Friday, August 22, 2014

Illinois Newspapers

Story has it that my great grandfather, John Chester Bigelow, and his mother, Mary Elizabeth Richards Bigelow, contributed to the local paper of Salem, Marion, Illinois in the 1940-50's.  I forget how, but I have it in my head that the paper was the Salem Times-Commoner.  I have tried and tried over the years to figure out how to get my hands on that paper and today google came through and I finally found a lead!

Turns out there is a website called the Illinois Newspaper Project (SCORE!) pulled together by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library in Urbana, Illinois.  When I did a search for Salem, Marion, Illinois I came up with many hits, one of which was for the Times-Commoner.
Another paper of interest because of the years it covers is the Salem Republican.  Again not available online (YET).

Frankly there are many papers on the list for Salem that would be worth looking into.  My family is in Marion county for many years and multiple generations and family lines...  There are 51 newspapers that come up currently for Marion county alone.  I can only imagine the treasure trove of information to be uncovered.  Obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements, graduations...  In fact one of those papers, looks like the Democrat, published this article in 1949 about my great great grandmother, Mary (Minnie) Elizabeth Richards Bigelow. (Newspaper clipping in possession of my grandmother)

And another newspaper published the wedding notice of my great grandparents: John Chester Bigelow and Charleen Margaret Condon.  They were married in 1920.

Now all I need to figure out is how to get to one of these libraries and then I'd have to move in for a few months.  Not likely going to happen in the near future... one can hope they digitize it though, right?!?

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