iBi - January 2011

Made In Peoria: The Birth of Industry

by Jerry Klein
Photos courtesy of Peoria Historical Society Collection, Bradley University Library

If one might be permitted to amend the remark by Calvin Coolidge which goes, “The business of America is business,” it might read, “The business of Peoria is making things.” For about the time that President Coolidge made that observation, it was claimed that 900 items bore the title, “Made in Peoria.”

R.G. LeTourneau: God’s Businessman

by Norman V. Kelly

This mover of men and mountains was a prolific inventor and engineering genius in the tradition of Robert Fulton, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

The Ideal Alum

by Dr. Brian Sajko
Eureka College

It may sound like hyperbole to state that never was a U.S. president so intimately bound with his college, but in the case of Ronald Wilson Reagan and Eureka College, there can be no overstatement.

Taking Care of Business for 100 Years

by The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce

In 1911, a group of businesspeople with a strong faith in community came together to form the Peoria Association of Commerce. A chamber of commerce stands for many things: attracting new business, helping existing businesses develop and working to build a strong local economy. But it starts with civic pride.

Chillicothe, Tom Callahan and J.C. Penney

by Gary Fyke
Chillicothe Historical Society

When I first heard that James Cash Penney had come to open a store in Chillicothe, I became curious. I learned that Penney had somehow been involved in business with a man from Chillicothe, Thomas M. Callahan, out in Colorado. And the details I found tell the story of Chillicothe, Thomas Callahan and J.C. Penney.

Women Answer the Call in Wartime

by Amy Chovan

The needs and opportunities of the World War II era led to a surge of women entering the workforce for the first time.

Fort Clark Constructed at Peoria in 1813

by Mark L. Johnson
Peoria Historical Society

Just over 200 years ago, the small village at Lake Pimiteoui was adjusting to life as a part of the new nation of the United States.

Lessons from Lincoln

by Emily H. Wilburn
VanFleet Law Offices

Lincoln’s career path provides insight into the business climate of his day.

Peoria’s Civil War Heroes

by Brian “Fox” Ellis
Prairie Folklore Theatre

Here are a few of Peoria’s Civil War heroes who have been portrayed in the annual Springdale Cemetery Tour.

The Women of Peoria Women’s Club

by Dehlia Ruggles

The Peoria Women’s Club was established in 1886 by some amazing local women who were doing important work in the community.

A History Built Brick By Brick

by Keith Steffen
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

The historical roots of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center date back to the 19th century.

Ever-Changing Peoria High

by Dr. Peter J. Couri

Looking back at the history of Peoria High School helps us understand why it has been saved.


A Wall of Heritage

“Determination and faith paved the path to Peoria in 1876. They knew little English, but their compassion and gentle touch spoke volumes.”