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Living Illinois Valley

Fall 2016

Women of Distinction Award luncheon keynote speaker

Sue Rezin

Illinois Senator


Water Street, Peru | 815-223-1742 SM-PR2651388-0924


Illinois Valley Living


Applauding area women


he staff at Illinois Valley Living magazine attempts to publish a wide variety of stories for everyone and anyone — men, women, old, young, city folks and country folks. It is our goal to create stories and features that will appeal to a wide variety of people; we want Illinois Valley Living to be an exciting magazine to read for all audiences. But like last year’s fall edition, I am especially tickled about honoring area women in our 2016 Illinois Valley Living magazine. Included in this edition, you’ll find the six winners named in our fourth annual Women of Distinction event. A group of previous winners of this award were kind enough to evaluate the several Women of Distinction nominations we received this year. I will tell you every nomination that came across my desk was clearly deserving; all the women nominated truly make a difference in the Illinois Valley. I was sincerely humbled by all of these wonderful nominations. Our Women of Distinction Awards luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at The Barn at Hornbaker Gardens in rural Princeton. I hope you will be able to attend. All six of our Women of Distinction will be there, but quite honestly, this event is an opportunity to honor all women and the wonderful and benevolent qualities they bring to the Illinois Valley table. Also, plan on enjoying our great keynote speaker, state Sen. Sue Rezin. I’m sure we will all go home with many things to ponder, as I know Rezin is a great and engaging speaker. Did I mention there will be plenty of door prizes and a goodie bag too? Mark your calendars, my friends. You won’t want to miss this fun-filled and inspirational event. This will be something you’re bound to remember for a long time. Check out our reservation form on Page 10. Tickets are limited, so reserve your seat today. Have a great fall. Enjoy this edition of Illinois Valley Living magazine, and maybe share it with a friend when you’re finished reading. Take time to enjoy this beautiful season. All my best, Terri Simon, editor

Living Illinois Valley

PUBLISHER Sam R Fisher EDITOR Terri Simon AD DIRECTOR Jennifer Heintzelman PAGE DESIGN Jeff Rogers PUBLISHED BY The Bureau County Republican 800 Ace Road Princeton, Illinois 61356 815-875-4461 MAIN COVER PHOTOS Terri Simon/contributed



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4 Keynote

WOMEN OF DISTINCTION’S KEYNOTE SPEAKER One-on-one with Illinois State Sen. Sue Rezin Questions compiled by Terri Simon Photos contributed

Occupation: State senator/small business owner. Where are your offices located: 350 Fifth St., Suite 264, in Peru.

Your Your Your Your

favorite favorite favorite favorite

movie: “13 Hours.” book: “Team of Rivals.” TV show: “Game of Thrones.” music: ’90s hip hop/rap, Kanye West, Meghan

The old Westclox building, and I love it! I’ve had my district office in Peru since I took office.

Trainor, Elvis Presley and Beyonce.

How long have you been in office and what areas do you represent: I’ve been in office since 2010. I represent all or parts of

Passionate, hard-worker and caring.

Bureau, Grundy, LaSalle, Kendall, Livingston, Putnam and Will counties.

Hometown: Geneseo (Home of the Green Machine!) Where do you live now: Morris. Family members: Husband, Keith, and four beautiful children.

Three dogs (labs that are black, brown and yellow).

Education: Graduated from Augustana College with a degree in international business and political science with a minor in Hispanic studies. 4

If you had to describe yourself, what three words would you use:

As an Illinois senator, what are your main responsibilities? Most importantly, to represent my constituents and their values. This means fighting for them and what they deem important in Springfield, while also helping them with state-related problems. My responsibilities also include being their public voice in Springfield and throughout the district. In addition, communicating regularly with constituents, speaking with education leaders and local, state and federal leaders about issues, meeting with every day families and middle class workers, and visiting business and job creators. I love this job because not only do I get to meet so many wonderful people and travel throughout our great district, but I get to represent them! Illinois Valley Living

5 Keynote What are the opportunities associated with your position: The

biggest opportunity is making ideas a reality for our district and state. So many people come to me with issues impacting them, ranging from our sky high property taxes to issues impacting our local economies, schools, businesses, and cities and towns. Others have ideas about how to make our education system better, our roads safer, and make government more efficient. My role as their senator gives me the opportunity to take great ideas, file them as legislation, and work to make them laws. It’s a tremendous opportunity and honor to work hand-in-hand with my constituents to craft policy that makes Illinois and our district a better place to live, work and raise a family. Being able to help people is something I care deeply about. It’s a privilege my role allows me to do that on a daily basis.

What are the challenges associated with your position: You are never going to please everyone. As an elected official, there are many times no matter how I vote on an issue, someone in my district will disagree. That’s OK, as that’s what a democracy is all about. I do my best to make sure how I vote is how my constitu-

Illinois Valley Living

ents as a whole want me to vote.

Besides your work as a senator, what other activities occupy your time: Spending time with my family is No. 1. Riding my bike

long distances, learning to run and like it, and focusing on having memorable experiences with my family and friends.

What advice do you have for others — specifically women in the workplace: Work harder than anyone else. If there is a position

open, don’t be afraid to ask to be considered. If you don’t ask, you won’t be considered. Also, having a bad experience should not be looked at as a burden or stumbling block. Look at it as a learning experience and take that experience to grow from it. Look at challenges as a positive, not as a road block. Finally, don’t be limited by your surroundings.

What advice do you have for young people who dream of a similar career as you have? First, you can do it. But, make sure you

are willing to put in a lot of hours and travel, as the job takes a lot of hard work, thick skin and a real, strong desire to want to serve people. Get involved with your community. Talk to people. Learn the issues in your neighborhood and town. Try your hat at running for a local seat like the park district board, school board or city council. Despite the long hours and sometimes frustrating aspects of being a representative of the people, the work is very rewarding. Being able to help a constituent with an issue or, in my case, as a senator, passing a state law that helps families or young people, it doesn’t get any better.

Finish the following phrase: In the perfect world … Everyone is

happy and healthy.


6 Winners/Logo and sponsors

Meet our 2016 winners of

Illinois Valley Living magazine honors the women of the Illinois Valley It’s no secret the women of the Illinois Valley are an amazing group of ladies. Just ask anyone to name a woman who has made a difference in the Illinois Valley, and there’s no shortage of answers. Whether they are an entrepreneur, a mother, a soldier, a visionary, an idealist, a grandmother ... they all have a story, and we are always honored to be able to recognize these women and share their often amazing stories with you, our readers. In 2013, Illinois Valley Living magazine decided to take that recognition one step further by creating the Women of Distinction Awards. To honor those who have made it their passion to better the Illinois Valley, Illinois Valley Living magazine has chosen six women to receive the 2016 Women of

Distinction Awards. These awards will be given to women who have made a difference in the Illinois Valley and who are representative role models as leaders in their fields and communities. The featured women were nominated by a member of the community and selected by a special committee of previous Women of Distinction winners. In the following pages, you will meet each of our winners. It is our hope you become inspired by these women and find your own way to make the Illinois Valley a better place to live, work and play. To further honor these exceptional women, Illinois Valley Living magazine will host an awards luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at The Barn at Hornbaker Gardens in rural

Presenting Sponsor

Princeton. We are very excited about our keynote speaker, Illinois State Senator Sue Rezin, who is truly a Woman of Distinction in her own right. Rezin will engage the audience not only with her knowledge of the state of Illinois but also her role as a woman in state government. We believe everyone will find something in Rezin’s words that is inspirational. The community is invited to join Illinois Valley Living magazine in celebrating the achievements of our six Women of Distinction as well as those of all women in the Illinois Valley, while enjoying a wonderful catered luncheon, plenty of freebies and prizes, and lots of fun. For tickets, see Page 10 or call Illinois Valley Living magazine at 815-875-4461, ext. 6320.

Keynote Sponsor

Major Sponsors

Liberty Village

Peru 815-224-2200

Streator 815-672-1900

Princeton 815-875-6600

St. Margaret’s Hospital


Illinois Valley Living

7 2 Winners

Sheryl H. Churney City of residence: LaSalle Organization/company: Myers, Berry, O’Conor & Churney, Ltd.

Sheryl H. Churney resides in LaSalle and is an attorney with the law firm of Myers, Berry, O’Conor & Churney, Ltd., in Streator. Churney concentrates her law practice on local government law, also handling civil litigation, real estate, estate planning and corporate law matters. Churney was one of the first lawyers in Illinois to successfully negotiate an agreement on behalf of a Bureau County township road district with a wind farm developer; since that time, Churney has represented a variety of road districts throughout Illinois and helped them negotiate agreements with developers on several projects, including pipelines, cell towers and wind farms. She has worked extensively in several area counties, including Bureau, LaSalle, Putnam, Douglas, Macon, Lee counties and more.

Throughout her career, Churney has been involved in several organizations, including St. Mary’s Hospital Board, Ottawa YMCA Board, Illinois State Bar Association of which she was recently named vice chair of the Local Government Law Section Council, LaSalle County Bar Association, several business and professional women’s organizations and more.

