Monee Historical Society

Help us discover, record and preserve the history of the Village of Monee, Illinois.

Photo Contest – Happy Birthday Illinois!

The Monee Historical Society is sponsoring a Illinois Bicentennial Photo Contest.

The Monee, Illinois Historical Society (, and the Village of Monee are sponsoring a photo contest to going to celebrate Illinois’ 200th birthday in 2018.

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Illinois! Take Abraham Lincoln out for a date!

Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818. We at the Monee, Illinois Historical Society are celebrating!

To participate, print out and color Abraham Lincoln, then take a selfie of you and Abe celebrating all over our fair state! Post these selfies to social media with the hashtags #FlatAbe, #MoneeIL and #200Illinois.

Abe and Prudential

Photos entries may also be dropped off at the community building at Fireman’s Park on Court Street in Monee.

Prizes will be awarded for the most imaginative photos and ones that capture the spirit of Illinois.  The contest kicks off on Memorial Day and all entries must be received by August 30, 2018.  Prizes will be awarded at the Monee Fall Fair on September 9, 2018.

Submit as many photos as you like and we will post on the MHS and Village Social Media sites, as well as in the Monee Community building as space permits. Everyone is eligible to enter.

 Participants can apply either on line or at the community building. (If using the hashtags on social media, you don’t have to fill out the below – we will contact you through your social media account) Please include:
• Name
• Address
• Phone
• Email
• Age (if under 18)

Click here to download and print your  Abraham Lincoln! Flat Abe

St. Paul’s Cemetery Map and List of Burials

A lot of work has been done to compile all the various sources of information into the new St. Paul’s Cemetery map and burial list.

Take a look and tell us what you think!

St Paul’s Map



CANCELLED Due to Inclement Weather – Monee Historical Society Presents Bicentennial-Abe Lincoln 2-8-18


Illinois Bicentennial Celebration 2018 Introduction &
An Evening with Abraham Lincoln

Dr. Mark Zumhagen
The MHS is happy to again welcome Mark Zumhagen, a part of the Monee community since 2005, to the stage to present readings of some of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speeches and witty remarks. Mark is a Family Physician in Orland Park, who’s interest in Abraham Lincoln began ten years ago when he gave the Gettysburg Address at his children’s school. Mark bears an uncanny resemblance to Illinois favorite son and has portrayed Lincoln for many audiences.

Christi Holston
President, Monee Historical Society
Illinois is 200 years old this year and Monee plans to celebrate.
We will outline some of the exciting plans for the upcoming Bicentennial celebrations

Monee Community Building in Firemen’s Park
5162 W Court Street
Monee, IL 60449
7PM Thursday, February 8h, 2018
Free program, light refreshments will be served

Want more information? or facebook/moneehistoricalsociety
Christi Holston, President MHS at 708-288-5756.

Monee Historical Society Booth at the Women’s Vendor Fair

MWC vendor fair flyer 2017

The Monee Historical Society will have a table displaying our traveling Museum exhibit. We will have some “Save the Monee Creamery” t-shirts for sale.

We will also be unveiling our Monee Creamery Christmas Notecards for sale. Come and visit us!

What Legacy do you Want to Leave?

I have been to 5 funerals this year. With each person I lose, I reflect on the person, their life and the people they touched. Naturally, the five people I have lost have been different ages, from different economic backgrounds and different family situations. There was beautiful Ronnie Sinon. She was a coworker and a cousin by marriage. She went far too young, and leaves a husband of only a year. There was Doris (Tyler) Zum Mallen; my first cousin, twice removed. She attained the great age of 91, and leaves 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and many great grandchildren behind. My uncle Mike Langenfeld was the hardest for me. Also too young, Mike had a great interest in military history. He was a veteran and a long time boy scout leader. Also gone is Calvin Bisping, who leaves three young adult sons and his sweet wife Laurie (nee Artman) as well as many people in the town of Peotone who greatly mourn his early passing. Possibly the most tragic was the 31 year old wife of a high school friend, Jeff Molsen. Though I never met his Whitney, I hurt greatly for my friend as he deals with his loss.

The one thing they hold in common: they could not take it with them. Not their money, not their toys, not their loved ones. They all leave a void behind them. And the thing is, it will happen to every single one of us. It might be tomorrow, it might be when we are 99 years old, but it will happen. It is unavoidable. At times, this inevitability is enough to bring me to my knees as I think of those I love who might go before me, or those who I leave behind that will mourn my passage.

So, what can be done? Can we change the outcome? No. But what we CAN do is control what we leave behind in terms of our legacy. Our story can be told. We can tell it. In whatever way we want. We can keep a journal of our thoughts, our beliefs, our accomplishments and triumphs. We can record our voices, tell our story in our own words. We can video a message, a prayer, a request. We can ensure that we are not forgotten and that our name and memory is preserved for those we care about in the future, including those that are not even born yet.

A great way to do this is to research and record our family history. Tracing your lineage is a way to connect the past and the future. You serve as the bridge between the two. By recording the information of your life and the lives of those closest to you, you preserve that vital family link and bring your ancestors to your descendants.

The hard part is starting. We all think we will “have time later” or will do it when you have a break in your hectic day to day life. NO!! Do not wait! Start NOW. With smartphones today, you can quickly jot down information as you think of it when you’re waiting for the train or in the doctor’s office. Email it to yourself. Create a “Family Legacy” folder and put the emails there. Better yet, set up a free Drop Box account and save it there. Make sure to give others access or leave your email password where it can be recovered after you’ve passed. When other family members email you something you want preserved about the family, put it in the same folder. Copy family photos from Facebook to the folder. Get a birth announcement in the mail? Snap a photo and email it to that folder. A newspaper clipping that mentions your son’s baseball game or your daughter’s graduation? Take a photo and email it.

