Local History & Genealogy Collections

The Historical Collection is comprised of a variety of history and genealogy resources. Materials pertaining to local businesses, local school information, and extensive photograph collection, maps and plat surveys and 3-D artifacts are just some of the items available. Genealogy resources are also available including cemetery records, obituaries, Kane County Court and Probate records.

Bernice “Bee” Morrill Warne Johnson Collection

Bernice “Bee” Morrill Warne Johnson Collection

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Scope and Content Note: Bernice Clare Morrill Warne Johnson (1888 – 1979) Married Earnest Elisha Warne (1879 – 1934), 1914 in Elburn, then G.R. Johnson, date unknown. Bernice, known as ‘Bee’, was the unofficial Elburn historian, accumulating, cataloging and describing a large volume of material pertaining to Blackberry/Elburn and its citizens.

A 1906 graduate of Elburn High School, she was very socially active in the community, and had a very wide circle of friends from whom she actively obtained material. Later in life, she provided access to the material she had accumulated by way of tours of her home, as recollected by Dave Anderson, a long time resident and current (2010) Village President. The Elburn Historical Society Museum (now defunct) was posthumously dedicated in her honor in October, 1988.

This collection contains personal, scholastic, business, and governmental material as well as scrapbooks of newspaper clippings pertaining to Blackberry/Elburn and its surrounding area from 1862 to 1988. Of note are a record of household/food purchases dated 1862-1864, an automobile record of a trip taken in 1930, an oral history transcript from 1964, a listing of veterans of American Wars buried in Blackberry/Elburn, transcribed 1960 Census of Elburn, a listing of graduates of Elburn High School from 1886 to 1962, a collection of wedding invitations and 50th wedding anniversary announcements. This collection is arranged chronologically. This Collection is complete.

Clayton Hines aka Mardoni Papers

Clayton Hines aka ‘Mardoni’ Papers #2010-09

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Scope and Content Note: Clayton Hines, aka Mardoni was a resident of Elburn who became a professional magician. His dates of birth and death are unknown; he was married to Louise Anderson after 1925. They traveled the country performing at a multitude of amateur and professional venues, where they performed as magicians. Mr. Hines was also an avid pilot, and the author of several technical books on flight. He resided in southern California at the end of his life.

This collection contains personal correspondence, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, promotional material, flight instructions and magazines from 1895 to 1948 collected by Clayton Hines, known professionally as “Mardoni the Magician”. This collection is complete and arranged chronologically.

Elsie Lucile Meredith Capes Collection

Elsie Lucile Meredith Capes Collection #2010-10

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Scope and Content Note: Elsie Lucile Meredith Capes (1913 – 1996) married Charles Sterling Capes (1908 – 1982) in 1933 in Elburn. This collection contains personal correspondence, scholastic, business, and governmental material pertaining to Blackberry (later Elburn) and its surrounding area from 1833 to 1963.

Items of special note include the memory book of Elsie Ann Burr, dated 1833, a hymnal from 1850, hand knitted garments from 1884, a cook book c. 1890, and personal momentos of Mrs. Capes’s mother, Gertrude Mathewson Meredith. This collection is arranged chronologically. This collection is complete.

General Collection

Town and Country Public Library Historical Collection General Collection #2010-02

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Scope and Content Note: The provenance of this material is unknown. This collection contains miscellaneous material from local businesses, cemetery listings, church records, programs and invitations for local events, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, funeral/memorial service programs of local residents and documents from 1849 to present. The collection is arranged by topic alphabetically and thereafter chronologically. The collection is not complete; material will continue to be added.

Julia Elizabeth Callis Morris Collection

Town and Country Public Library Historical Collection Julia Calliss Morris Collection #2010-08

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Scope and Content Note: Julia Elizabeth Calliss Morris (1903 – 1988) married Charles Lee Morris (1895 – 1962), August 16, 1928 in Baraboo, WI. Julia Calliss was born in Syracuse, NY, the daughter of Walter O. and Evangeline (Propson) Calliss. Her father died soon after she was born, and Julia was frequently uprooted during her childhood. She graduated high school in Baraboo, WI and went on to receive her teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, completing an additional two years of graduate studies. She married C.L. Morris in 1928 and they made their home in Elburn where she taught for two years, until 1930.

However, during WWII, she was asked to return to teaching, which she did gladly. She was an eager educator and a gifted thespian, directing many of the school plays, writing original works and acting as Director of the Elburn Players. She retired from teaching in 1955. After her husband’s death, she returned to college, receiving her Masters of Arts in Library Science in 1966. She was a reference librarian at the Glen Ellyn Library from 1965 – 1970. Throughout the years she was also an active member of the community through her involvement in civic and fraternal organizations. She died in Geneva, IL in 1988. This collection contains personal, scholastic, business, and governmental material pertaining to Blackberry (later Elburn) and its surrounding area from 1899 to 1988 collected by Mrs. C.L. Morris. This collection is arranged chronologically. It is complete.