Her nominator said, “Sheryl is frequently a speaker on a variety of projects, as well as matters of local government, and she works well with government officials to solve problems facing communities ... In so doing, Sheryl has helped to improve the communities she represents.” Churney and her husband, Daniel, have two children, Mary Kuzma and Jack Kuzma.

member of the Princeton Chamber Business Leads Team, past member of the Princeton Retail Development Committee, past city of Princeton Zoning and Plan Commission, past co-chair of the Homestead Festival Parade Committee, United Way fundraising and more. Her nominator said, “We feel Nancy

Heiden is very deserving of this honor, as she has given hundreds of hours of volunteer work for many organizations. Nancy is the epitome of class with a great sense of humor. Her compassion for people and community is unrivaled.” Heiden and her husband, Pete, reside in Princeton.

Nancy Heiden City of residence: Princeton Organization/company: Volunteer.

Nancy Heiden of Princeton may best be known for her work at Citizens First National Bank in Princeton, where she was vice president of mortgage lending and commercial lending for 32 years. It was during her tenure there she was awarded Officer of the Year for her dedication and excellent customer service. Those qualities clearly have made an impact on the many volunteer efforts Heiden has accomplished. She is a member of the Princeton Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, past president of the Princeton Rotary Club, Rotarian of the Year and participated in countless Rotary events throughout the years. Heiden has been a member of the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Board, past Chamber Board president, a member of the Main Street Beautification Committee, founding

Illinois Valley Living


8 - 2 winners

Joy Kauffman City of residence: Tiskilwa Organization/company: FARM STEW International and Bureau/Putnam County Health Department.

Joy Kauffman of Tiskilwa founded FARM STEW. In so doing, she has managed teams of indigenous workers equipped to improve the health and well-being of small holder farmers through the world with the goal of curbing the tide of chronic disease and addressing the hidden hunger of micronutrient deficiencies. The team has trained more than 6,000 villagers— approximately 70 percent being women — in intensive hands-on nutrition and cooking classes in more than 100 villages in Uganda. At the local health department, Kauffman is a public health educator. She helps to promote local foods, growers and farmers’ markets through the media and public relations, and she inspires and motivates lifestyle and dietary changes through edu-

cation and agri-tourism. Proficient in Spanish and Portuguese, Kauffman is also involved in her church where she is a deaconess and the director of Health Ministries. She has been a health evangelist in Zimbabwe, a part of USAID — Farmer to Farmer Program, is board president of Crossroads Christian High School, is a board member of the Foods

Resource Bank and is a volunteer teacher at Sheridan Adventist School. Her nominator said, “Joy has worked tirelessly to improve the health and wellness of small holder farmers throughout the world. She has not only made a global impact but also a local one.” Kauffman and her husband, Matthew, have two daughters, Anya and Nora.

le District. Her volunteer work includes a host of activities, including the Community Youth Coalition through the University of Illinois, the Illinois River Watch, a former member of the Princeton Junior Women’s Club, a volunteer coach for the Princeton Youth Soccer League,

volunteer work for Friends of Strays and more. Her nominator said, “Monico is also a remarkable mother, wife and daughter. We are all so proud of her.” Nunez and her husband, Abelino, have one daughter, Madelina, and they reside in Princeton.

Monico Huber Nunez City of residence: Princeton Organization/company: Bureau, Henry Stark Counties Regional Office of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center site coordinator at the LaMoille School District. Monico Huber Nunez has seen a lot. As a teenager, she overcame substance abuse, later becoming a spokesperson for Gateway, which is a strong rehabilitation center in Chicago and Springfield. After putting herself through college, she has worked for companies in Chicago, Princeton and Kewanee — the latter at Bridgeway helping people with disabilities. She currently is the site coordinator at the LaMoille Community School District for the 21st Century Community Learning Center, orchestrated by the Regional Office of Education serving Bureau, Henry and Stark counties, where she is in charge of the after-school program at the LaMoil-


Illinois Valley Living

9 - 2 winners

Barbara White City of residence: Cherry Organization/company: Head librarian at Richard A. Mautino Memorial Library in Spring Valley.

Professionally, Barbara White serves as the director for the library in Spring Valley. She was involved with the 2004 Veterans Wing expansion project, and she has aggressively enabled the library to expand its services through technology and eBooks. White oversees all aspects of successful library management, including grant writing and finances, helping to progress the library into a major community asset. Outside of the library, White has been a board member for Project/Success/ Eastern Bureau County/Food Pantry for 20 years, assisting in most fundraisers as well as passing out food to patrons. She is also a volunteer at Echo Bluff. White has been an adult leader with Boy Scout Troop 1055 in Cherry for 18

years, where she is also a merit badge counselor and helps to plan meetings for annual fundraising events and community service projects for the Scouts. She is also the president of Ladies in Fellowship Together through Grace United Methodist Church.

Her nominator said, “Barb is known for her willingness to help and assist in many community activities.” White and her husband, George, reside in Cherry. They have two children, Andrea and Eric.

implementing a multi-jurisdictional training exercise, and received the Creative Drill/Exercise Award for her efforts. Previously she was an active member of the Tiskilwa Ambulance Service, and she is now active with the Wyanet Service. She has served as president of the Bureau Putnam Ambulance Association and is currently the group’s coordinator. Wood works with area high schools to bring prom night presentations to show the dangers of drinking and driving; has served on an ad hoc committee to evaluate bringing 911 services to

Bureau County; is a member of Community Partners Against Substance Abuse; and is the co-chair for the Bureau Putnam Emergency Preparedness Community Partners. Her nominator said, “Deb sets the standard for excellence in what she contributes to both her job at Perry Memorial and to the community she loves.” Wood and her husband, Jeff, reside in rural Princeton. She has a daughter and sonin-law, Michael and Janelle Smith, and one grandson, Mijael Smith.

Deb Wood City of residence: Rural Princeton Organization/company: Safety officer and EMS coordinator at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton.

Deb Wood is responsible for emergency preparedness for Perry Memorial Hospital, where she also plays a key role in ensuring policies and procedures are in place to promote employee safety. She is one of the first faces area emergency medical service (EMS) providers see as part of their training and is the lasting coach these professionals have throughout their careers in Princeton and the surrounding areas. Wood is also a respected clinical figure who these people can turn to for help, guidance and direction throughout their careers. She has also become responsible for coordinating the local Federal Emergency Preparedness Grants, since the Sept. 11 attack. Outside of Perry Memorial, Wood has been recognized at the Integrated Public Health and Medical Preparedness Summit for her leadership and participation in planning and

Illinois Valley Living


10 Order tickets

Illinois Valley Living’s


Keynote Speaker:


Illinois State Senator

Awards Luncheon Save the Date

Sue Rezin

Order Your Tickets Today! Date: Time: Location: Ticket Price:

Tuesday, October 25, 20116 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The Barn at Hornbaker Gardens, Princeton $28 per person

Tickets are available for purchase at the Bureau County Republican office at 800 Ace Road, Princeton, IL 61356 or by calling 815-875-4461, ext. 6320. Seats are limited. Tickets are non-refundable.

This year’s winners are: • Sheryl H. Churney of LaSalle • Nancy Heiden of Princeton • Joy Kauffman of Tiskilwa

• Monico Huber-Nunez of Princeton • Barbara White of Cherry • Deb Wood of Princeton

Presenting Sponsor

Keynote Sponsor

Major Sponsors

Liberty Village

Peru 815-224-2200

Streator 815-672-1900

Princeton 815-875-6600

St. Margaret’s Hospital


Illinois Valley Living


Making the old new for you

The Gallery on 34 in Princeton welcomes shoppers with a bouquet of flowers and plenty of unusual items, which are priced ready to sell.



hen you walk into the Gallery on 34, you almost feel as if you are walking into the home of an old friend. And after you meet owners Don and Kim Mitchell, it doesn’t take long to realize you’ve just made some new friends. Gallery on 34 specializes in an inventory that is as varied as those who walk through the door at 110 N. Main St. in Princeton, but perhaps that inventory, coupled with the Mitchells’ friendly and fun demeanor, are the two things that keep customers coming back again and again. The Mitchells opened the doors to their gallery in October 2014. The featured items are used furniture, antiques and home decor, however, one trip into the store and you’re bound to see a host of items that will tempt you to take them home. Some old, some really old and some notso-old items are reasonably priced and in great condition, and you’ll find yourself wandering through the rooms of the gallery, wondering where you could put this piece or that one.

Illinois Valley Living

Kim Mitchell and her husband, Don, enjoy taking old pieces and repurposing them into something unique. With a little paint, some sandpaper and a creative imagination, they enjoy re-using old pieces and making them new again.