Even if you do NOTHING else to research your family, you have this folder that will give a peek into your life and the lives of your family members. Later, if you do decide to go further, or if you have a family member that wants to begin research, you have a great head start. These baby steps can help you get started and make the task seem less daunting.

Death is the end of our physical self, but it doesn’t have to be the end of our life. Live on by preserving what’s important to you and leave behind something to comfort those you love.

Hidden in Plain Sight: A History of Quilts and the Underground Railroad 



Hidden in Plain Sight:

The story of Quilts & the Underground Railroad

Rev. Betsy Youdris is a retired United Methodist pastor who is connected to the Frankfort United Methodist Church.  She blends her love of storytelling, quilting, the Civil War, & the Underground Railroad to present: Hidden in Plain Sight: the story of Quilts & the Underground Railroad.

Rev Youdris’ husband Chuck is a longtime collector of Civil War (black powder) firearms. With his Civil War artillery corporal’s uniform, he will present and talk about his firearm collection.

As Charles & Elizabeth Henneman, the Youdris’ will portray an Ohio farm couple whose farm served as a stop on the Underground Railroad to Canada.


Monee Community Building in Firemen’s Park

5162 W Court Street

Monee, IL 60449


Thursday, November 9th, 2017


Free program, light refreshments will be available, Facebook/moneehistoricalsociety


10-12-17 Beginning Family Tree Flyer

Walter Erickson, WWII Veteran

Walter Erickson, Pvt. First Class, U.S. Army
Walter Erickson, Pvt. First Class, U.S. Army

Walter E. “Wally” Erickson was born on May 3, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of six children. His parents were Frank Edwin Erickson and Ellen Emily Runquist. Ellen immigrated to the United States in about 1903, and was closely followed by Frank. The couple married just after their arrival in Chicago.

His siblings were Edith (married Bernard Logan), John, (married Myrtle Stolzner), Bill (married Irene Tarry), Einer (died in a a fall from a horse at age 16) and Allen, (married Leona Holl).

The family operated a business out of their home in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago, digging basements for residences. A fire that occurred in the 1920’s destroyed their barn and equipment. The family moved to the farm of a friend near Olympia Fields, Illinois and later to a farm outside Monee.

For fun, Wally and his brother Allen would go to the dances held in Monee at the fairgrounds. At one of these dances, the two brothers met friends Ruth and Leona. Wally married Ruth Marie Elizabeth Diercks on 29 Nov 1947. Ruth was born Jun 19, 1921 in Monee to Henry and Adella (Behrens) Diercks. Leona Ethel Holl, the daughter of Christ and Esther Conrad Holl was born in Monee January 10, 1922. She and Allen were married June 4, 1944.

On March 14, 1942, Wally enlisted in the United States Army. He became a signalist, and his job was to man the radio and pass orders. After three months training he left for Europe on the Queen Elizabeth, landing first in Scotland and then travelling to Ireland for more training. He was in the United Kingdom for a year and a half when the orders came in to invade France. He landed on Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944, shortly after the first and most brutal wave of D-Day. The first order was to dig trenches for the men already killed on the beach. During an interview in 1993, Walter was asked how many men he saw die. He became quiet, and it took him a moment to answer. Finally, he said “The first evening, I went to bed it was dark. When I awoke in the morning there were three or four dead around me. They were probably there when I went to sleep.” Wally stayed in Europe until October 1945, and was one of the last to leave. Walter is the recipient of multiple ribbons and metals, and was honorably discharged.

After the war, Walter worked as a tool and die maker at Western Electric in Cicero. He and Ruth lived in LaGrange Park but spent the winters in Florida, near his brother Eric in the Sarasota.

He was a member of the Monee American Legion and the LaGrange VFW. Ruth and Walter were members of Grace Lutheran Church of LaGrange.

In 1993, Walter and Ruth traveled to his parents hometown of Uddevalla, Sweden, where Walter was able to see the house where his mother grew up.

Ruth died Aug 26,  2004 in La Grange Memorial Hospital. Walter died Jan 19, 2007, also in La Grange Memorial Hospital.

Monee Historical Society Back From Summer Break

Traveling Monee Exhibit and Donated ItemsThe board of the Monee Historical Society held its first meeting after their annual summer hiatus at the Community Center on Court Street last night. Members shared progress made on assigned projects and finalized plans for the rest of 2017. Also shared were donations of many documents, photos and other artifacts from community members over the summer.

Items included an original deed of the land that became the site of present day St. Paul’s Church on Margaret Street from Darlene Cowen; an afghan featuring Monee buildings from Schoops, an apron and newspaper from the Monee Centennial held in 1974 from Beverly Burmeister; a couple of old ledger books from a Monee store dated 1904 from Marcella Savalles; player piano reels from Lynn Heusmann; a copy of the book by Kathy Krabbe written about Monee Firemen from the Department; and other miscellaneous items from Dennis Erickson.

Board Members Mary Brockmiller and Diane Stacey showed the Traveling Monee Exhibit, a collection of photos, that was recently showcased at the Peotone Library and will next appear at the Crete Library for the month of December. This collection features photos of homes, churches and streets scenes from Monee’s past.

Monee Traveling Exhibit

Also discussed was the program offering for October, which will feature a beginning genealogy workshop given by board members Christi Holston and Rachel White. This workshop will detail how to begin researching your own family tree and will include instructions on how to fill out the basic forms and where to begin your search. This workshop will be held at the Community Building on Thursday, October 12.

We always welcome new members to every meeting, which are held on the second Tuesday of the month at the Community Building on Court Street, just west of Village Hall next to the Creamery Building.

Please contact us for more information or to donate items or stories of old Monee to the Society at or on Facebook @MoneeHistory.



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