PC Public Library District Turns 75

Putnam County Public Library District is celebrating 75 years of being a part of the Putnam County community. The library was started in 1938 as a county library, the second in the state. It remained as a county library until 1988, when the library became a district library.

To celebrate, a series of Monday night programs have been scheduled which shed light on the long history of the county and its residents. The programs will be held at a different library each month.

The schedule is as follows:

* “The King of Sway: ‘Trader Jack’ Redshaw”: 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 13 at the Granville library.

John Redshaw, nephew of “Trader Jack” Redshaw of Granville, will present a program on his uncle “The King of Swap.” Trader Jack was famous throughout the country as a trader of just about anything, from diamonds to dinosaur bones. He was mysteriously murdered in the 1950s in the same building that houses the library now. That murder remains unsolved today.

* Patriotic Putnam County Quilt: 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 3 at Condit Library, located in Putnam.

Condit Library will present a program on the antique quilt which has been preserved in the library since the World War I era. It was crafted by over 100 women in the Putnam area as a show of support and patriotism. It is double-sided, with a red cross on one side and names of each quilter hand-stitched onto the reverse side of the quilt. The quilt is rarely displayed, due to its advanced age, and is a valued
piece of history in Putnam County. The speaker will be Dorothy Conlon, an avid history buff and staff member of the Condit library.

* Back to the ’50s: 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 5 at the Standard Library. Travel back in time with renowned local author Ron Bluemer as he explores the 1950s. Bluemer was a history teacher at the Putnam County High School for many years. Since retiring he has written numerous books about the Illinois Valley history.

* An In-depth Look at Magnolia: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5 at the Magnolia Branch Library. Sandra Woest and Lonna Nauman, both of Magnolia, will present an in-depth history of Magnolia, the oldest town of Putnam County. In 1821, Captain William Haws prospected around this area, carving his name on a tree down by the creek. He went to Springfield in 1826 to file his claim which cost him $1.25 per acre. He returned and built a cabin. Putnam County was once the largest county in Illinois with the prominent town being Magnolia.

Nauman is currently restoring her family home in Magnolia. In 1870, the family settled in Magnolia and the family home was built in 1915 by Frank and Josie Johnson. Nauman has a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State and a master’s degree from Bradley University. She has taught World History for many years and is employed at Mid-State College. She grew up in Magnolia, attended Magnolia Grade School and Sweeney High School.

Woest is a retired public school teacher and administrator. She taught English at the John Swaney School from 1965 to 1987. In 1988 she became elementary principal, working in both the Hopkins and Hennepin buildings. In 1999, Ms. Woest retired from the PC Community Unit School District, having completed a career as teacher, administrator, grant writer, and curriculum director, spanning 34 years. She was a 1999 recipient of the Illinois State Board of Education “Those Who Excel” award for her work as a public school administrator.

Woest holds a B.S. in Ed. from Western Illinois University and a Masters degree as well as Administrative Certification from Illinois State University. She was on the Putnam County Library Board of Directors when the county system was very new. She is currently teaching English as a Second Language at Illinois Valley Community College.

* Vintage Quilts: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 at the Granville Library. Mary Jane Serafini, a well-known long arm quilter and quilt appraiser will conduct a program on demonstrating how to value vintage quilts. Serafini will bring sample quilts to demonstrate what should be considered when valuing a vintage quilt. She will also discuss how to preserve quilts. Serafini owns and operates her own quilting business, “A Stitch in Time.”

* Geology of Putnam County and the Illinois Valley: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 at the McNabb Library.

Discover the extraordinary processes that created the Illinois River and the C-shaped Illinois moraines that define the Illinois Valley landscape. Geologist Mike Phillips will speak about the geological history of Putnam County. Phillips has been teaching geology for over 20 years, currently teaching at Illinois Valley Community College. He holds a M.S. in geology from Southern Illinois University.

* Vintage Clocks of the ’30s: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4 at the Hennepin Library. Dan Serafini, a graduate of the Quincy Clock College and owner of his own clock repair business “The Hands of Time,” will present a program on clocks of the turn of the century. He will bring part of his own collection for viewing and talk about values of antique clocks.

* Culinary Traveling: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 at the Standard Library. Matt Dean, a trained chef, will discuss and prepare some holiday traditions. On his menu of savory choices are Beef Wellington, Christmas hors d’oeuvres, working with chocolate and some classic holiday punches and drinks.

Source: News Tribune