The merchandise at Gallery on 34 changes weekly, since Kim and Don Mitchell want their customers to see new things every time they visit the North Main Street gallery. Therefore, the rule of thumb is if you want it ... well, you better buy it now because chances are it won’t be there when you come back in a couple of weeks. “We have always enjoyed going to flea markets and bringing our treasures home,” Kim said. “Don has an eye for one-of-a-kind unique items, and I love to paint and re-purpose furniture. We make a great team. I have the vision, and Don brings it to life.” Don’s specialty in the business is to find the inventory, fix any piece that needs a face lift and then add his special touches to make the piece one-of-a-kind. He also builds benches, bookshelves, coffee tables, etc., and is quick to see how an everyday item like an old storm window could turn into a coffee table complimented by a couple of hand-built sawhorses that double as table legs. Kim paints the furniture, stages all the inventory and keeps

the books. “And best of all, I get to interact with the customers,” she said with a smile, adding there is one more duty that tends to fall on her shoulders. “Oh yes ... dust, dust and dust some more.” While all relatively new businesses experience challenges, Kim said their biggest one is making sure they have inventory for everyone — men, women and children. And the opportunities? There was no hesitation ... “We love having the opportunity to meet and talk to people in Princeton and surrounding communities,” Kim said, adding many of their customers are local, however they have had several folks from the Chicago area and other states, even Hawaii.

The Area’s Destination for Furniture and Mattresses for 128 Years MON., WED., FRI. 10-7 TUES., THURS. 10-6 SAT. 10-5 SUN. 12-4

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ABOVE: What do you do with an old storm window? Why not add a couple of homemade saw horses and turn it into a coffee table? RIGHT: Displays inside Gallery on 34 contain a potpourri of items that could fit with a variety of home decors.

Furniture, trinkets, signs ... the sky is the limit inside Gallery on 34 — all displayed to help shoppers envision the pieces in their own homes. When Don and Kim are hunting for their treasures, they consider clean, upholstered chairs and love seats in neutral colors their favorite finds. While the market changes, right now dressers and small tables seem to go out the Gallery on 34 door the fastest. Kim said while the store stocks a host of unusual items, the most unusual items she’s sold are probably chicken catchers,

chicken feeders, wash tubs and cattle tanks. Future plans on the horizon include upholstering furniture for others. Don and Kim both say the most difficult part of owning/operating their own gallery is keeping up with the demand to make sure they always have new inventory each week. They both agree the most enjoyable aspect is interacting with their custom-

Bureau County

Senior Center

ers. Of course, the fact the couple lives upstairs and just trots down a few steps to go to work isn’t such a bad deal either. “It’s great to walk down stairs and be at work,” Kim said. “I never have to worry about traffic.” Gallery on 34 is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store’s telephone number is 309-634-5787.


815-879-3981 • (toll free) 800-554-5955 16 West Marion Street, Princeton, Illinois 61356 SM-PR8128244-0924

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EXPERIENCE & KNOWLEDGE Pictured from left: Dr. Lori Schultz, Dr. Dennis Farrell, Dr. Jarred Farrell

682 E. Peru St., Princeton 815-875-4408 13


James McGuire, commander of the Rhode Island Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, recently traveled to Bureau County to search Perkins Cemetery, an abandoned area, for the final resting place of his relative Corporal Levi Long.


Story and photos by Dave Cook

ames McGuire, commander of the Rhode Island Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), traveled a long way to search a hot, humid and heavily-wooded hilltop containing an abandoned cemetery. His search was successful, and he finally made a tangible connection to his Civil War ancestor, along with many others in his family tree. McGuire became a commander in the SUVCW this year, the same year their national encampment was being held in Springfield. This is also the year he learned his ancestor, Corporal Levi Long of Company K in the 148th Illinois Infantry, was buried in Perkins Cemetery, just a few miles down the road from Bureau Junction. “For all these things to occur at the same time, it’s serendipity,” McGuire said. Arriving in the area, McGuire received help from the Bureau County Genealogical Society (BCGS) and located Long’s name on Princeton’s Soldiers and Sailors monument. He was also able to see a photo of Long in the Bureau County Historical Society Museum. He then visited a cousin he’d never met in Kewanee and met his great-grandmother’s niece in Annawan as well. He said she looked very much like his grandmother.

Illinois Valley Living

15 “For so long these towns and family members existed only in my imagination — Annawan, Kewanee, Putnam, Princeton, and now I’ve been to these places and have even seen some of their faces,” McGuire said. The BCGS helped him contact property owner Conrad Swenson, who met him near the cemetery, guiding him in the right direction for the steep climb up the rugged, mosquito-filled hillside. McGuire spoke of his first impression of the cemetery. “I arrived with the expectation it was going to be overgrown, vandalized and ravaged, and damaged by time ... I wasn’t disappointed. I was surprised though at how much it’s deteriorated since the photos I saw from about 15 years ago. I don’t understand people who would come to a place like this and damage graves. Nature has done a fine job on its own ripping this cemetery apart; it didn’t need any help,” he said. McGuire did some raking, trimming and moving of fallen trees in his attempt to identify the final resting places of his family members, but he was mindful of the fading condition of the area. He pointed to a burnt tree stump as a sign someone had once used fire to clear the growth. “It’s not a good idea to burn in an old cemetery; the stones are so fragile they’ll crack and break. This place is pretty much a disaster; I had to divorce myself from the emotion that my historical family cemetery was lost, but I had to try and clean up a little,” he said.

Illinois Valley Living

Enveloped by trees, this is one of the larger monuments in the old cemetery. The area has been consumed by nature to the point where it’s conceivable that someone could walk through it without realizing they’re passing through a Civil War-era cemetery. According to the Bureau County Genealogical Society, Perkins Cemetery was established in 1843.


16 McGuire said every single one of the people laid to rest there was a relative. His great-grandmother was Minnie Perkins, and her father was John Wallace Perkins. There’s also Mary Ann and Jeffery Perkins, Rachel Whitmore and Mary and Elizabeth Long. McGuire began doing his genealogical research about 12 years ago. “It all started with a little blue notebook I found in Grandma Minnie’s old stuff,” he said. McGuire also made some discoveries which will continue to fuel his ongoing research. “I don’t recognize John Drake, and there’s also Gershom J. Palmer, 11, so I have to figure out how they’re connected. You do learn things by coming to places like this,” he said. Along with the grave of Corporal Long, McGuire also found and placed a flag on the grave of another Civil War veteran, Long’s nephew, Samuel C. Haynes. He said, “I also found George Cottrell, a Civil War veteran of Company B in the 108th Illinois Infantry. Part of what we do as the Sons (SUVCW) is find where veterans are buried and put them in our data base. We want to say we’ve located as many Union soldiers as possible. George isn’t there, so I’ve found a Civil War veter-

The passing years have left many of the remaining stones difficult to read. Here, McGuire looks for another family connection within Perkins Cemetery.

an to register, and I’ll be reporting it at the national encampment.” McGuire was able to leave something tying him and his family of long ago to their Rhode Island roots. He placed a marker for Rhode Island veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic at Long’s grave. The markers were manufactured in Rhode Island in the late 1800s by the Jenks Foundry. “At some point this was taken from a cemetery, which is clearly illegal and disrespectful. We find them at flea markets, antique stores and on eBay. My One of the Quahog clam shells found by McGuire, who friend reclaimed this from said placing the shells on family member’s graves is an a flea market, and after old Rhode Island tradition.


Post Office Box 114 Walnut, IL. 61376 Email: Website: 16

•FREE ESTIMATES• Home: 815-379-9317 Ans. Machine: 815-379-2350 Cell Phone: 815-303-9321

hearing what I was doing, asked if I wanted a Jenks marker to give to Levi Long. I restored it to bring here and place on his grave,” he said. McGuire amazingly found another Rhode Island connection among the dirt and growth. “This is a Quahog clam shell, native to Rhode Island. It’s tradition where I’m from to place these shells on our family’s graves.” McGuire said, while holding up a large white clam shell in remarkably good condition. McGuire contemplated the future of the cemetery when he said, “I’m almost resigned to ... this is it. I’d like to imagine this being restored, but there’s also something poetic about it going back to nature ... in an ashes to ashes, we all return to dust kind of way. Now there’s the question of how many more people will ever set foot in here again. Me? I’ll be back.”

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Illinois Valley Living

17 Spring Valley


Spring Valley Photos by Eric Engel Spring Valley history Spring Valley was founded in 1884 in the heart of the coal fields of Northern Illinois for the express purpose of mining of coal. How it started The building of Spring Valley was the enterprise of Henry J. Miller, one of the first settlers of this area, and his son-in-law, Charles J. Devlin. They conceived the idea of establishing a coal metropolis, in the valley and on the slopes of the bluffs bordering Spring Creek, in the southeastern corner of Bureau County. They acquired the mineral rights of 5,000 acres and purchased 500 acres on which to build the town. They secured the financial aid and cooperation of coal and railroad capitalists, E.N. Saunders of St. Paul, Minn., a director of the Chicago and North Western railroad, Mr. Taylor of “What Cheer,� Iowa, and W.L. Scott of Erie, Pa. Scott was a United States Senator from Pennsylvania during the administration of President Grover Cleveland. Most of these men are remembered in the name of the streets of the town.

