Category Archives: History of Beloit Wisconsin

Creating Local History Community Archives, & Protecting Archives from Climate Change

Creating Local History Community Archives,

& Protecting Archives from Climate Change

5-31-2018 (updated)

by Vicki Hahn

SGS – Stateline Genealogy Sorter.

(Also see article from Pacific Standard Magazine on Protecting Archives from Climate Change below.)

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We were very lucky at the Beloit Public Library that a recent major water leak did not affect our Genealogy/Local History Collection area.  As one Stateline Genealogy @ Beloit Public Library member said, “At least WE didn’t get any water damage.”  This water damage is not due to climate change, but a valid reminder of how vulnerable these archives are.

The recent prolific spring rains, and potential for flooding may be a good opportunity to pay attention to how you have your own personal valuable genealogy papers, artifacts, and books stored.  Years ago, the only things I cared about retrieving after a major house fire, were my purse and my photograph albums.  I have had items damaged by a furnace humidifier leaking, children recording over my Grandmother’s family history interview, dogs teething, etc.  Life happens – protect your history items.  Imagine anything happening.

The whole 1/4 of the Beloit Public Library, next to our Collection, was roped off for the month of April due to water damage from H-VACs leaking water overnight from the second floor.  The HVACs are not over the Genealogy/Local History Collection, but part of that was roped off also as the rehab crew worked.  The end of the Mystery Fiction Collection, and the Riverside Meeting Room were both inundated. The Library did lose 450 books from the Mystery Collection.  All of the furniture, carpet and ceiling in the Riverside Room had to be replaced, and some shelving ends. That being said, we were lucky.

And, I am continuing to add uniquely valuable items to our Local History Collection.

I have just gotten the go-ahead to start (retroactively to April 2015) get our Beloit Daily Newspapers microfilmed again, once we get funding from our Library FABL Friend at Beloit Library, or Foundation groups. The Beloit Daily News BDN cut paying for supplying the microfilms to Beloit Public Library and the Beloit College Archives Library at that time.  (This may take a few years.  It will include a request to purchase a second microfilm machine, as our old one has failed for good.)  I will also ask for the purchase of a third microfilm storage cabinet.  Sooner than that, we will move a third Local History lateral pamphlet file cabinet into our Genealogy/local History area.

Thanks to specialized Library Volunteers – we will soon have a complete Index to Book of Beloit (1 , 1836 – 1936) by  Linda Smith, which I will be getting into print.  (There has been an incomplete index available, but the new complete one will make searching so much more thorough.)  Linda also recently created a complete Index to Book of Beloit II, 1936 – 1986, which we have as a book in our Genealogy/Local History Collection.

The Beloit College Archives has a whole card catalog full of indexed cards to supplement the original Book of Beloit I.  I will have them compare our volunteer’s work to see if they have anything in addition (doubtful:) )  I will share the finished Index digitally with the other local history organizations – Beloit Historical Society, Rock County Historical Society, South Beloit Historical Society Wheeler House, Hedberg Public Library Janesville, and Beloit College Archives Library.

Phyllis DeGraff, another volunteer, has just finished creating an Index to, and digitally retyping a local history by Beloiter  “Woodrow Wilson Memoirs”.  This was from a typed manuscript that we received from Custom Book Binding (local publisher) . The manuscript is waiting my review, and later the publisher will give the Library some finished books once they are published.

Two other big local history collection additions are in the works (maybe done in a year?) Monette Bebow-Reinhard (a new volunteer) has started to transcribe the 1976 Beloit – Black Oral History CDs.  These are the interviews of several relatives/immigrants recruited from Pontotoc, Mississippi to work at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit Wisconsin.  These interviews have never been fully transcribed and will be a valuable printed resource on the important (local history) African American Up North Migration and Jim Crow experience.  The CDs can be checked out at the Library.  There are also on-line digital audio recordings that you can listen to on the WHS Wisconsin Historical Society website for free.

