The executive director of the Illinois State Historical
Society, William Furry, visited DeKalb last week to speak before
the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society. He shared
some historical findings about the Illinois bicentennial, which
is this year, then conducted a trivia contest using Powerpoint,
doling out an Illinois-produced prize a Heath candy bar
to those giving the correct answers.
I only got one candy bar for naming one of the Native
American tribes based in Illinois. Someone already had shouted
out Potawatomi, so I added Sauk.The rest of the bars were won
by other local historians who know more history in this county
than me. I wont try to name all of them, as I might miss
someone, and that would require a correction.
The toughest question was How many counties in
Illinois State Historical Society executive director
William Furry, left, discusses possible Bicentennial trivia contest
locations with Ron Klein, president of the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical
Society. (Schrader photo for ShawMedia)
the state are named for women? The correct answer is none,
and Furry would like to change that by renaming one of the smaller
counties downstate. Then he asked, Who should be that woman?
Some interesting news came at the end of his talk, when
he said they are looking for sites around the state maybe
a half-dozen to hold Bicentennial trivia nights, featuring
local historical societies and history buffs. Afterward, he discussed
this with the DCHGS president, Ron Klein, who agreed to search
for an appropriate location large enough to accommodate about
15 to 20 teams at tables around the room, plus an audience.
I would think Farandas Banquet Center, St. Marys
Memorial Hall, the Barsema Alumni Center or even the NIU Convocation
Center might hold the crowd expected for such a competition.
There obviously would be a charge for players on each team, and
a lesser ticket price for spectators.
That might be the reason why the event would be blocked
out on area TV outlets, since more people could decide to sit
at home with their favorite beverage and a bowl of Heath bars
(they are produced in Robinson, Illinois) and try to second guess
the contestants. Sort of like what Kay and I do every night when
Wheel of Fortune is aired on Channel 7.
I have some of my own trivia questions to suggest for Furry:
1. Who is buried in the Jacob Haish mausoleum at Fairview cemetery?
2. What town has the largest population in DeKalb County?
3. What famous newsman is buried in Watermans North Clinton
Dont read on before guessing, but the answers are:
1. No one is buried in that mausoleum because there is no Haish
2. The largest town defined as such in state statutes,
as opposed to a city or village, is Cortland, the only municipality
with that form of governance in DeKalb County.
3. Clayton Kirkpatrick, editor then publisher of the Chicago