oral History, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Teacher Workshop: Women and Minorities in Chicago History: Who Will Tell Their Story? (C)

Kristen Kaczmarek, Hillcrest High School

Advocating for the disadvantaged, creating legislation to help immigrants and children, fighting for equality... These are just some of the campaigns of women and minorities throughout Chicago History. Come learn about those whose stories are often forgotten or left out of textbooks and discuss how to keep their legacies alive.

Luncheon Presentation: 12:00-1:30

Kate Masur

“Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement”

Kate Masur is a professor of History at Northwestern University and the author of Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction (W. W. Norton, 2021).

Her previous work focused primarily on the Civil War and Reconstruction. Her first book was An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (UNC Press, 2010). She later collaborated with Gregory P. Downs to edit a collection of new scholarship on the post-Civil War era, The World the Civil War Made (UNC Press, 2015), and she and Downs co-authored the US National Park Service’s National Historic Landmark Theme Study: The Era of Reconstruction, 1861-1900.

1:45 – 3:15 Concurrent Sessions

Affirmative Action and Black Illinois State Troopers, 1941-Present (MPR 1)

Moderator: Robert Moore, Retired, United States Marshal,  Author, independent Historian, curator and retired Illinois State Police Sergeant/EEO Director 

Brendan Heffner, United States Marshals retired Illinois Lt. Colonel 
Val Talley, Police Chief Maywood Pd and retired Master Sergeant Illinois State Police 
Jayme Taylor. Illinois State Police Master Sergeant and President Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers (ABLE)
Jarran Riley, Illinois State Police Master Sergeant and Vice President ABLE

Women, Philanthropy, Recipes, and Social Progress: A Reexamination of Primary Resources (MPR 2)

 Moderator: Christopher Schnell, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“The Mary Ethel Crofton Cookbook,” Nicole Stocker, Lake County Forest Preserves, Bess Bower Dunn Museum

“The Ossoli Club community cookbook,” Catherine Lambrecht, Culinary Historians of Chicago

“Politics, Gender, and the Ossoli Club Records,” Nancy Webster, Highland Park Historical Society

Teacher Workshop: Lessons Learned After the Great Fire (C)

Angela Esposito, Chicago Architecture Center

Chicago is host to many fires throughout its history, so what makes the fire of 1871 “great?” We will discuss the Gilded Age of Chicago and the lessons architects took from the fire as they rebuilt the Second City.

3:30 – 5:00 Concurrent Sessions

Abraham Lincoln (MPR 1)

Moderator: Christian McWhirter, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“Abraham Lincoln and Philanthropy in Antebellum Illinois and the Civil War,” Roger Billings and Sarah Billings, Independent Scholars

“Why Lincoln Still is the Godfather of U.S. Infrastructure,” John Wasik, Author of Lincolnomics: How President Lincoln Constructed the Great American Economy

“Lincoln’s Winning Smile,” Cameron S. Brown, president of the Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Institute

Collect, Collaborate, and Connect: A Case Study of Campus and Community Engagement (MPR 2)

Samantha Sauer, Illinois College

Gwendolyn L. Gillson, Illinois College

Abby Garrett, Illinois College

Stacy Bile, Illinois College

Teacher Workshop: Creating Source-Based Inquiries to Explicitly Teach Historical Thinking Skills

Heather Nice, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Explore how historians reconstruct the past, discover where to find sources, and practice creating source-based inquiries to teach historical thinking skills.

Thursday Evening Program: The Old State Capitol Historic Site

Tour and Program: 5:30 PM

The Old State Capitol was Springfield Illinois’ first capitol building from 1840-1876 and the place where Abraham Lincoln delivered his “House Divided” speech in 1858. You will tour this Illinois historic treasure and learn about the 2021 restoration project.