Fred Burwell, from Beloit College Archives Library, shared this:

“Here is a link to their main page on the oral histories:

http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi/f/findaid/findaid-idx?c=wiarchives;view=reslist;subview=standard;didno=uw-whs-audi00637a

If you click on any name at the side, it will lead you to a table of contents for that particular recording and you can click on a further link to the actual sound.  For some of the people there are multiple links to more than one recording.

There’s also a transcript for the Rubie Bond recording, although my guess is that it is not a complete transcript: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/pdfs/lessons/EDU-LessonPlans-RubieBondOralHistory-Transcript.pdf

I am glad to hear that you have a volunteer interested in transcribing these incredibly valuable recordings.  I would love to have the transcripts!  They would be really useful for students and other researchers.”

Another project in the works, is a coincidence of timing.  We will have the work of a veteran on Vietnam Veteran Obituaries (donated to the Hedberg Public Library) in our Beloit People and Families Bookcase under “Veterans”.  And our Library Page, Susan Park, has gathered cemetery information as part of her long efforts to honor fellow military veterans while doing general volunteering work for FindaGrave.com .  An excellent photographer, and thorough researcher, Susan is working on creating books of all military burials in the Rock County cemeteries. In awhile, she will have her “Rock County Veterans in Oakwood Cemetery” book completed for our collection.   Later she will have her “Rock County Veterans in Eastlawn Cemetery” book completed.

Susan recently won the award from a  local Rock County veterans group – Montford Point Marine Post.:

“This past Saturday I was presented the Homer Hempstead Humanitarian Service Award by the National Montford Point Marine Association, Chapter 41.  An Award for Veterans, presented to Veterans, for serving Veterans.  The award was based on all the cemetery work I have done in Veterans Sections of our cemeteries.  I have photographed and created Memorial Pages for over 782 Veterans graves.  I strongly feel no Veteran should be lost or forgotten. 

Freedom is not Free.

Simply put, it’s Veterans taking care of Veterans.”

(On left – Major General Anderson, on the right Susan Park.)

And finally, a new book on Beloit by Robert Burdick,  “Growing Up in Beloit” was donated to the Library.  These are stories based on the articles that he wrote for years in the Beloit Daily News, Savoy Section.  http://squarepegbookshop.com/product/growing-up-in-beloit/  .  Bob has been coming to the Library for years to research aspects of his articles in our Genealogy/Local History Collection.

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How to Protect Rare Books & Manuscripts From the Ravages of Climate Change

(Vicki’s note – on-line article from Pacific Standard magazine, thanks to Ron Zarnick.)

(Read the full article here:)

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“Almost all American archives are at risk from disasters or changing temperatures. Community history will probably be the first to go…”
“Centuries of written history are at risk of being damaged by climate change. Yet archivists, the stewards of this history, have sometimes been slow to wake up to the danger.
This history, in the form of manuscripts, codices, printed books, and other material artifacts, is kept in expensive and well-ventilated university collections; it is tucked in crumpling cardboard boxes under the desks of local librarians; it sits crammed into the storage cupboards of city governments. Some documents attract scholars from around the world, while others hold scant interest beyond hobbyist historians. Many are irreplaceable.

Almost all are at risk of degradation caused by projected temperature changes, humidity, sea level rise, storm surges, and precipitation, according to new research on United States collections by a group of archivists and climate scientists.

…”The No. 1 thing you have to do to keep rare archival material from growing mildew or falling apart is to maintain a constant temperature and humidity,” Tansey says. “If the atmosphere outside is constantly hot one day, cold the next, that means you’re having to use that much more energy to keep your building at a consistent temperature for your collection, which is often contributing to climate change itself.” 

…There are measures that archivists can take to protect their collections, including identifying opportunities to relocate temporarily in the event of a disaster, or revamping storage facilities in light of local risks.”

 

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2nd Lt. Redene Wayne Simenson U.S.A.A.F. of Beloit, Wisconsin

12-15-2017

Re: 2nd Lt Redene Wayne Simenson U.S.A.A.F.