Illinois Valley Living


18 Spring Valley

Two companies were formed, the Spring Valley Coal Co. and the Spring Valley Townsite Co. Backed by the almost unlimited resources of the coal barons, these two companies spent over $2.5 million in less than four years in the building of the town. The boring of the mine commenced in 1884, and the town was surveyed and platted. Spring Valley did not grow from a crossroads country store or framehouse; it was planned with the hope it would grow to be a large city. Space was set aside for churches, schools and public buildings and broad streets were laid out. St. Paul Street became one of the widest streets in the state, and in 1984 made even wider. Spring Valley was a boom town; its growth was so rapid it was called the “Magic City.” In less than four years, by 1888, the Chicago North Western railroad had laid a line from DeKalb; four mines

had been sunk; and the town had 3,000 people. It was a brawling, boisterous place and was to remain so, more or less, until completion from the Southern Illinois coal fields forced the mine to close in late 1927. The town had gained a hard name but had a cultural side too. By 1888, two years after the incorporation of the town on Feb. 8, 1886, two churches, the Congregational and the Immaculate Conception, had been built; two schools erected, the Immaculate Conception Parochial and the Lincoln Public School, which included a two-year high school course; a newspaper, the Spring Valley Gazette; and a public library. This library was established by the “Knights of Labor,” the Coal Miner’s Union in 1885 before the town was a year old, before even a city government was formed. This early interest in education culminated in the establishment of two

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schools believed to be the first of their kind in the state. The Hall Township High and Vocational School trained in shop, carpentry, printing, drafting, cooking, sewing, typing, shorthand, bookkeeping and banking. This school was constructed in 1914. Spring Valley, like every other coal town, came to know almost every nationality in Europe. These people came from LaSalle, Peru, Braidwood, Braceville and all mining camps of Northern Illinois. The nationalities in Spring Valley included the English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, and Cornish from the coal fields of Great Britain, from Northern France and Belgium; Polish, and Germans, Swedes and Lithuanians from opposite shores of the Baltic Sea; Slavish peasants from Central Europe; and immigrants from sunny Italy. Many arrived in Spring Valley dressed in their native dress, tagged and ticketed from their port of entry.

City of Spring Valley City Walt Martini, Mayor 215 North Greenwood Street, SPRING VALLEY, ILLINOIS 61362 City Hall • (815) 664-4221 Fax • (815) 664-2114 e-mail:

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19 Spring Valley

The town also developed a colored section known as the “Location.” In 1905, the Bureau County Republican newspaper stated there were 32 distinct nationalities groups in Spring Valley. How Spring Valley got its name It lies in the valley of Spring Creek. The hills on either side of this valley were, and are to some extent today, laced with springs that still feed Spring Creek. There were numerous springs in the town itself. One in the vicinity of the once Hunter-Doherty Lumber yard was so large and fast-flowing the Indians had an encampment there. Remains of this encampment were visible in the early days of the town. There was a large spring that flowed from the side of the hill between East St. Paul Street and East Devlin Street, down a gully into Spring Creek. Springs still feed the pond of water at the foot of Number 1 slag dump on East St. Paul Street. This area is now the “Coal Mine Park” owned by Spring Valley PRIDE. The first drinking water supply was piped from large springs on North Sixth Street. So, with the springs and valleys, it was easy to conceive the name Spring Valley. There is a record the Indians called this territory, “The Valley of the Springs.” The fact that Spring Valley is located at the point in the river valley where the high bluffs, which contain the famous stream, are closer together than anywhere else in the grain belt and that there

is a minimum flood plain has made this point most attractive for the location of grain elevators. It has become the fulcrum of the grain handling industry of the upper section of the Illinois River. John Mitchell The city of Spring Valley was the home of the most distinguished man to call Spring Valley home, John Mitchell. Mitchell was the fifth president of the United Mine Workers of America. Digging coal in Spring Valley, Mitchell learned the precepts of honest and broad unionism from his fellow miners. In the early days of the unions, a union meeting was always concluded with, “God Bless You John Mitchell.” He was a quiet mannered, unassuming man, known nationally, but in his home town he was “Jack Mitchell.”

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20 Spring Valley Born in Braidwood, Ill., in 1870, the son of Robert Mitchell, a worker in the mines, John was a breaker boy at the age of 12. He said of himself, “I have no recollection of a care-free childhood in which play, laughter and pranks had their place. His mother died when John was 3 years old, and his father was brought home dead from the mines when John was only 6. John was left in his stepmother’s care, who was an honest, Scotch lady, but a rigid disciplinarian. Her motto was, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” During the cold winter nights, he spread a heavy soldier’s overcoat over his little half brother and him to keep them warm. His father had served in the Civil War, and when he was discharged, he brought home with him his soldier clothes. John said, “When we were snug and warm beneath that coat, I felt proud that my father had been an American soldier. Through all the years, I felt that same pride in the memory of my father and the love of my country. This, with a good name, was our sole heritage from him.” He was only 10 years old when he set out to seek his fortune. He got a job on a farm for $1 a week and his board, and in a short time, he was doing the work of a regular farm laborer. At the age of 12 he went into the mines in Braidwood and attended night school. In 1886, he came to Spring Valley, two years after the first mine shaft was opened by the Spring Valley Coal Co. He was already a man of experience. Soon after arriving in Spring Valley, he boarded a freight train

for the mines in Colorado. There he lived with the family of Dan McLaughlin, a dedicated union man. Dan had much to teach John, and it was from him that John learned what undying energy some bring to the hopes and work of their lives. Returning to Spring Valley in 1888, he was only 19 when he went through the troubled times of the miners’ lockout of 1889. He marched with the striking miners in 1891. Coming home from a meeting in Chicago after the Convention of 1898, he was hailed as, “The father of the eight-hour day.” In 1891 he left for the coal mines of New Mexico, only to return to Spring Valley the next year. He called Spring Valley his home until after he had given up the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America in 1908. In 1892, he married Catherine O’Rourke, a motherless miner’s daughter. They had five children, three boys and two girls. The home at 210 E.Dakota St. is still known as the Mitchell home. At the age of 20, John Mitchell was made a master workman of the Knights of Labor. Before he was 30 he was elected president of the United Mine Workers. He built the membership from 43,000 to 300,000 and not only won the love and gratitude of his men but also a place for himself among many important leaders. From his work in the inferno of the coal strike of 1902 in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania, he made a friendship that bound him and Theodore Roosevelt together. Sources: City of Spring Valley.

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Keep ‘Up’

the good work Story and photos by Eric Engel


n 1985, Ray Anderes was working at a fine dining restaurant in the Illinois Valley; he said back then, there was fine dining and utility dining without much in between. He wanted to experience a place that was as approachable as it was respectable … so he took a stroll “Uptown” to find it. Uptown Bar and Grill opened in a 1,300-square-foot store front on First Street in LaSalle, with the original kitchen partially in an elevator. Anderes said throughout the next decade, they expanded as they could, but there came a point where more space was needed. He made an offer on the building next door, assuming the satisfactory business model couldn’t change too much by walking 20 steps down the block.

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“I felt like we needed a place that would be open every day, lunch through dinner, with a casual menu that lasted all day long … and now we’re one of the busiest independents in Illinois outside of Chicago,” Anderes said, adding outside dining, the dining room and lounge, a secondary dining room and the banquet room are spread over 17,000 square feet and can seat up to 300 people. “One of the biggest kicks I get is when someone outside the area walks in, looks around and says, ‘What’s a place like this doing in Central Illinois?’” Thirty years ago, tourism was less than a quarter of the business at Uptown, and now it accounts for around 50 percent of the business, he said. After 20 years in the current building, it was time for a facelift, and Anderes spent the last year remodeling his business.


22 “Twenty years is a long time for one surface to be used in this business, so we just finished in November or December 2015 with our remodeling,” he said. Anderes said every one of the 70 employees — whether they are washing a dish or setting up a plate in the kitchen or greeting a customer — represents Uptown Bar and Grill. Keeping quality employees is not hard to do; it’s finding them in a difficult labor market that is challenging. “We have a very stable and consistent staff. I have many employees who have been here over 20 years, so it’s nice for the local customers to see people they recognize instead of us constantly turning over staff.” Another balancing act comes with maintaining the menu items customers have grown to love while recognizing what new trends to research and experiment with. With a menu twice the size of the nearest competitor, bringing on a new item mandates taking an old one off, which can upset customers who look forward to a particular dish with each visit. Ray’s son, Ryan, said people may not realize all the hours behind the scene in a busy restaurant. Even when you have people in the dining room, you still have things to do, he said, so walking away from the floor and having a staff you can trust to keep the operations running smoothly is critical.

Uptown Bar and Grill believes in treating employees and clientele like family, with Ryan (from left), Rita and Ray Anderes all instrumental to the continued success of the LaSalle restaurant.