Kane County Court Records

Kane County Court Records

This collection contains material from the Kane County, Illinois court system from 1869 to 1963.  The collection includes case files from Common, Chancery, Criminal and Juvenile court cases and includes references to local business, politics and individuals.  Finding Aid Coming Soon!

Kane County Probate Records

Kane County Probate Records

This collection contains material from the Kane County, Illinois court system from 1869 to 1963.  The collection includes case files from Probate and Guardian court cases. Finding Aid Coming Soon!

Municipal Collection

Municipal Records #2010-01

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Scope and Content Note: This collection contains material from the Village of Blackberry (later Elburn), Blackberry Township, Kane County, and the State of Illinois from 1864 to the present. The collection includes assessment lists, list of Village Presidents, city sanitary system specifications, maps, municipal codes, tax information, Township resident listing, dockets of county court proceedings, and State proclamations. The collection is arranged by municipal entity and thereafter chronologically. The collection is not complete; material will continue to be added.

Photograph Collection

Photograph Collection #2010-12

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Scope and Content Note: Photographs of individuals, the town and its surrounding area, classrooms and events. Photographs of residents comprise most of the collection; however, others who have lived and worked in the area are also included. The photographs of individuals are arranged in alphabetical order when identified; when the individual is not identified the photographs are arranged by Studio, City, and State; the balance of the collection is arranged alphabetically by category and thereafter chronologically. The collection is not complete; material will continue to be added.

Objects Collection

Objects Collection #2010-13

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Scope and Content Note: This collection contains three-dimensional objects, two-dimensional works, items of clothing and tapestry. Items of note are sports trophies, a spinning wheel, wooden high chair, cobblers tools, paper and wooden models of the town of Blackberry/Elburn, scientific equipment, crewel art by Julia Calliss Morris, tuxedo and evening clothes including shoes c.1880, and dresses from 1930s and 1940s. The origin of many of these items is unknown and their purpose to the collection may not be clear until further research is complete. As of summer 2013, many of the items have been relocated to more appropriate repositories. New locations are as noted.

School Records Collection

School Records #2010-03

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Scope and Content Note: This collection contains attendance records, grades, programs and miscellaneous documents from educational entities in and around Blackberry/Elburn from 1877 to 2001. The collection is notable in that it provides information about residents between censuses. The collection is arranged chronologically. Also see Meredith Capes Papers. This collection is not complete and may have additional items added.

Sidewalks of Elburn Collection

Collection Sidewalks of Elburn #2011-02

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Scope and Content Note: This collection contains the working papers of Marilyn Robinson, 1931-2010, for her book The Sidewalks of Elburn. Elburn, IL: Village of Elburn, 2005. Consisting primarily of photocopies of newspaper articles, the collection is arranged first by topic and then chronologically by decade. This collection is not complete and material will continue to be added.

Small Collections

Small Collections #2010-11

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Scope and Content Note: The following surnames are present in this collection: Beith, Belden, Bowdish, Christensen, Elden, Ercanbrack, Hoyt, Johansen, Johnson, McGruder, McNair, Morrill, Pattee, Pouley, Sheldon, Smith, Stevenson, Stewart, Whitney, and Wilkinson. This collection contains personal correspondence, scholastic, business, and governmental material pertaining to Blackberry (later Elburn) and its surrounding area from 1850 to 1994 collected by residents of the area. This collection is arranged alphabetically by family name and thereafter chronologically. The collection is not complete; material will continue to be added.

Sports Collection

Sports Collection #2010-04

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Scope and Content Note: This collection contains scores, statistics and programs from local basketball tournaments from 1921 to 1982. Note minor baseball statistics are included. This collection is not complete and material will continue to be added.

Town & Countryside Historical Society Collection

Elburn & Countryside Historical Society Collection #2010-05

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Scope and Content Note: The Elburn & Countryside Historical Society was founded in 1974 and had varying periods and levels of activity. It was dissolved sometime between 2005 and 2010. This collection contains the Constitution, meeting minutes, business records, reference material, historical reference and research, audio tapes that have not been transcribed and/or indexed and general correspondence to, from and of the Elburn & Countryside Historical Society from 1973 to 2001. (to be further processed/indexed) This Collection is not complete and material will continue to be added.

Woman’s Relief Corps

Women’s Relief Corps Collection #2010-06

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Scope and Content Note: This collection contains member rolls, business records, Ritual books, Constitution with rules and regulations and ephemera of the Grand Army of the Republic Rodger Bell Corps No. 317 Women’s Relief Corps of Elburn from 1915 to 1944. The Women’s Relief Corps, Auxilliary to the Grand Army of the Republic is a patriotic organization whose express purpose is to perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic, as it was organized at their request on July 25 and 26, 1883 in Denver, Colorado. While this chapter ceased to exist in approximately 1944, the National Women’s Relief Corps was incorporated by Public Act of the 87th Congress on September 7, 1962. This collection is complete.

Historical Collection Research Request Form

Completion of the Research Request Form is required. Research requests will not be accepted via phone.

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