Hi Derek,

Your stories/facts just keep getting more and more interesting.

My knee is on the mend.

My Scots and Irish are unclear yet – Campbell, Arnold, Adams, and Muir (Moore).

I don’t know where my Scottish ancestors are from yet – too many other nationalities involved – United States  mix.

I am almost to the point in my genealogy research to be able to explore that.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying your history information below.

The Beloit WI Remember When Facebook group is also interested in hearing more about this hometown hero, so I am sharing this with them.

Hopefully we can get you some more information about the family, etc.

Beloit WI is about 37,000 and in some ways a small town with many knowing each other.

I possibly met Redene’s sister at the Library since her obituary says that she liked to read so much, but I don’t recognize her name.

His other siblings would be called teachers, or if they taught at the Beloit College, would be called professors lecturing to college students.

I looked up Sandy, Greg and Donna Thorpe on the public library’s AtoZ phone address directory in Wisconsin and Illinois.

I only saw some Thorpes (about 50 miles north).  If you think they are the right ones- here is the contact information –

I also found 19 pages of Simesons in  several states.

Beloit is right on the Illinois state line, and Redene was born in Durand Illinois.

I found the following information on a public family tree – “Olsen-Simenson-Woods Tree” on Ancestry.com, and contacted the creator for more information or to connect you if he answers.  You can look at his family tree directly (many public libraries here have this database for free at tbe library building.)

https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/19814785/person/1012751322/facts

Redene’s sister was Eleanor Thorpe –  a funeral collection said that she resided in Rockford Illinois at tbe time of her 2012 death and that her children are – Sandra Thorpe, Nancy (Mark) Bromhead and Julie (Jim) Barker. So Sandy is probably Sandra in this case.  (AtoZ is being balky right now – but can look later for contact.)

Redene was an identical twin to Eugene Raymond  Simenson ( who died in 1971.)  His children are:

Lawrence born 1938, Ronald born 1940, Randy born 1951 Michigan – now in Charlotte North Carolina ? , and Kim Gail Simenson born 1959 in Michigan now in Charlotte North Carolina?

Redene was married from 1937 – 1939 to a Doris.They lived on Vine ST in Beloit and he worked for the Freeman Shoe Corp. (1937 Beloit WI City Directory)

About 1943 Redene married Eileen (?) Simenson in England.  She was born abt 1921 in England, and their daughter Karen Simenson was born abt 1945 in England.

In application for military headstone – his date of birth is June 10 1917,

his date of death is listed as Dec. 21, 1944 (one day after his ferry asignment.)

He enlisted Nov. 28, 1940 (almost a year before the United States entered World War 2), and was in the 310 Ferrying Squadron.

A U.S. Army Enlistment Record shows his enlistment as Dec. 9, 1942, single withut dependents,and his height as 70 inches (5 foot 10 inches) and weight as 152 pounds.

A (Beloit Daily) Newspaper clipping dated Feb. 19, 1945 (?) shows the following information:    ( Derek – We will get you  a better copy and full citation than the source put on Ancestry.com)

Redene had been overseas 40 months without a visit back to the U.S. before dying in the  plane crash.

He joined Nov. 28, 1940 in the Royal Canadian Air Force after first being rejected by the U.S. Army Air Forces because he did not have college credits, Ten months later, he was assigned to overseas service, and was an instructor in England.  He asked to be transferred  to a fighting command where he piloted a torpedo bomber.

He tranferred to the Royal Air Force, and piloted a Spitfire for one year.

He asked to be transferred to the U.S. Army air Forces once the United States entered World War 2, and joined the Ferry Command taking airplanes for several months to Africa, Italy, Iceland, and then to France after the invasion of the continent.

His services to the Ferry Command were regarded highly because he was able to fly any type of plane. According to his letters home, there was not any type of plane made in the United States or England that he had not flown at one time or another.