Fish tacos satisfy the eyes and the appetite for hungry restaurant visitors. 22

Illinois Valley Living

23 “Hard work keeps the restaurant humming; I probably still work 80 hours each week,” Anderes said, noting some wouldn’t put up with that lifestyle, but it’s all he’s ever known. “I’m really thankful to be in a community like LaSalle, where you’re appreciated by your fellow business owners and city officials. They are very easy to work with, so we don’t have to deal with as much bureaucracy as other places in Illinois.” About four years back, Anderes had an opportunity to work with a company that does digital menus. You basically design your menu on a website, and that website pushes it out to a group of tablets — allowing customers to tap a menu item; get more details and a picture of it; even pair a wine or beer that would go well with the dish. “We change our menu and have new specials every day, so it got to the point where ink and toner for printing was so incredibly expensive,” he said, calling the tablets a better product that sends updated information directly to the customer’s hands. “We were probably one of the first couple hundred restaurants in the country who

started doing this.” Anderes said it’s like a family at Uptown Bar and Grill — sometimes you get along with them and other times you don’t, but it always works out. Teamwork is the most important concept because with 20 appetizers, 15 sandwiches, 25 entrees, 10 desserts, 100 bottles on the wine list and 300 items behind the bar … it feels great when you have a shift that runs smoothly. “You have to know how things work and be able to figure them out because it’s not about the dollars you’re making on each customer or each dish … you have to think about the big picture,” he said, noting the restaurant remodeling was probably his last big project, and he’s going to start taking more time for himself and transitioning to when his son and another trusted individual with 20 years of employment can take over the business. “I wanted to do it once and do it right, as the goal was not to get too fancy; the casualness is important to us,” Anderes concluded. “We want it to be versatile for anyone walking through the door.”

Uptown Bar and Grill has been a mainstay in LaSalle for the last 30 years, offering high scale service and products in a comfortable setting.

Ag is back

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A stress-free wedding day? BEAUTY FROM ASHES MAKES IT HAPPEN Story and photos by Terri Simon


o most, it might look like a pile of rubbish — thrown-away items that have no appeal. But if you’ve ever met Jacqui Grant of Bradford, you’ve come to know a lady who looks at others’ trash as treasures. And ironically enough, that type of thinking is the same way Grant looks at life and everyone she encounters. Self-described as a wedding coordinator, Grant’s mission is to offer brides, grooms and their families an opportunity to leave the stress of creating a perfect and memorable wedding behind; instead, Grant takes the soon-to-be-married couple’s vision to heart and ultimately helps them create a personalized day that will be cherished and remembered.

TOP PHOTO: Re-purposing items to fit into a bride and groom’s wedding/reception decor is a specialty of Jacqui Grant, who owns Beauty from Ashes Creative Design. RIGHT PHOTO: Jacqui Grant of Bradford dons her camouflage pants, a T-shirt and her signature cap turned backwards when she’s elbowdeep in helping brides and grooms create a one-of-a-kind wedding experience. 24

Illinois Valley Living


Turning old items — whether they are favorite pieces belonging to the wedding party or ones she has secured throughout the years — into unique designs is a specialty of Beauty from Ashes, like this guestbook table that includes an old suitcase, a lantern, picture frame and more.

Expect to see the unexpected when allowing Beauty from Ashes Creative Design to help you plan your wedding or other event.

Grant’s workshop is filled with a variety of re-purposed items that can be customized to every bride’s perfect day. Whether a traditional or non-traditional wedding is chosen, Grant has a plethora of experience with all types of special events. Perhaps the bride and groom want a shabby/chic event, a day filled with wood and lace, a champagne elegance ceremony and reception, or a down-home feel to the day; either way, Grant’s mission is to focus on the bride and groom and their specific wishes. “Whatever they want to do is great with me,” Grant said from her Princeton workshop. “There are lots of spins on what you can do. It’s so much fun. I love to create. I love to mess. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It shouldn’t be stressful; it should be a joy,” Grant said. “I want them to find joy in the journey. “Brides are looking for someone to help them pull it all together. I kind of have a heart for people. I’ve always been

honored by giving,” Grant said. Grant said she often thinks the true essence of a wedding has been lost. Instead of two people celebrating their love before God, family and friends, the focus has shifted to creating a wedding day ultimately filled with stress and worries about pulling it all off. Grant hopes to alleviate that stress. Grant’s husband of 30 years echoes his wife’s sentiments. “Jacqui helps bring peace to the bride,” Jimmy Grant said. “She allows the bride to focus on the marriage and forget about all the decor and other things ... She helps bring back the focus of what it was supposed to be.” Along with her design partner, Sarah Over, Grant offers brides a free consultation to meet with them and their families, spend time with them and learn about family histories, wishes, dreams and more. Once a bride decides to use the services of Beauty from Ashes Creative Design, Grant can supply a host of services/items to meet the personal needs of the wedding party.

Why the name ‘Beauty from Ashes?’ Beauty from Ashes Creative Design owner Jacqui Grant explained the name of her wedding coordinator service. “Our name, ‘Beauty from Ashes Creative Design,’ holds special meaning to me. It truly speaks to our heart behind starting this business as well as our mission to bring joy and peace on the once in a lifetime journey of preparing for your wedding day. “After suffering a loss of 22 trees and our carriage house in a terrible storm in Spring Illinois Valley Living

2013, we were left with a huge mess to clean up. Throughout the many weeks of clean up, we were continually blessed with amazing friends and even strangers who came to our aid with chain saws, meals or just kind words and prayers. “I couldn’t construct a new carriage house, so I started to try and bring ‘beauty from the ashes’ in ways I could. I created a garden that is open to the community in the back of our property. I

cleared away 15 feet of old fencing and trees and began to take pieces from our carriage house and damaged trees to make tables and sitting areas. People began donating amazing items to bring the garden to life. “In a short couple of months, the garden was done and offers a place for people to just come and sit and rest a bit ... to find peace ... to take a time out from the pressures of the world and just be.” 25


LEFT: “How sweet it is to be loved by you” incorporates an old hutch with enamel-ware basins filled with candies for reception guests to nibble on throughout the evening. CENTER: Beauty from Ashes owner Jacqui Grant uses chalkboards to help personalize each wedding or other event. RIGHT: Beauty from Ashes Creative Design can be found in a studio/workshop in Princeton, where a variety of displays are set up to help soon-to-be newlyweds envision their special day. • Brides can rent items from Grant, which can include delivery and pick up. These items can be used with special pieces the families want to include in the wedding. • Grant will visit the couple’s wedding venue and help visualize the space, while also doing trial runs with possible setups using her inventory or items the couple provides. One of her services is to actually design the room in advance, so the couple can see exactly what the venue will look like with the pieces they’ve chosen to use. • Have an idea for a perfect piece to incorporate into your wedding or reception? Grant will go on a treasure hunt to find it. • In order to make one’s wedding a customized experience, Grant urges families to bring in items to incorporate into the wedding/reception. By using personal items, Grant said, “The beauty of (doing this) allows for family members to get involved, and more importantly, changes your decor from simple decorations to pieces of your life, your history, your love. The decor takes on the spirit of your love story.” • Beauty from Ashes will also be a bride’s “designer for the day,” to help pull everything together. Grant offers a variety of no-stress packages, all personalized, at varying prices, depending on services. She stressed she is not in

M.R. Holmbeck, D.V.M. B.R. Sondgeroth, D.V.M. C.M. Schelkopf, D.V.M.

business to compete with florists or caterers or any other services used in a wedding setting, rather there to compliment what they do and help keep the bride and groom from having to stress out over the details of the special day. “Every wedding is different,” Grant said. “We strive to work within your budget and will work with you on creating unique packages utilizing our services and rentals. Once we have met and discussed your ideas, we will work up a quote that fits your budget.” “This is our goal ... to make (your wedding) about the love you share, rather than about a production to impress people. This is your wedding, and all that really matters is that you’re marrying the one you love,” Grant said. “This may sound contrary to my business, but honestly, the decorations do not matter in the long run. It’s not what people are coming for — they love you and want to stand next to you as you take this vow of marriage “Once this becomes the main focus, I have seen the stress leave the bride and groom when getting ready for their day. It becomes fun ... Let’s make this stress free for all involved and a journey filled with joy, peace and lots of laughter,” Grant said. To schedule a consultation, contact Grant at 309-238-2011 or email her at

A.M. Adams, D.V.M. K.A. Reed, D.V.M.

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Illinois Valley Living


Behind the scenes ... ... WITH CARL CARLSON

being a superintendent: Working with our awesome educational staff and communicating with all the supportive families and community members.

Questions compiled by Shannon Serpette

Town of residence: Granville. Where did you grow up: Pecatonica, Ill. Family: Missy (wife), Seth (high school senior), and Luke (high school sophomore). Occupation: Superintendent of Schools for Putnam County CUSD No. 535. What is the last book you read: “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson — I reread it every now and again. What is your favorite TV show: I watch a lot of shows on HGTV. What is the last movie you saw: “Remember the Titans” (great rerun prior to high school football seasons starting). If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be: Steak and potatoes. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up: A teacher. What is the most enjoyable aspect of

What is the biggest challenge of being a superintendent: The financial uncertainty of state finances and the impacts that could have on our communities locally. Do you suggest young people enter the field of education and why: I do suggest and encourage young people to enter education. It is a great career with tremendous rewards. What are the keys to success in life: Maintain balance with your personal and professional homes; don’t be afraid to ask for help; listen to people; and always see

October 8-9, 2016

the big picture. If you could have lunch with one person, living or deceased, who would it be and why: Michael Jordan — I have always admired his drive and work ethic. If someone asked you to name a memorable moment from your life, what first comes to mind: The days our two sons were born. How do you spend your spare time: I hang with family and friends and try to relax. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far: Personally, I feel like our family is my greatest achievement. I am so proud of both our sons and my wife for all she does for us. Professionally, I have a lot of items I am proud of accomplishing. I am hoping my greatest achievements are yet to come though. What is the best advice you have for your students: Do your best each day; dream big; and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed. What three words describe you best: Humble, compassionate and hard-working.

