In 1973, Jesse Anderson Crawford sold her family's house and surrounding acres to the Macoupin County Historical Society. This summer her mother, Lucie Williams Bodie Anderson's wedding dress, a dress from her trousseau, and her wedding nightgown have been donated to the Historical Society by great grand daughter, Celeste McGee. McGee's father, a West Point Academy graduate was frequently stationed in areas where families were not allowed, thus she spent much of her childhood time with family in the Carlinville area, including the current Historical Society Museum, where her aunt Jesse and grandmother lived. McGee states that she has fond memories of the contents of the house and is pleased at the care extended to it by the Historical Society. The wedding dress worn by Lucie Williams Bodie as she married John Chestnut Anderson in October of 1880 in Christian County, Kentucky, is on display for viewing at the Museum by special arrangement through calling 217-854-2850 or on Wednesdays 10-4 and Sundays 1-4. A small donation is requested for touring the Museum. The wedding dress is of satin in an ecru color trimmed in maroon, considered a winter dress due to the darker color. Both the wedding and the trousseau dress have mid sized bustles, exquisite buttons on the jacket type bodices, with long sleeves featuring turned back cuffs trimmed in lace. Both of the dresses have folds in the skirts and a drape to the side. The wedding dress has beaded velvet trim down the bodice and on the sleeves. The "second day" dress from the trousseau is a silk taffeta blend in a bright plaid very typical of next day dresses of the era. The wedding nightgown features elaborate embroidery on the top front. With the wedding items McGee also included photographs of Lucie and John Anderson's children. The Macoupin County Historical Society is grateful to Celeste McGee for her generous donation and another direct link for the Museum to the Anderson family.
August 7, Monday - 7 pm @ Ruyle Building - "Everything You Wanted to Know About Conducting a Genealogy Search" - Libby Klocke and Marti Lane
September 16-17 - Fall Festival
October 2, Monday - Hot Dog Roast - "The Women of Illinois Route 66" - Cheryl Eichar Jett
November 4, Saturday - Hammer In, Blacksmith Shop
Novermber 6, Monday - 7 pm @ Ruyle Building - Macoupin County Carnegie Hero Fund Recipients, Dave Jokisch
December 1-3 - Christmas Show
SPRING OF 2017
Spring has begun an exciting series of programs at the Macoupin County Historical Society. March found the members and their guests entertained and informed by retired educator and Living History Presenter, Barbara Kay. Ms. Kay appeared in the persona of Margaret Tobin Brown, aka Molly Brown. Brown was born of Irish immigrants parents in Hannibal, Missouri, and relocated to Leadville, Colorado during her later teen years following her siblings. She married J.J. Brown, an enterprising investor who made his fortune in the mining industry of the time. Brown is best known as a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic and a passenger of Lifeboat #6. Kay made note that Brown was not as well known for her endeavours after the accident in helping those survivors less fortunate than herself in securing compensation. Kay also brought out Brown’s efforts throughout her adult life to help improve the rights of workers and women.
April’s program for the Macoupin Country Historical Society featured Anne and Jack Heinz, retired professors, husband and wife scholars, and co authors of previously published books. Jack grew up in Carlinville, thus he had the familial and geographical connections to the letters he and Anne edited for the book, Women, Work, and Worship in Lincoln’s Country, The Dumville Family Letters. A portion of the letters of Ann Dumville and her daughters Jemima, Hephzibah, and Elizabeth were found in Jack’s great grandfather’s house. The letters were housed for a while at MacMurray College and later moved to the Abraham Lincoln Public Library and Museum.
The Dumville family immigrated from England to the Macoupin County Illinois area, where Thomas, the patriarch of the family wanted to start a Utopian farm near Sulfur Springs. He died before this endeavour could come to fruition and the women were forced to separate to find sources of income. Their letters formed a source of comfort and a means of discussing the turbulent times. The women were interested in the politics of the day and the subject of slavery is much mentioned in their letters. The Methodist Church played an important part in their lives and they exchange views on the sermons and their preachers.
This collection of letters is important because of the times in which they were written and the fact that the Dumville women were just ordinary folk, not famous nor socially prominent.