Redene wrote to his brother Eugene that he had become a member of a test pilot squadron –

“If something happens to me, don’t be surprised. I am volunteering to go on missions that other fellows refuse to go on.”

He had two narrow escapes – in one he landed his Spitfire in flames and was hospitalized for a time, but did not say much about how serious his injuries were.

Redene meet (Beloiters) overseas:

Shortly before the Dieppe raid in August 1942, he and Captain Mason C Dobson, now a prisoner of war of the Germans, spent several days together in London.

He also met Major Jesse Davis by chance in a United States Army air base.

 

Vicki Hahn
Public Services Librarian
Beloit Public Library
Dear Derek Wands,
It’s nice to hear from your from “across the pond”.
I may get there myself some year as some of my ancestors are Scottish.
Yes I would be glad to help you find more information for the book on aviation history and about
2nd Lt. Redene Wayne Simenson U.S.A.A.F. of Beloit, Wisconsin if I can.
I am off work for three more weeks because of knee surgery.
I can look st our Beloit City Directories, etc. once I return.
Meanwhile I will put this in a posting for my
“Statelinegenealogyclub,wordpress.com”
BLOG (which is probably where you heard about me?)
I will also post it on the closed Facebook group I belong to – Beloit Wisconsin Remember When.
Maybe someone else will know more about the family or person.
What date do you all need the information by?
Vicki Hahn
Public Services Librarian
Beloit Public Library 605 Eclipse BLVD. Beloit, WI 53511

Preparatory Schools Were the Early High Schools

Preparatory Schools

Were the Early High Schools

Vicki’s note – This information about the Beloit Seminary/Preparatory/Academy is quoted from the online Beloit College Archives site. 

Hints:

-We can often find information about the local history of a locality at a college near that community. If you are lucky, the information may be on-line.

-The locations of institutions may change locations  from one building/address to another through it’s history.

-Depending on the time period, you may have to look for alternatives for where your ancestor went to “high” school. “Many preparatory schools were opened across the country due to the lack of public high schools in certain areas. Once high schools were built many preparatory schools closed. “

-There is a lot of information in print that you will not find on-line i.e. “approximately 6 linear feet (10 boxes, including oversize flat boxes, loose documents)”.

-An institution may have it’s origins very early in the history of a community, and it may not have actually been established right away.  I.E.  Beloit was first settled in 1836  – “The origins of the Academy stem from the Beloit Seminary, an institution that itself began life in the form of a charter written in 1837, but did not actually form until 1843.”

– Women may have combined or separate schools; and nearby communities (even across state lines) may have organizational connections.  “…1849. However, after it became the Academy women were no longer allowed to attend. At that time the Rockford Female Seminary (Rockford, Illinois) was opened.”

 

 

“The Beloit Academy, also called the Preparatory Department, evolved from the Beloit Seminary in 1849. However, after it became the Academy women were no longer allowed to attend. At that time the Rockford Female Seminary (Rockford, Illinois) was opened. Classes were held in the basement of a new church nearby until the chapel was completed on campus. The Academy prepared men for entrance into Beloit College or other colleges. Many preparatory schools were opened across the country due to the lack of public high schools in certain areas. Once high schools were built many preparatory schools closed. Until the Academy closed in 1910, enrollment in the Academy usually exceeded the college enrollment.

Beloit College Academy Records (AC 16) Beloit College Archives:

https://www.beloit.edu/archives/documents/archival_collections/beloitacademy/

This collection contains Beloit Academy (also called the Preparatory Department) administrative materials such as student registers, grade books, and catalogues, as well as publications (Junta Climax) and alumni correspondence and other materials created by Academy students.  Additionally, there is a compilation of transcripts of articles and meeting minute excerpts concerning the Academy, gathered by Beloit College Professor Robert K. Richardson.

The Beloit College Academy, at one time called the Preparatory Department, was a preparatory school for Beloit College from around 1848 to 1910. It originally focused on study of the classics, and then grew to also include courses in business, English, and science.