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Visit our New Real Estate Center! 210 South Main, Princeton 27


Heroes for sale PRINCETON ARTIST HAS ENTERED WORLD OF COMICS Story and photos by Dave Cook Photos contributed


story of a frightening detective emerging from the shadows of night to protect the innocent from the criminal is rich material for writers. In the world of comics, artists are equally important when bringing that world to life for readers. Austin Burrows, 22, is honing his skills to join their ranks. “I started drawing when I was young, and people told me I was good and should continue; but I never really looked at art as something I would pursue until I was out of high school. I put drawing to the side growing up because I had the ‘starving artist’ state of mind and didn’t want to take the chance at something that potentially would never turn into a career; that made me nervous,” he said.

Austin Burrows works on inking a print commissioned by a fan. Once this process is finished, it’s scanned and sent to his colorist for completion. TOP: Burrows autographs and numbers his prints for the many fans of Batman. While the caped crusader is his favorite, he’ll create images of any character or scene a fan chooses. 28

Illinois Valley Living


Austin Burrows is pictured with the banner he created and which will help showcase his style and promote his art when he has a booth at future comic events.

After graduating high school, Burrows had a change of heart. “Once I got a look at life outside the structure of schools, I realized you should go after something you love to do and try as hard as possible to make something out of it because life’s short, and you should do what makes you happy,” he explained. He focused on the world of comics after buying his first issue at age 17. That particular edition was drawn by well-known artist Tony S. Daniel, and he began drawing in an attempt to see if he could rise to the same caliber. “I fell in love with the art and started drawing like crazy to see if I could even come close to his level. Just the way he drew Batman, backgrounds and people really caught my attention and made me interested in comics,” he said. Like many fans, Burrows eventually attended his first comic convention, C2E2, in Chicago. He was even able to meet the man who inspired him to enter the world of super-powered art. “He was really nice and told me to draw everyday and each page would teach me something new. Now I tweet him a lot, and he’s always willing to give advice and even likes the pictures I post which is very motivating. When I attended C2E2, I felt like I had found ‘my people’ once I walked through all the artist’s tables,” Burrows said. Earlier this year, he applied for the DC

Talent Development Workshop but unfortunately wasn’t invited to join. He said, “I came in to it way too late and was rushed. I wasn’t expecting to get in. I took a little break afterwards, but got right back into it and will try again next year.” Burrows hasn’t slowed, and the denial from the publisher of Batman and Superman has only served to make him work harder to improve his technique and seek to see his work as a finished product. With comic art, projects are a collaboration between different artists. Burrows pencils and inks the foundation of the drawing and then sends it to be brought to life with color. He’s recently begun working with Jeremiah Skipper, a self-taught, freelance colorist. Skipper has been working for approximately three years and has completed more than 15,000 works by many different artists, each with their own style. “He hasn’t been picked up by anybody, but his colors are just phenomenal,” Burrows said. He’s now taking his completed art and making it available through Facebook, Instagram and at www.austinburrowsart. He’s offering three prints, plus a sticker, for $20. He’ll additionally do commission work and has also recently sold original art to a fan hoping to get an early piece from a future, well-known professional artist.


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30 “Things are now a snowball effect. I’ve sold art from coast to coast; that blows my mind as to how far my art is reaching. I think my biggest accomplishment has been selling my art to different parts of the country. I’ve even had people from China and other parts of the globe looking to grab a print. I’ve also been doing Skype classes for $25 an hour to teach people my process. As of now, I have more than 11,000 followers on Instagram. It’s a humbling experience, “ Burrows said. He knows he’s still got work ahead of him before seeing his work grace the pages of a published comic, but he’s determined to meet the challenge. “Even if I did one published book for DC ... or even a cover, I’d be happy. It’s cutthroat; you have to bring your ‘A’ game because they don’t take just anything. You have to stand out. I know I’m not there at this point, but there’s an artist who draws for DC who posted an online comparison of how he was drawing earlier as to now; his progress in six years was mind boggling. That’s inspiring,” he said. Burrows is engaged to be married in July 2017 and is using money made from the sales of his work to help pay for his wedding. When asked if it was going to be themed, perhaps a Batman/Batgirl wedding, he laughed and said, “As much as I’d love a Batman-themed wedding, I don’t think I’d win that war.” He won’t get to don a cape and cowl at his wedding, but as he prepares to turn the page and begin a new chapter, his story will continue to include a connection to the comic world’s most famous heroes, and it will likely earn him a place among its well-known artists.

Pictured is a composite of four of the prints Austin Burrows is currently offering for sale online. He’s continuously working on new ideas to challenge and push his art to the next level in hopes of drawing for DC Comics.

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A short Halloween tale

Want to see your name in this magazine? H

ey, kids! My name is Logan Serpette. I am a sixthgrade student at Henry-Senachwine Grade School, and I am the author of Cool Kids’ Corner. Do you have something you want to see in the newspaper or this magazine? Email your jokes, recipes and other items to me at coolkidscorner@ I can’t wait to read your stories and try your recipes. When you email me, make sure you include your name, your hometown and how old you are, so you can be famous in the newspaper. Celebrate being a kid!

I hope you enjoy this short story I wrote. — Logan There I was, alone in the pumpkin patch at midnight on Halloween. The ground seemed to shake, and monsters with pumpkin heads who were wearing dark cloaks rose from the ground. How did I let myself get talked into this? I can’t believe my friends dared me to come here tonight. In the darkness, the pumpkin people raised their hands and slowly walked toward me as I stood frozen with fear. They put their hands on their heads and pulled off masks. They were my friends. “Got you!” said my best friend, Thomas.

LOL jokes Q. What has three feet and no legs? A. A yardstick. ••• Q. Name two days of the week that start with T. A. Today and tomorrow. ••• Q. Why did the teacher write the lesson on the window? A. She wanted it to be very clear. ••• Q. Why did the cyclops stop teaching class? A. Because he only had one pupil. ••• Q. Why was the student’s report card all wet? A. Because it was below C (sea) level. ••• Q. What is a teacher’s favorite words? A. June, July and August. ••• Q. Why are giraffes in elementary school? A. Because they are all in high school. ••• Q. Why were the teacher’s eyes crossed? A. He couldn’t control his pupils. •••

Jumble mumble Unscramble these words about haunted houses 1. spdires _________________________ 2. csobbew ________________________ 3. osthg ___________________________ 4. tsdu ____________________________ 5. aitpnings _______________________ 6. skacre __________________________ 7. arst ____________________________ 8. tsba ____________________________ Answers: 1. spiders; 2. cobwebs; 3. ghost; 4. dust; 5. paintings; 6. creaks; 7. rats; and 8. bats. Illinois Valley Living

Yum yum recipes

Popsicles that are good and good for you Ingredients: 2 cups fruit, like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries 2 cups apple juice Instructions: Fill a reusable popsicle mold with the diced fruit and fill with apple juice. Freeze until frozen. If you don’t like chunky popsicles, blend the apple juice and fruit together before pouring in the molds.



PERFECTLY PUMPKIN PUMPKINS AND FALL GO HAND-IN-HAND It’s that time of year when we start thinking about pumpkins — not the old, standard Jack-O-Lantern variety, but the ones that send an aromatic fall scent into our homes. In other words, recipes that include pumpkin — whether out of the can or the fresh variety — can turn your home into a fragrant fall place and will have your taste buds tingling for more. Enjoy one or more of these great recipes featuring the beloved pumpkin.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Filling Whoopie pie 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 2 cups light brown sugar 1 cup canola oil 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons dark molasses Maple filling 4 ounces cream cheese 5 tablespoons margarine or butter 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 pinch ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 cups powdered sugar In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oil, eggs and molasses with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add flour mixture and mix for 30 seconds. Cover and refrigerate batter until chilled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (about 1/2 inch wide). Pipe 2-inch circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing whoopies about 2 inches apart. (Keep batter refrigerated between batches.) Bake until whoopie pies are deep orange and spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through the cooking cycle. Cool completely on pans. To make the filling, beat together with an electric mixer, cream cheese and butter on medium speed until fluffy about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; add maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves and salt, and mix for 30 seconds. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix for 1 minute. If filling is too soft to hold its shape, add more powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency. To fill pies, turn half the whoopies over so they’re bottom-side up. Using a pastry bag or butter knife, add a dollop of filling onto each whoopie bottom. Top with remaining whoopie pies.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 1 2/3 cups sugar 2/3 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla 4 eggs 3 cups flour 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts 1 cup chocolate chips 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves Move oven rack to low position in your oven, so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of one 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans with shortening. Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to four days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Perfect Pumpkin Soup 6 cups chicken stock 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 4 cups pumpkin puree 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley 1 cup chopped onion 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 5 whole black peppercorns or ground pepper to taste Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

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Pumpkin Bars 4 large eggs 1 2/3 cups sugar 1 cup oil 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt Frosting 6 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 to 2 tablespoons milk Beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 15-by-10-by1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely. For icing, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin cookies with frosting 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2/3 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 2 eggs 2 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt Browned Butter Frosting 3 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 to 4 tablespoons milk 1/3 cup butter (do not use margarine or spread; it will burn) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat sugar, brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in pumpkin and eggs until well mixed. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. On an ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. In a medium bowl, place powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk. In a 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until light brown. Pour browned butter over powdered sugar mixture. Beat on low speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Gradually add just enough of

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the remaining 1 tablespoon milk to make frosting creamy and spreadable.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 2 cups canned pumpkin 1 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten 1 cup half-and-half 1/4 cup melted butter 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional 1 refrigerated pie crust Whipped cream, for topping Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan and press down along the bottom and sides. Crimp the edges. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour. Poke the pie crust with a fork in several places. Bake until the crust is a light brown and is beginning to dry out. For the filling, beat cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and beat until incorporated. Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool.

