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THE ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Published Quarterly by the Society at Springfield, Illinois.
JESSIE PALMER WEBER, EDITOR.
George W. Smith
H. W. Clendenin
Edward C. Page
Applications for membership in the Society may be sent to the Secretary of
the Society, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield, Illinois. Membership Fee, One Dollar-Paid Annually. Life Membership, $25.00
TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
The twenty-fourth annual meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society was held in the auditorium of the new Centennial Memorial Building on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 22-23, 1923.
This was the first meeting of any kind to be held in this building, and it is appropriate that the Historical Society should be the first to use it as the Historical Library and Historical Society will be permanently located in the building. The first public address delivered in the building was that of Prof. Milo M. Quaife of Wisconsin, who presented the first paper at the meeting of the Historical Society. The title of this address is The Northwestern Career of Jefferson Davis. It is published in this number of the Journal.
The annual address before the Society was made by United States Senator Simeon D. Fess of Ohio on the subject The
European Situation and our Relation to it. The address was a masterly one and showed with clearness the speaker's complete acquaintance with American and European diplomatic history, especially during the past twenty years, which, of course, includes the period covered by the World War. There was a very large audience who heard Senator Fess's address with great interest. Extracts from the address have been published in the papers of the larger American cities and even in England. It is published in full, as are all other papers de livered at the annual meeting, in the transactions of the Historical Society for 1923.
Mr. Wallace Rice recited a poem entitled Illinois and Time, Dedicatory Poem, written by him in honor of the first occupancy of the Centennial Memorial Building.
One of the most interesting features of the annual meeting was the dinner at the Illini Country Club in honor of Prof. E. B. Greene who has resigned from the faculty of the University of Illinois and goes to Columbia University. An account of the special features of the dinner is given in this number of the Journal.
Other addresses presented at the annual meeting were: Benjamin F. IIarris, an Illinois Pioneer, by Mrs. Mary Vose Harris, Champaign; The Prairie and the Railroad, by Mr. C. A. Harper, University of Illinois; Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, first martyr of the Civil War, by Prof. L. E. Robinson, Monmouth ('ollege, Monmouth, Illinois; The Influence of Tennesseans in the formation of Illinois, by Rev. E. B. Landis, D. D., Homewood, Illinois; Influence of Commerce on Union Sentiment in the Old Northwest in 1860, by Mr. A. L. Kohlmier, Indiana State University, Bloomington; The Life and Public Services of Mrs. John A. Logan, by Mrs. A. S. Caldwell, Regent Logan Chapter, D. A. R., Carbondale, Illinois, who was an intimate friend of Mrs. Logan. Mrs. Caldwell was unable to be present and her paper was read by the Secretary of the Society. The musical numbers given at the various sessions were greatly enjoyed.
The business meeting of the Society was held Wednesday morning at which time reports of officers and committees were heard. The report of the Secretary gave an exhaustive account
of the affairs of the Historical Society for the year ending May 22, 1923. This report is published in the annual Transactions of the Society. Members who heard the report urged that on future occasions the Secretary's report be read at the evening session when the audience is larger, in order that members and friends become better acquainted with the plans, endeavors and accomplishments of the Historical Society.
CHICAGO TO BUILD THE WORLD'S LARGEST
Plans are well underway by John C. Christensen, architect for the Board of Education of Chicago, for the Theodore Roosevelt High School which it is claimed will be the world's largest and finest educational institution of its kind. It will cover two city blocks and cost approximately $4,000,000. The site comprises an area of about eight and a quarter acres, and is bounded on the south by Wilson Avenue, on the east by Kimball Avenue, on the north by Leland Avenue.
The most striking feature of the new school, aside from its size, will be the Roosevelt Memorial Tower, which will reach a height of 135 feet, and as it stands on the axis of Bernard Street it will have a vista of ten city blocks.
Another memorial to former President Theodore Roosevelt will be an elaborate fountain to be erected on the school grounds, by the National Bureau for the Advancement of Patriotism.
The school will have a capacity including class and study rooms, of 4,076 pupils. Some idea of the huge size of the school will be gained when the list of rooms is given. For instance, there will be ninety-one class rooms, five study rooms, five typewriting and bookkeeping rooms, four sewing rooms, one textile arts room, one printing room, ten drawing rooms, two household science rooms, one growing room, and two music rooms. There will be two auto shops, three woodworking shops, a sheet metal shop, and two electric shops. There will be five first year science laboratories, two laboratories for chemistry, two for botany, one for zoology, and two physics laboratories. The athletic side of school life willl be cared for by two girls' and two boys' gymnasiums also there will be two swimming pools,
one for boys and one for girls, with dressing rooms. Teachers will have a rest room on each floor. There will be a large library, and art exhibition room, a newspaper room, and administration offices.
The large assembly hall with balcony, will seat 2,000. In addition there will be a community room seating 500. The school's lunchroom will seat 1,000 at one time.
The main facade with the memorial fore court will be on Wilson Avenue. The east tower will face on Kimball Avenue and is the main motive for the community center wing. It is expected that plans will be completed in time so that contracts can be entered into and work started late in the fall of this year. It will probably be completed in the spring of 1925.
PLAN THAT TURNS VAST SAND BANKS IN HENDERSON AND OTHER ILLINOIS COUNTIES INTO
AREAS OF FINE ALFALFA.
Chief Black Hawk's historic "yellow banks” of Western Illinois between Oquawka and New Boston are being transformed into productive fields through a unique system of sand farming developed by Alexander Moir of Burlington, Iowa.
On this huge sand bar, seventeen miles long, averaging two miles wide and 42 feet deep, cactus, sand burs and fire weeds are about the only plants that will flourish on the untreated fields; under the Moir System of treatment the farmers are able economically to produce from three to six tons of alfalfa, fiftysix bushels of corn, thirty-three bushels of rye and twenty-four bushels of wheat to the acre on this sand ridge paralleling the Mississippi River.
Farmers in the Mississippi bottoms and on the ridges skirting the long sand bar, covering an area of more than 20,000 acres, told Alex Moir that he was foolhardy to attempt farming in sand hills pitted with blow holes varying in size from tiny depressions to excavations more than 100 feet from the bottom to the top of the dunes around the rim. Fourteen years ago, when Mr. Moir started his project of reclaiming this barren land, no progressive farmer in that section would waste his time trying to grow crops on pure sand.