The origins of the Academy stem from the Beloit Seminary, an institution that itself began life in the form of a charter written in 1837, but did not actually form until 1843…”

Save Your Genealogy Research by Donating It

Save Your Genealogy Research by Donating It

Vicki’s note – a Family Tree Magazine article.  Their articles have lots of great resources for genealogists. 

I am including this posting as a reminder of an additional way to preserve your genealogy work.   Can’t get no respect or find a genealogy appreciator from your family to be an inheritor of your hard work?  Ask your local library.  Don’t forget about donating to Allen County Library of  Fort Wayne Indiana, (in previous posting.)  Or look on my Electronic Links and Genealogy Helps page/tab for the Genealogical Will for Preserving Family History form.

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Ask A Librarian: How to Donate Your Genealogy Research So It Doesn’t Get Thrown Out

Kids don’t want your genealogy research? Don’t let it get thrown away when you’re gone. Here’s how to donate your family history papers to a library.

 

Subscribe or to read the rest of this content.
Family Tree Magazine

How to Search an Address in Ancestry.com

How to Search an Address in Ancestry.com

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

9-14-2017

The question was – how do I find more information about a house (in Beloit WI)?

I just now discovered how to do that searching in Ancestry.com (Library edition at the Library.)

Note that I did not put any names of people in, nor did I use ” quote” marks on the address.  I got thousands of results when putting the address in “Place your ancestor might have lived”.  It seems to bring up all of Beloit, even when putting in the house number  and street name.  So that does not work.

The same happens if you put the address in “Lived in” or “Any Event” and “Location”.

What does work is to click “Match all terms exactly” AND put the complete address in “Keyword” and click “Exact”.  I did not even capitalize the street correctly.  You can select the entire correct entry when the typing prompts auto fill choices.

Ancestry.com keyword

Here were the results I got, which were all from 1930 U S Federal Census, even though I chose “All categories”.  The fifth person’s name was a different house number on Highland Ave.  I’m not sure why it was included, or why I did not get more hits.  Probably not enough Beloit City Directories, etc. loaded onto Ancestry yet. But this gives you some more people’s names to trace back the history of a house in City Directories, etc.:

Results 1–5 of 5

Name:  Louisa Devine
Birth:  abt 1860 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  Archie Devine
Birth:  abt 1896 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  Archie Devine
Birth:  abt 1919 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  Frank Devine
Birth:  abt 1921 – Wisconsin
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Name:  John L Briggs
Birth:  abt 1906 – Michigan
Residence:  1930 – Beloit, Beloit, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
Other places to look, and ask for the Librarians to help.  I keep getting to know our Beloit Local history better the more I help folks.:

Historic Wisconsin buildings : a survey in pioneer architecture, 1835-1870

Perrin, Richard W. E., 1909-
[Milwaukee, Wis.] : Milwaukee Public Museum, 1981. 1981

Location Call No. Status
 Beloit Adult Non-Fiction  720.9775 P428h  ON SHELF
 Beloit Adult Non-Fiction  720.9775 P428h  ON SHELF

BOOK1981.

Other relevant

Other relevant titles

entries 3-9

3

Architectural and historical intensive survey report : City of Beloit, Wisconsin

Sheboygan, Wis. : Legacy Architecure, Inc. ; 2016. 2016

Location Call No. Status
 Beloit Genealogy & Local History  GEN 720.9775 Architectural 2015-2016  REFERENCE
And
Beloit City Directories and old phone books at the Library
And
29 Early Beloit City Directories, Phone books, and history books that are digitized online at the Beloit Public Library Homepage: “Beloitlibrary.org”  > “Discover< investigate, Grow” > “Genealogy and Local History” >

Beloit Local History Digitization

And

In the indexes of the “Book of Beloit 1836 – 1936” and “Book of Beloit II 1936-1986”.

And

In the local history pamphlet file.