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34 Tiskilwa Page


THE GEM OF THE VALLEY Photos by Eric Engel Tiskilwa is a village in Bureau County, located roughly 10 miles southwest of Princeton. According to, the population in 2014 was 796 — 402 males and 394 females. The median resident age is 45.6 years old. Early History Founded in 1834, Tiskilwa emerged as a regional economic and cultural center integrating its own administrative capacities, schools, churches and shops serving a small population of townspeople and farm families from the surrounding three to five miles. It was a small community whose epicenter consisted of three blocks of Main Street around which located its churches, cafes, taverns, grocery stores, beauty parlors and barbershops and any number of local business enterprises. For nearly 150 years, Tiskilwa was a self-reliant community. Its residents would travel out of Tiskilwa as a novelty rather than a necessity.


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35 Tiskilwa Page After World War II, Tiskilwa began to evolve, as did much of rural America. As society became more mobile, people began to leave small towns like Tiskilwa for their shopping and excursions. By mid-1970s, the three block span of Main Street in Tiskilwa was no longer a necessity. Tiskilwa High School As with most small towns, the school system was a large part of the town’s heart and soul. The school, however, was deactivated in the 1990s, and now students attend Princeton schools. The grade school in Tiskilwa now houses Crossroads High School. According to historical information in a book titled, “When Tiskilwa Was Young,” by Mary B. Steimle, written in 1985, school buildings in Tiskilwa “date back to 1838. A newer building was built in 1850 and an updated building in 1868. In 1978 the building still standing today was built and closed with the deactivation of the school system in 1996. The first class to graduate high school from Tiskilwa did so in 1878 with a graduating class membership of two. The newer high school building is currently vacant, however, plans are constantly being discussed for its future use.”

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36 Festivals Strawberry Festival Tiskilwa’s Strawberry and Artisan Festival is in June. This community gathering celebrates Tiskilwa’s strawberry season and showcases area artists. The festival offers fresh berries and strawberry shortcake, live entertainment, children’s activities and food vendors in downtown Tiskilwa from late morning through early afternoon. It typically coincides with town-wide garage sales. Pow Wow Days Tiskilwa celebrates Pow Wow Days every year the first weekend in August. Pow Wow Days is a three-day event that includes a community concert or big band dancing, children’s Lil’ Spur Rodeo and queen pageant, a parade, a Native American pow wow, a beer garden, 4-H Club and cheerleader-sponsored food stands, church-sponsored lunches, historical tours and many other events. Pow Wow Days was founded in 1976 as part of the national bicentennial. Geography According to the 2010 census, Tiskilwa has a total area of 0.46 square miles. Sources:, “When Tiskilwa Was Young,” by Mary B. Steimle, and Wikipedia.


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Even the youngest guests have plenty of time to play and explore the many attractions of the resort.

PAWS HERE PET RESORT OFFERS A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE CHOICE FOR TRAVELING PET PARENTS Story and photos by Dave Cook Planning a vacation is an involved process with many considerations. For pet owners, arranging care for four-legged loved ones can be especially difficult. For the past nine years though, pet parents of the Illinois Valley have had a special, guiltfree option offering much more than a simple kennel at the vet’s office — the Paws Here Pet Resort located in rural Oglesby. Sitting on six green acres with three

buildings, Paws Here offers you the ability to send your pet on a fun-filled vacation while you enjoy yours without worry. Manager Gerald Buck described why Paws Here is unique among pet resorts. “One of the biggest differences, particularly in this area, is a lot of times pet resorts are in redesigned buildings. Paws Here is different because from its very conception, before the first shovel even hit the ground, this was intended to be for pets,” Buck said. Buck has been the resort manager since

April, but owner Diane Baker has known him for decades, and she spoke of how happy she was to once again work with Buck. “Gerald is my dream manager, I’m so happy to have him here and to be able to work with him again. He’s so knowledgeable and caring. He’s also a very good breed historian; you can tell him any breed, and he’ll be able to tell you their history and how they came to be. Our whole staff has an exceptional level of devotion,” Baker said.

One coupon per check, per visit. Not valid with any other coupons or promotional offers. Coupon has no cash value. No change returned. Taxes and gratuity not included.Alcoholic beverages not included.Valid at LaSalle Denny’s location. Selection and prices may vary. Only original coupon accepted. Photocopied and Internet printed or purchased coupons are not valid. No substitutions. Expires 11/30/16. ©2012 D HO, LLC MP FALL

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One coupon per check, per visit. Not valid with any other coupons or promotional offers. Coupon has no cash value. No change returned. Taxes and gratuity not included.Alcoholic beverages not included.Valid at LaSalle Denny’s location. Selection and prices may vary. Only original coupon accepted. Photocopied and Internet printed or purchased coupons are not valid. No substitutions. Expires 11/30/16. ©2012 D HO, LLC MP FALL


38 Baker has had a long and distinguished career as a professional dog handler and breeder. She’s worked with many breeds and has competed on the biggest stage in the show world, winning Best of Group at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. “It was exciting to be with one of the last seven dogs competing for Best in Show at Westminster; you can feel the floor shake,” Baker said. After moving to the area and not being satisfied with the options available when she needed to board her dogs, Baker and her partner, Fred Konrad, began working on Paws Here. The resort offers indoor/outdoor climate controlled quarters with in-floor heating (the resort also has a back-up generator, so power is never lost); luxury suites complete with furniture, decor and television; VIP accommodations for toy-sized, senior or special needs guests; multiple large play yards with agility equipment available; an experienced grooming staff to keep your pet at their most stylish; kitty condos; a kitchen for food preparation; a pet taxi service; training classes and private training; multiple pool areas of different sizes and a dedicated, professional staff devoted to showing your pet a good time. Paws Here also offers professional show dog presentation and breeder referrals. While visiting the kennel area, the guests were in good spirits, decidedly

A new guest checks in at the lobby as the puppies attempt to disassemble a Hawaiian-themed summer display before rushing out the door to play in the pool. happy and relaxed. Their scheduled trips to the pool areas were enthusiastically anticipated, and there was absolutely no hesitation before plunging into the water to retrieve their favorite toys.

Baker, a breeder of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, showed the staff could also manage the most rambunctious guests when she offered to arrange some pool time for a litter of puppies.

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39 BELOW: Manager Gerald Buck taking a Russian Borzoi, a German Shepard, a Nova Scotian Duck Tolling Retriever and a Mexican haired-Xolo out for some exercise in one of the resort’s fenced in play areas. LEFT: Pool time is a highly anticipated summer activity, especially among the larger dogs who enjoyed leaping into the water to retrieve the toys tossed in by staff members.

As the pack of 8-week-old puppies rounded the corner in a high speed charge of wildly flailing legs, ears and tails, the staff guided them outside toward a small pool. Managing such a group kept everyone present on their toes, but love of their job was apparent in the staff. Buck then took a group of larger dogs to one of the large, grassy areas for some exercise.

“This is a very international group, we have a Canadian, a Mexican, a German and a Russian,” laughed Buck. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, a haired-Xolo, a German Shepard and a Borzoi all happily chased their toys and received praise and affection from Buck. “We develop close bonds with the pets who stay here, and we all get attached to

each other,” Baker said. Paws Here Pet resort is located at 836 N. 2401st Road in Oglesby. It’s near the center of the Illinois Valley near Starved Rock State Park, Matthesien Park, Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Lodge and historic Utica. For more information, reservations or grooming appointments call 815-431-1870 or visit or their Facebook page.


