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Jennie Battles - IHPA legacy

Jennie Battles began her working career as an English teacher at Dixon High School. When the family moved to Petersburg, Illinois in 1977, she worked for several years at Famous Barr in Springfield. In 1986 she joined the staff of the newly organized Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, starting as an interpreter at the Old State Capitol. She talks extensively about the Portrait of a Prairie Capitol theatrical production and the Living History Program, both at the Old State Capitol. In 2001 Jennie became the site manager for the Vachel Lindsay home in Springfield. and became synonymous with the historic home of Springfield's most renowned poet until her retirement in 2014.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Most Exciting Part of IHPA

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early life, teaching career, and her early years with IHPA

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Years at IHPA, Living History at Old State Capitol and Vachel Lindsay

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Tour of Vachel Lindsay Home

Related Materials

For more information on Vachel Lindsay, visit http://www.vachellindsay.org/.

For a list of his most popular poems, see http://www.poemhunter.com/vachel-lindsay/

See also Architectural Gems

See also Lindsay's groundbreaking book on film, entitled "The Art of the Moving Picture."

 


Photos

Caption

Jennie Lou Boston, circa 1942, when her family lived in tiny Sumner, Illinois.

Where:

Sumner, Illinois

When:

Circa 1942

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie Lou Battles with son, Matthew and daughter, Amy at the family home in Grand Detour, Illinois, circa March 1971.

Where:

Grand Detour, Illinois

When:

Circa March 1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie’s three children pose for Christmas photo, circa 1975, at Blackhawk statue which overlooks the Rock River in Oregon, Illinois.

Where:

Oregon, Illinois.

When:

Circa 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Dick Battles poses with the three Battles children, Matthew, Amy and the newest edition, Andrew in 1976 while visiting at the Blackhawk Statue in Oregon, Illinois.

Where:

Oregon, Illinois

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This is the cast of Great American People Show that performed “Portrait of a Prairie Capitol” in the House Chamber of the Old State Capitol, circa 1986. From left to right are Rose Ahart, John Eby and Debra Brown.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1986

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tom Ward and his nephew at the Grand Reopening event, circa November, 2001. Tom is the great-nephew of Vachel Lindsay.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa November, 2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Vachel Lindsay Board Officers, at the time of the Grand Reopening event in November, 2001. Al Grosboll, Susan Hammond, unknown and Jim Huston.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

November, 2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Grand Reopening. Students from the new Vachel Lindsay Elementary School sang and recited the poem “The Little Turtle.” Circa November 2001.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa November 2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Nick Lindsay, the son of Vachel, with his wife DuBose and R-Lou Barker at the Grand Reopening weekend of the Vachel Lindsay site, circa November, 2001.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa November, 2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie Battles with Carol Andrews in the front entrance of the Vachel Lindsay Home during the grand reopening weekend, circa November 2001.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa November 2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This was the Summertime Children’s Poetry Workshop at the Vachel Lindsay Home, circa 2002. “Beauty is a Butterfly” was the theme. Bud Bartlett, Deborah Smith, Callie Smith, and a friend performed.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 2002

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie Battles, on behalf of the Vachel Lindsay Association, accepts a Family Signature Quilt for the Vachel Lindsay Home, circa February 2002 or 2003. The quilt, made in 1912, had 520 signatures of mostly Springfield residents.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa February 2002 or 2003

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Students from Lanphier High School gather on the front porch of the Vachel Lindsay home with a banner reading ‘To begin, we must have a sense of humor and learn to smile,’ a famous Lindsay quote, circa September 18, 2008.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa September 18, 2008.

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie and ‘Vachel’s Gang’ celebrated Lindsay’s birthday every year from 2001 to 2013. This was the cake for his 129th birthday celebration open house held in the back gardens of the Vachel Lindsay Home in 2008. Lindsay was born on November 10, 1879.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2008

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Justin Blandford, Jennie Battles and Chet Rhodes, no doubt reminiscing about their days at the Old State Capitol, visited Lincoln’s Tomb, also in Springfield, in February 2009.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

February 2009

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Dick Battles, Jennie’s husband, with their grandson Noah Cosgriff in 2009. The two were at an outdoor festival at the Knoxville Historic Barn in Knoxville, Illinois.

Where:

Knoxville, Illinois

When:

2009

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Vachel Lindsay home as it looked in the early 2010s.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Early 2010s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Sharon Miner dressed as Ester Catharine Frazee Lindsay, Vachel’s mother, in the front parlor of the Home at Christmas 2012.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2012

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Darrin Moore, a volunteer at the home, poses by the tree at the Governors Mansion, circa December, 2013. The theme was Vachel Lindsay’s poem “Two Old Crows”.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

December, 2013

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie holding a beautiful wooden chest inscribed with a verse from a Vachel Lindsay poem ‘…by the spring at sunset…’ This was a gift from Jennie’s children and sister at her retirement on June 30, 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 30, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Phyllis Eubanks, Deborah Huffman, and Jennie holding a retirement gift of a Lego figure of Vachel Lindsay crafted by Jennifer Caldwell. Circa June 30, 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa June 30, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Phyllis Eubanks signs the souvenir gift which included three of Jennie Battles’ favorite Vachel Lindsay photos to remind her of her many years at the Vachel Lindsay Home. June 30, 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 30, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie poses in the library of the Vachel Lindsay home with several of her family during her retirement celebration on June 30, 2014. From left to right are Noah Cosgriff (grandson), Amy Battles Cosgriff (daughter), Jennie, and Sydne Abernathy (sister).

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 30, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

‘Vachel’s Gang’ ( the Volunteer group) at the open house for Jennie’s Retirement party after 28 years with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency on June 13, 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 13, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie’s volunteers and IHPA staff members presented Jennie with this collage of Lindsay photos and signatures at her retirement celebration in 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Wendy Mullins, Sharon Miner, and Barbara Mullins Zimmerman. Wendy and Barbara are sisters and also the great nieces of Vachel Lindsay.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie Battles with Mary Wheeler after an event in the Old State Capital House Chamber. Mary did a “First Person” program as Mary Lincoln.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jennie Battles with Chet Rhodes at a 19th century children’s festival for 4th of July. This was in the Rotunda of the Old State Capital.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

4th of July

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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