And

On the many Beloit area historic maps that are in our Library Local History/Genealogy collection.

 

Where is the Book on My Family?

Where is the Book on My Family?

Find Your Family Online in Digital Books

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Find Your Family Online in Digital Books

 

… Here are the best places to look for digital books about genealogy.

Google Books

Launched in 2004 as “Google Print,” Google Books now contains over 25 million scanned book titles.

Internet Archive

The appropriately-named Internet Archive began in 1996 with the goal of archiving the Internet, but the project soon expanded into providing digital versions of other published works. … Most books are offered in several different formats, including DAISY files for the print-disabled.

HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust (pronounced “haw tea”) is a partnership of several academic and research institutions offering a collection of over 15 million titles from libraries around the world. Books that are uncopyrightable (i.e., some government works) or in the public domain …

FamilySearch

The Family History Books collection at FamilySearch contains more than 325,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications from the archives of family history libraries such as the Allen County Public Library and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. …

MyHeritage: Compilation of Published Sources

One of MyHeritage’s best-kept secrets is their repository of digitized books. All are free to access, and you don’t even need to log in with a free account! …  To learn more about the digital books at MyHeritage watch the free Legacy webinar – Book Matching Technology at MyHeritage.

…Genealogy Gophers

Despite the funny name, Genealogy Gophers offers access to more than 80,000 digitized “family histories, regional and local histories, genealogy magazines, how-to books, gazetteers, newsletters, and medieval histories.” … developed specifically for “identifying real people named in genealogy books.”…

 

Elizabeth O’Neal is a freelance writer, educator, and web developer. An avid genealogist for three decades, Elizabeth writes the blog My Descendant’s Ancestors, where she shares family stories, technology and methodology tips, and hosts the monthly “Genealogy Blog Party.”

Getting to Know William Graydon’s Family, and Me – Here’s the Punchline!

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn

8-11-2017″

Duhhhh! I forgot to tell you the punchline this morning.

Great questions on my Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program today.

“Getting to Know William Graydon’s Family, and Me – a Study Showing Genealogy Research Methods and Regional Connections”.

The biggest Stateline/regional connections are these:

Major Jesse Meacham’s extended family (I think) is connected to the 1833 founding of the community West of Chicago – Meacham Grove, Illinois

(I believe that this is the “Chicago” that Major Jesse Meacham, and later, Elizabeth Lulu Booth visited before going to Troy WI.)

While Jesse Meacham went on to found Troy, Wisconsin (where William R Graydon’s family later moved),

Caleb Blodgett bought a farm/acreage in Meacham Grove, Illinois.

After a short while, Caleb Blodgett sold his Illinois land, and moved to Wisconsin.

The French trapper Joseph Thiebault (Tebo) was the first white man who came to the Beloit Wisconsin area in 1820.  He was married to two American Indian wives at the same time.

Stephen Mack was the first white settler (mid 1830s) in the Rockton Illinois area, and was married to Hononegah, a Native American woman from one of the surrounding tribes.  He founded Macktown, Illinois.

Tebo and Stephen Mack knew, and traded with each other.

Caleb Blodgett bought “three looks” of land in 1836 from Tebo, and founded what became Beloit, Wisconsin.

Caleb Blodgett knew, and traded with, Stephen Mack of Macktown Illinois (near Rockton).

 

And now you know (some of ) the rest of the story!

 

Stateline Travelers – Part 8 – A Stateline Celebration for 100 Year-old South Beloit, Illinois and Me

Stateline Travelers – Part  8  – A Stateline Celebration for 100 Year-old South Beloit, Illinois and Me

Part of an on-going series by

Vicki Ruthe Hahn, Stateline Genealogy Sorter.

June 24, 2017

 

South Beloit, Illinois will be celebrating 100 years this year.

Their Centennial Celebration will be August 24 – 27, 2017.

Sout Beloit 100

Beloit Wisconsin and South Beloit, Illinois have been linked for our entire history.

