September 2019
Library closed Sunday, September 1 and
Monday, September 2 for Labor Day
Collection Highlight: Dr. Ellen Miner Papers
Dr. Ellen Miner was a Champaign County native who practiced gynecological and obstetrical medicine starting in 1896. Dr. Miner graduated from the Medical Department for Women at Northwestern University in 1893 and returned to Champaign to practice medicine in 1896. Her well-respected practice operated out of her home, and she was an active member of the medical community in Champaign until her retirement. 

The focal point of the collection is Dr. Miner’s examination ledger with notes from patient consultations. The ledger’s first entry is from 1907, and it contains almost 100 entries, ending in 1917. The ledger entries provide unique insight into the lives and health concerns of local women around the turn of the century. The entries describe a wide range of women, including some who have never seen a physician before, are pregnant with their first child, struggle with irregular menstrual cycles, or have a history of miscarriages. 
Did you know?
You have access to – World Edition (by Ancestry)!

The largest online newspaper archive featuring 12,100+ newspapers from the 1700s-2000s is yours to explore.

Now available to all users in the Library and from home with a valid library card from The Urbana Free Library.
The Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection has over 100 newspaper titles and trade journals available online.
From the Blog
Bernice "Tempest and Sunshine" Harrison was known as a no-nonsense teacher, and students knew to behave during her classes. “When she frowns, the skies grow dark and a great tempest rages,” students wrote of Harrison in the 1914 Homerian yearbook. “Then the frown clears, the sun appears from behind the clouds and we know that all is well. Her sunny nature will make friends for her wherever she goes.”

H ere in Champaign County the school year is ramping up. University students are trickling in for the Fall semester, and K-12 students and teachers are heading back to the class room. For those individuals in the Air Force, however, education is often asynchronous. Basic Training, is and was, generally eight and a half weeks long. The technical training that followed could vary from six to 72 weeks depending on the career field that the airmen and officers followed.

Chanute Air Force Base, home of what was once one of the oldest Technical Schools in the Air Force, was established in 1917 to train pilots for World War I. July 18, 1917 marked the date when a dozen Curtis “Jennies” with an instructor and student in each took off as the first formal instruction at the base.

In 1921 the “Army Enlisted Mechanic School” was established at Chanute when mechanic and technician courses were transferred from Kelly Field, Texas. During the following year, the Photography School at Langley Field, Virginia, and the Air Force Service Communications School in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, were added to the Technical Training Program at the Base. The original school embraced the fields of photography, communications, and armament -- and from 1922 through 1938, Chanute served as a training school for all Air Corps mechanics.

1938 marked the beginning of the expansion program when the base was given eight and a half million dollars to construct more modern facilities. Buildings constructed as a result of the appropriation of these funds include all of the centrally located buildings and large hangars.

In 1941, Air Corps Technical Training Command headquarters was temporarily moved to Chanute. Technical training operations during World War II included aircraft maintenance, weather observation, life support, and metal processing. This time period marked the peak period for technical training when over 200,000 individuals graduated from various courses.

Following World War II, Chanute continued to serve as a training installation for aerospace and weapon system support personnel under a variety of organizational titles. The installation was designated in 1959 as the Chanute Technical Training Center, which was later designated the 3330th Technical Training Wing. In July 1971, military flight operations were terminated at Chanute, and it became a non-flying training base until September of 1993, when all military operations ceased and the facility became available for other civilian and commercial uses.

Many changes took place in the scope of courses offered as the concept of training changed in order to meet the ever changing demands and requirements of the Air Force. Over the years, Chanute Air Force Base became known for providing technical training to both officers and airmen in the fields of weather, specialized aircraft and engine mechanics, aircraft maintenance management, instrument trainer reparation, guided missiles, maintenance management, production control, flight engineering, crafts and trades training, and more. In addition, personnel from other branches of the Armed Forces, as well as allied students, were also selected to attend courses in the Technical School. Chanute played a vital part not only in the development of the US Air Force, but in shaping the legacy of Rantoul and Champaign County.
Curtis JN-4 “Jenny” at Chanute Field
Construction of a new hangar, 1940
Fire Fighting School
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Events at the Archives & Beyond
  • New Genealogy Software, Champaign County Genealogical Society, Tuesday, September 10, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm | The Jean Evans Archives Room (Second Floor), The Urbana Free Library

  • Research Night with Champaign County Genealogical Society, Wednesday, September 11, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm | The Jean Evans Archives Room (Second Floor), The Urbana Free Library

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Champaign County Historical Archives | 217-367-4025 | E-mail | Website