For more information, call 217-558-0128 or email Dr. Jacob Friefeld at

Friday, October 8

8:30 – 10:00 Concurrent Sessions

Update: The Archaeology of Racial Hatred, Springfield, Illinois (MPR 1)

Moderator: Timothy Townsend, Lincoln Home National Historic Site, National Park Service

 “The Race Riot Site: Discovery and Partial Excavation of Five Houses Destroyed During the Springfield Race Riot of August 1908,” Christopher Stratton, Fever River Research (coauthored with Floyd Mansberger and Chelsea Coates)

 “The Race Riot Artifact Assemblages: Insights into the Pre-Fire, Fire, and Post-Fire Contexts,” Chelsea Coates, Fever River Research (coauthored with Floyd Mansberger, Christopher Stratton, and Carmen Keist)

“’So, Why Bother With The Archaeology of Burned Houses From 1908?’: The Significance of the Archaeology of Mob Violence on Jim-Crow Era Black Households in the Post-George Floyd Era,” Floyd Mansberger, Fever River Research (coauthored with Christopher Stratton and Chelsea Coates)

Discussant: Timothy Good, Lincoln Home National Historic Site, National Park Service

Politics, Law, and the Press in Illinois (MPR 2)

Moderator: Mark DePue, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

"Illinois Press Reaction to the Death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt,” Philip Grant Jr., Pace University

“Governor Adlai Stevenson and the Power of the Press,” Joe Bean, Kent State University

“The Emancipatory Consequences of the Northwest Ordinance in Indiana and Illinois (1800 -1850),” Duangkamol Tantirungkij, City University of New York

Business and Trade in Illinois History (C)

Moderator: Dan Monroe, Millikin University

“Waste Books: Narrating Balance and Excess in Settler Accounts,” Jane Simonsen, Augustana College

“An Analysis of the 1860 Illinois State Business Directory compiled by Smith & DuMoulin,” Carissa M. Phillips, MBA, MSLIS, University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“The Conrad Seabaugh & Company: How Store Records Expand Our Understanding of Antebellum Hinterland Life,” Wayne Duerkes, Independent Scholar

10:15 – 11:45 Concurrent Sessions

Civil War Illinois (MPR 1)

Moderator: Ian Hunt, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“The Traitors and the War Governor: Richard Yates versus  the Copperheads in Civil War Illinois,” James Fuller, University of Indianapolis

“The Bonds of War: How a Photograph of Immigrant Union Soldiers Inspired a Reinterpretation of the Identity of the U.S. Common Soldier,” Diana Dretske, Bess Bower Dunn Museum

“Early Civil War Camp Butler and William Tecumseh Sherman: Separating Fact from Fiction,” Mark Flotow, Independent Scholar

Women and Gender in Illinois History (MPR 2)

Moderator: Anne E. Moseley, University of Illinois Springfield

"Identification of Lincoln's Kalamazoo Tea Hostess," Tom M. George, M.D., Homer Stryker School of Medicine, Western Michigan University

“Caroline’s Trousseau: Clues to the Life and Death of an Antebellum Woman in Her Clothing,” Erika Holst, Illinois State Museum

“When Cinderella Ran the Show: Bertha Duppler Baur in Chicago,” Michelle Morahn, Indiana State University

Teacher Workshop: Illinois Inclusive: Not Just Abe Lincoln (C)

Janis Michael, Avoca West Elementary School

Make state history more than just famous places, “fun facts,” and important (White) people. Illinois history is our history—global and vibrant.

Luncheon Presentation: 12:00 – 1:30

Jason Stacy

“Exiles on Main Street: Spoon River Anthology as 20th Century Mythology”

Jason Stacy is a professor of history and social science pedagogy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He is the author of Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town (2021), Walt Whitman’s Multitudes: Labor Reform and Persona in Whitman’s Journalism and the First Leaves of Grass (2008), and editor of Walt Whitman’s Selected Journalism (2015) and Leaves of Grass, 1860: The 150th Anniversary Facsimile Edition (2009).

1:45 – 3:15 Concurrent Sessions

Memory and Commemoration in Illinois (MPR 1)

Moderator: Amanda Riggenbach, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“Conspicuous Omission: Downplaying Racism and Controlling the Narrative of the 1917 East St. Louis Riot,” Jason D. Martin, The University of Texas at El Paso, Borderlands History

“Springfield Commemoration: Gibbs' Business Park,” Gabriella Antonacci, University of Illinois-Springfield

“The Chicago Monuments Project, Latinx Histories and Communities: A Preliminary Analysis,” Hinda Seif, University of Illinois-Springfield and Jojo Galvan-Mora, Independent Scholar

Sport and Popular Culture in Illinois (MPR 2)

