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Illinois History

 Illinois history and genealogy

Our Illinois material that is currently available:

White’s Peoria County Directory (July 1919)

We’re only beginning our work in Illinois, but this directory is a good place to begin it.  County directories are wonderful resources for local historians, for genealogists and family historians, for antique collectors, and for those who are simply curious about an area.  The information found in them is extensive, and goes well beyond what one finds in the telephone directories that generally replaced these volumes by the 1930s.  Occupations, rural routes, spouse information are only three areas in which directories contained information not found in the later phone books. 

In addition to the advertising, which is quite remarkable to contemplate, considering that this directory is less than a century old, the volume contains, in the words of the publisher “…an alphabetical list of residents of towns, villages, etc., and rural free delivery routes, classified business directory of Peoria County, miscellaneous information of township officers, schools, etc.”

As with most directories of this period, pagination is erratic.  Some pages are unnumbered, and there are gaps in page numbers.  From what we have been able to discover, publishers allocated blocks of page numbers that they hoped to fill with advertising, continued to accept ads while printing the remainder of the directory, and if they did not sell sufficient ads to fill the allocated pages by the time the book was ready to sell, there would be a gap in the page numbers.  Both are true of this volume.  227+ page, in PDF format.  Download now for $4.00.

 Peoria Directory for 1919

Our Illinois titles planned for future preparation include:

Illinois in 1818, by Solon Justice Buck.  (1918) (362 pages, including index).

This volume was the first, the introductory volume, of the Centennial History of Illinois, and was published by the Illinois Centennial Commission. It is nicely illustrated, for the time, and appears to be well researched and documented.  We do not have this currently on our priority list for publication, and suggest that if it is of interest to you, you may wish to let us know it.


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