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witches te witches for:for: Grab a gaggle of your favorite witches for: pecial ial discounts discounts Extended shopping hours • Special discounts durprises Surprises Give-a-ways • Spirits and Surprises

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better than the ones in the book. • Pies — I like to make pies with my mom. My favorites are apple pie with cinnamon and pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust and lots of whipped cream. I like baking and eating them. If you have a kid or a grandkid, you should ask them to bake with you. They will love it. • Jumping in leaves — When I’m outside in the fall, I like to jump in leaves. First, you rake up a pile of leaves. It can be any size, but I think bigger is better. My parents usually rake the leaves for me because it would take a long time for me to do it. • Apple cider — If you go to an orchard, you can get some apple cider. I like to drink it cold, but you can also drink it warm. Orchards are also fun to go to when you are a kid. They usually have a play-


all is my favorite season because the leaves turn orange, yellow, brown and red, and the weather gets cooler. I also like fall because it is the season that Halloween is in. There’s a lot of things to do in the fall, and I like to do them with my family. If you’re looking for something to do with your family in fall, here are some of my favorite things: • “Halloweentown” — “Halloweentown” is a movie the whole family would like. It’s about a family of witches. I like to watch it with my mom and brother, and I like to have a slice of apple pie in front of me when I do it. If you like this movie, there are three more Halloweentown movies. • “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” — When I was younger, I liked to watch the “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” movie. This is a good movie for children because it teaches younger children how to be kind to people that are different from them. There is also a Spookley book, but I like the movie better because it is longer, it has good songs, and the pictures on the TV are

ground and a store with all kinds of fruits and vegetables and other foods. • Carving pumpkins — It is one of my favorite things because I like to get my hands dirty with all the pumpkins seeds and goo. Then, when it is done, we toast the seeds and eat them. They’re yummy. I don’t know how they are so good, but they are. I like to carve my pumpkins with silly faces. You might want to get a permanent marker and draw your design on the pumpkin and have an adult do the cutting because you could hurt yourself, and they might do the pictures better than you could. • Trick or treating — My favorite thing of the whole season is trick or treating. We get a lot of candy, get to dress up and go house-to-house in the dark. I like to be out at night, especially on Halloween, because it feels a little creepy and it is a lot of fun. It feels magical, like anything could happen. My favorite person to trick or treat with is my brother. He does some funny things. Lexi Serpette is 9 years old and lives in Henry. She loves all things related to arts and crafts. She can be reached at

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41 Women in Business

Delivering a special touch for all your gift & floral occasions Julia Cain from Flowers By Julia has recently been designated as an FTD Premier Florist. This unique recognition is only available to top quality florists that are a part of the 100 year old FTD florist network. FTD Premier Florists, such as Flowers By Julia, provide their customers with quality floral designs and are focused on delivering the highest customer service. Flowers By Julia is receiving the FTD Premier Florist status as a result of its continued path of quality and service to its customers.As a part of FTD, Flowers By Julia is able to fulfill all of your floral and gift needs in your neighborhood, across the country and worldwide. Our professional florists can help you find the perfect flowers for any individual or occasion and can even create a custom bouquet to fit your unique needs. Flowers By Julia offers same-day delivery for your last-minute gift needs and delivers flower arrangements throughout Princeton and the surrounding areas! Flowers By Julia can also deliver quality flowers nationwide through our trusted florist network.

Bright, fresh flowers make a thoughtful gift for any type of occasion. Flowers By Julia has a wide variety of beautiful arrangements available in Princeton, IL. From gorgeous anniversary flowers and Mother’s Day flowers to sympathetic get well flowers and funeral flowers, floral gifts are the perfect way to show just how much you care. Julia is also an expert wedding florist.Whether the event is casual or elaborate, Flowers by Julia will ensure your special day is beautiful and memorable. Visit Flowers By Julia for the best flower arrangements and gifts in Princeton, IL!

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Julia Cain, owner of Flowers by Julia in Princeton, IL

The Ladies of the Bureau County Republican Front Row: Goldie Rapp, Erica Oertel, Ashley Oliver and Rita Roberts Back Row: Terri Simon, Christy Wagner, Mona Cruse, Shannon Serpette, Lynnette Dick and Pam Marsh Absent from photo: Jennifer Heintzelman, Abbie Clark, Phyllis Fargher and Sheryl Gulbranson

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42 Women in Business

Liberty Village of Princeton . . . Our services include: • The Villas

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Call: 815-875-4531 to schedule your appointment 42

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43 Women in Business

“Having a good relationship with my patients is extremely important to me.” – Brandon Musgrave, MD Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology

Highly Skilled Board-Certified ENT Specialist Balancing the Art & Science of Being a Good Doctor Knowing the latest treatments and procedures, that’s the science behind being a good doctor. Being a personal, caring physician… that’s the art of it. Fortunately for us, Brandon Musgave, MD, the board-certified ear, nose and throat specialist at the IVCH Medical Group’s ENT and Allergy Center, excels at both. Dr. Musgrave specializes in:

Jennifer Sangston, AuD Doctor of Audiology – Hearing tests – Hearing aids and repairs – Balance testing

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44 Women in Business

Expanded Walk-In Hours for Minor Injuries & Illnesses

St. Margaret’s Center for Family Health provides Princeton and surrounding communities with walk-in care for minor injuries and illnesses, as well as, on-site, economical lab services and diagnostic testing, including digital x-ray and OB sonograms. The clinic sees all walk-in patients, regardless of your primary care provider or their hospital affiliation.

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46 Journal

Illinois Valley Living Journal By Terri Simon Photo by Dave Cook It was white, had been laundered a bazillion times, and there was usually some kind of embroidery on it — I assume to make it pretty. All women of any Midwest merit carried one, usually in the pocket of their aprons, in their pocketbooks, or discreetly hidden in the cuff of their sweaters. It was a simple piece of white, cotton fabric, but to those farm wives who never left home without one, those hankies were meant to save the world. Grandma always had a hankie. While I never remember her blowing her nose on it like my grandfather did with the bandana-type red handkerchief he carried in the back pocket of his well-worn overalls, Grandma’s hankie was meant for far more important duties than her nose. Hankies were meant to dab at a bead or two of sweat on a forehead, while seated with other ladies under the shade of the old maple tree. They took care of grandchildren with dirt-smudged faces before they went into the dime store with a quick “spit bath,” and they wiped away a drop or two of blood from a splinter that always seemed to find her grandchildren’s fingers. Those hankies could quickly double as a dust rag on the buffet, when an unknown vehicle pulled into the barnyard, and they even served as a bib for that tiny kitten who wouldn’t take to nursing from her mama, instead being fed by Grandma with a bottle, meant for our baby dolls.



That was just the beginning

Grandma’s hankies dried our eyes, wiped our own brows and noses, and could just as easily be handed to a relative who did the same for her child or grandchild. It was Terri actually a community cloth, Simon emblazoned with embroidered flowers or an initial, that made its rounds from one hand to another, wiping away the woes of the world. Invented long before the paper Kleenex or tissues we know today, those hankies saved the world more than once when I was growing up. Almost as if we were repaying the debt, we usually had a box of new hankies all wrapped up for Grandma on Mother’s Day, Christmas or her birthday. She always acted surprised, but I doubt she ever was. When I was just a little snot-nosed kid, I always wanted my own hankie. I’m not sure why. I guess it was kind of a right of passage for grown women to carry them with them wherever they went. I think I knew I’d be all grown up when someone finally presented me with my very own box of hankies, embroidered with a big “T” in the corner. That day never came. Today, I wander through antique stores around the land, and every now and then, I run into a stack of neatly-folded hankies. They aren’t as white as I remember my grandma’s hankies being; the years have turned them a light tan. But even though

they’ve lost their bright white brilliance, I still see them and picture someone’s grandmother dabbing at their brow in the middle of a summer Bible study in the front yard. I picture them wrapping that hankie around a child’s cut finger, or wiping away the stains of a Popsicle before heading into the store. I can almost smell the detergent they used to try and get that hankie as pristine as possible and all ready for the next catastrophe to occur. But like many of those iconic items from the past, the hankies have disappeared as quickly as those simpler times. They have vanished before our very eyes — much like those beads of sweat, those tiny drops of blood and those smudges on our faces that required the use of those well-worn hankies. While I’ll probably never have my very own hankie — gosh, I don’t even know if they still sell them — I have to be content with the memories of those little white cloths and the ladies who used them. Clearly they have gone to hankie heaven, so I’ll just tuck them away discreetly in my memory files along with all the other items which once were so important to our existence but have slowly been lost to our ever-evolving world. And I’m OK with that — for those hankies erased the woes of our world. If only something so simple could be tucked in our pockets today to do the same ... Illinois Valley Living Editor Terri Simon is an award-winning columnist, jounalist and photographer. She can be reached at

Illinois Valley Living


Complete care

focused on a woman’s body, mind and spirit

Dr. Kemoria Granberry Introducing a new OB/GYN at

IVCH Women’s Health Care Center: Dr. Granberry can’t imagine doing anything else. She became a doctor because she believes in promoting overall wellness in women – body, mind and spirit. So whether it’s a discussion about family planning and birth control options, problems with incontinence or laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Granberry loves connecting

“I’m a strong believer in promoting wellness. The body, mind and spirit are closely connected so the approach must be multifaceted, utilizing all resources to facilitate healing.” – Dr. Kemoria Granberry

with her patients to ensure they get the care they need. She’s committed to women’s health and sees patients in both the Peru and Princeton offices. Illinois Valley Living

Call 815-223-2944 today! 47


Start Building Your Retirement Home Now!

Lakeside Lots Available!

Customize your home! Single family homes for sale in an age restricted community.

The unique features of The Villas include: • Spacious 2 or 3 Bedroom Floor Plans • Full-size Kitchen • Attached 2-Car Garage • Grounds Maintenance

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Call for more information on The Villas and to schedule your tour. 6th St., Princeton • 815-875-6600 Liberty Village 2322140N.N.Eastwood Dr., Streator • 815-672-1900

The Villas 48

3230 Becker Dr., Peru • 815-224-2200 Illinois Valley Living