Next week the Beloit Public Library is opening their new coffee and food shop, “The Blender”.

I am welcoming South Beloiters to Beloit Public Library to visit “their” GEN Club and Coffee shop here in Beloit.

Opening the week of June 26, 2017

https://www.facebook.com/blendercafebeloit/#

Color Logo Grey Text

Blender interiorBlender sign

What a great place to go for a refreshing drink, smoothie, bakery snack, soup, sandwich, breakfast, lunch, or supper –  after doing genealogy at Beloit Public Library, after a Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program.

12StatelineGenealogyClubLogo-lg(1)

…0r anytime.  I believe that the open hours of The Blender will be something like 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Thursday; and 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Maybe we can raise a “toast” to great collaborations between Beloit and South Beloit for another 100 years.

I was the Director of the South Beloit Public Library from 1991 – 1993.  Then I got a job as the Head of the Circulation Department at the Beloit Public Library, and I am still here, 24 years later, as the Public Services Librarian.

Catherine Hayes (at that time the former, former South Beloit Public Library Director) was the historian of South Beloit.  All historical knowledge stated here is from the book, “Our Golden History-South Beloit Illinois”, which is a non-copyrighted work by Catherine Hayes.  She wrote the book to inform the people South Beloit of their pre-incorporation roots for the Sesquicentennial.

Catherine and I had many friendly conversations, as she helped me learn how to be a library director, and taught me about the history of South Beloit –

“Always a City, never a Village!”

The South Beloit Centennial Committee is writing a new Centennial history book.

 

 

In 1818, the United States Congress told the people of the Territory of Illinois to form a state government.

A heated debate arose over the correct placement of the northern state line of Illinois.

If the old line of 1787 (Northwest Territory) were kept, Illinois would be much smaller than Wisconsin,

and Chicago would be in Wisconsin because Illinois would have no Lake Michigan shoreline.

A bill passed cutting 8,500sq. miles off of Wisconsin and adding it to Illinois, creating the current state line.

 

By 1838, the village of Turtle became Beloit.

South Beloit became the south part of Beloit.

 

Winnebago County voted in 1842 for annexation to Wisconsin.

However, the south had more people and out-voted the north.

So Winnebago County remained in Illinois.

 

They (south of Beloit) petitioned to become their own city in 1914.

In September 17, 1917, South Beloit became a city.

Hint – these are the newspapers from Rockford Illinois that would also cover South Beloit Illinois:
Winnebago – Rockford   Crusader                  1952 – 1971
Winnebago – Rockford   Morning Star          1961 – 1963
Winnebago – Rockford   Register Star           1988 – 2007
Winnebago – Rockford   Register-Republic  1952 – 1972
The Rockford Public Library should have these on microfilm.
You can contact them for a search if you cannot get there yourself.
We have the Beloit Daily News (in microfilm at Beloit Public Library, Wisconsin)
which also covers news for South Beloit Illinois.
South Beloit does not have their own newspaper that I know of.
We would be glad to look up local history for you, but Beloit Daily News is not indexed for all the years.
We would need to know which date – at least the month and year.
For requests, please send us more information to our Interlibrary loan email.
Or you can contact me at the BLOG email StatelinegenealogyClub@yahoo.com

Beloit, Wisconsin has a City Flag!

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn, SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter.

City of Beloit flag, Beloit Public Library souvenir plate, and paperweight on Library Beloit Area Family Histories bookcase.  I believe the flag was created for the Beloit Centennial.

Hint – Beloit Public Library collects family histories of families and individuals linked to the area of Beloit, WI.  Look in the local libraries of where your families lived to find those, and local history.

BPL Beloit Families Bookcase &amp; Flag

 

Thanks to Kim C. posting on the “closed” Facebook Group, “Beloit WI – Remember When”.  Hint – search for these types of groups in the areas your families lived.  There is a lot of reminiscing about local history that can teach you more about the people, clubs, businesses, and events that happened in the recent past history.