Moderator: Jacob K. Friefeld, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“Rice’s Chicago Theater and the Arrival of Popular Culture in the Chicago,” Anthony Stamilio, Loyola University Chicago

"Clarence Brown: Black Boxer in Chicago, 1916 – 1965," Craig Klose, Founder of the Black American Boxers Project (BABP)

“A Worse Crippled Set of Men Never Walked the Streets of Decatur than the Green Players of this Game," Robert Sampson, Illinois State Historical Society

Teacher Workshop: Reading Art, Sculpting History: Using the Arts to Teach History (C)

Julia diLiberti, College of DuPage

Interact with sculpture and writing to learn how three Illinois natives informed and educated using art and intellect. Light physical activity and work in groups included, even if attending virtually.

3:30 – 5:00 Concurrent Sessions

Race in Illinois History (MPR 1)

Moderator: David Bowlby, Motlow State Community College

“White Nationalism in the Land of Lincoln: The Ku Klux Klan in Morgan County, 1922-1933,” Ryan Flynn, Illinois College

“Race in Illinois: Stories from Southern Counties and Northern Suburbs,” Caroline Kisiel, DePaul University and Brian Miller, Wheaton College

“You Don’t Look Turkish: The Role of Whiteness and Racialization in Ethnic Identity Preservation among Second-Generation Turks in Chicago,” Zerrin Bulut, DePaul University, Critical Ethnic Studies MA

Art and Fashion in Illinois (MPR 2)

Moderator: Sarah Adams, Springfield Art Association

“Bridal Dresses: Revealing Local Histories through Community Collaboration,” William Shannon, St. Clair County Historical Society; Cory Willmott, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; and Evan Senat, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“Art, Craft, & Argental: How Evanston Silversmiths met the Challenges of Changing Tastes in the Great Depression of the 1930s,” Mary B. McWilliams, Independent Researcher

“Bringing Literature to Life: Literary Performance in Post-Civil War Evanston,” Fiona Maxwell, University of Chicago

Teacher Workshop: Using Twine Interactive Stories to Teach Historical Agency & Contingency (C)

Tim Roberts, Western Illinois University

Participants will learn about Twine open-source storytelling and experience stories set in Civil War-era Illinois and American history. Participants will consider how to use Twine to teach historical thinking skills.

For more information, call 217-558-0128 or email Dr. Jacob Friefeld at

CPDU Credit

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Education Department is providing 1.5 Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) for each session attended during the Conference on Illinois History. An additional 1.0 CPDU will be offered for the Old State Capitol Tour. An educator who attends all conference events will receive 16.0 CPDUs.

To receive CPDU credit, educators must complete an evaluation for each session they attend; to comply with ISBE requirements, they should plan to complete the evaluation prior to moving to the next conference session. One digital certificate will be issued at the end of the conference for each participating educator. The certificate will include total hours awarded and a record of sessions attended. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Department at

Hotel Accommodations

Rooms have been set aside at the following hotels on Wednesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 7.   Both hotels have a limited number of rooms held on Friday, October 8.


President Abraham Lincoln Springfield–A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

701 E. Adams

$85 single and $100 double

Reservations can be made online at

or by calling 217-544-8800.  Reference “­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­HPA” when you call.


Wyndham Springfield City Centre

700 E. Adams

$85 single and $100 double

Reservations can be made online at

Reservations can be made at 217-789-1530, ext. 1. 


Reservations must be made by September 22 to receive the conference rate.


For other accommodations and rates in Springfield, call Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1–800–545–7300 or 217–789–2360, or visit its Web site at

Registration Information:

Please join the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as we host the 23rd annual Conference on Illinois History. The conference will offer two full days of panels highlighting research on aspects of Illinois’s history, culture, politics, geography, and archaeology. No need to be an expert to attend, the panels will appeal to academics, teachers, and anyone interested in the past!

All sessions will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Attendees may visit the museum for the reduced rate of $10 per person. 

Various ticket options are available including student pricing.  Registration for the conference, will grant you access to all of the morning or afternoon panels on the selected days. Luncheon presentations require additional registration. To participate in the Thursday evening tour of the Old State Capitol, email or call 217-524-6045 Space for lunches and on the tour is limited. 


Conference Registration     Thursday Lunch Registration     Friday Lunch Registration 

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