“It’s No Secret – Beloit Has a Flag” from Nov. 10, 1981 Beloit Daily News:

“According to the article, the left side is yellow and the right side is green with a strip of blue dividing down the center. The Yellow portrays fields of ripened grains. The green, the prairies and pasture lands and the blue the rock River.
Overlaid on the background is a ‘flaming wheel’ of red and blue. The center portrays the dammed mill pond around which the cities industry developed. In the center of the circle in red, a wheel is made to represent a ‘turbine, spoke, flange and vane’ that were important to early Beloit industries.”

There are other Beloit Wisconsin Facebook Groups as well:

165 members – closed group – ask to join
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a progress. Working together is success ~ anonymous The purpose of the group: Pass on vital information that is” relevant to African- American people with connection to Beloit WI.
And area groups Rockford (IL) Rewind
These groups tend to have lots of old photographs of the area, ads, and people.  Just search on Facebook for the city/state name to find groups for your ancestors locales.

The Flood of 1973 in Beloit Wisconsin and South Beloit Illinois

The Flood of 1973 in Beloit Wisconsin

and South Beloit Illinois

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

April 3, 2017

A  loose- leaf book, about The Flood of 1973 in Beloit, Wisconsin and South Beloit, Illinois, was “presented”  to the Beloit Public Library by Robert Solem in 1973?  It was updated in 2011 by a (prefers not to be named) volunteer who had additional (personal) information that doubled it into a 123 page book.  He labeled the photographs, added location indicators and most of the pertinent 1973 Beloit Daily Newspaper articles (copied from the Library microfilm.)  Our volunteer then scanned the final product and gave both to the Beloit Public Library for local history.  Both versions are implied fair-use copyright for the Beloit Public Library.

I am endlessly grateful for the good that these volunteers, and others, do to help further the work of easier access to information about local history and genealogy.  From transcribing historic books into readable form, scanning, labeling, arranging, creating indexes and bibliographies, etc. – all are blessings.  Although, I am not able to link the digital copy to my BLOG, I wanted you to know the added good that will come of these volunteers’ efforts.

We got an ILL Interlibrary Loan request from a researcher at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  He wanted the original Reference book, which we do not send out of the Library.  That is so all you fine folks that visit libraries can access our local history.

That researcher will be using the flood information to build a model to help evaluate why the flood(s) happened.  The information will helpfully prevent future floods here, and elsewhere. I have requested that the researcher update me on his results, which I will include in a future Posting.

Looks like I will have to be sending the books pages in several emails.  That is entirely made possible and easy by the scanning that my volunteer did of this book.

The physical book is available to look at in the Beloit Public Library Genealogy and Local History Collection:

Title       The Turtle Creek flood, April 21, 1973 : Beloit, Wisconsin & So. Beloit, Illinois. With updated annotations Fall of 2011

Imprint [S.l. : s.n. ; 1973?]

Beloit Genealogy & Local History              GEN 363.34936 Turtle 1973         REFERENCE

Description         1 v. (loose-leaf) : chiefly ill. ; 30 cm.

Note      “Presented by Robert Solem”–Cover.

Subject Turtle Creek (Rock County, Wis. and Winnebago County, Ill.) — Flood, 1973.

Beloit (Wis.) — History.

South Beloit (Ill.)

 

Here is more information on historic flooding in the area, from the Beloit Historic Society.

Individual Membership
1 Year – $25 Membership at the The Beloit Historic Society   is well worth the value of receiving the 6 times a year newsletters filled with unique stories about Beloit history.  It also gives you a chance to support local history efforts in Beloit.

Another chance soon to support the Beloit Historical Society is to come hear my (short version) program – What They Wore When.  April 12, 2017.  This is one of several great programs that BHS Kelly Washburn is offering to the public.

BHS

Beloit Floods:

http://www.beloithistoricalsociety.com/newsletter/08_03.pdf

Beloit Flooding 1

Beloit Flooding 2