Take A Look!

The information on this website was created by the students of History 477 during the Fall 2007 semester, under the direction of Dr. Lankford. The students used the MacMurray College Archives to create these pages. Further information about the Archives can be found at: http://www.mac.edu/pfeiffer/archives.asp


Click on each photo to see a larger version of it.
This is a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt visitng MacMurray College, speaking during Commencement.
In 1929, the gymnasium was the site of a tragedy on the evening the campus celebrated Washingtons Birthday. Apparently, the flash from photographs that were being taken of students putting on a pageant for the occasion was the cause of the fire. The fire spread quickly, but it was "very unusual in that the injuries were caused, not by the flames, by an intense wave of heat which swept the balcony" according to a publication of the Alumna Association of Illinois Womans College dated the 5th of April of that year. The letter, which began "Dear I.W. C. Girl," was basically a request for fund to help with the losses that the school had incurred as a result of the fire. The most interesting, though morbid, aspect of the fire was that three people died in it and fifteen more were injured. An article dated February 25, 1929, stated that Miss Eugenie Agnes Norman (a student), Miss Sarah Eleanor Thompson (the college librarian for 19 years), and Miss Winifred Wackerle (a matron of the college) died shortly after the fire. According to another article from February 23rd, fifteen people were hurt in the "panic from" the fire. This contention was later disputed by the Presidents Report from June of that year which stated contrary to some newspaper report, there was no panic."The college was closed for two weeks after the fire. It is rather remarkable that, although MacMurray has many legends about possible ghosts, very little is known about this tragedy.


Works Cited
Alumna Association of Illinois Womans College. Letter. April 5, 1929 "Eugenie A. Norman Dead: Fifteen Hurt in panic From Fire" article from unknown source. Jacksonville Courier February 23,1929. "Lost Lives in College Blaze: Fire Toll Mounts to 3 Deaths; Librarian And Matron Succumb" Jacksonville Courier. February 25,1929. Supplement to Bulletin of Illinois Womens College Presidents Report and Financial Statement. Presidents Report, June 8,1929. Vol. xix no.5

By Erin Toothaker.
This is a picture of Hardtner Gymnasium. See explanation above.
The photo at left, taken after the fire, shows the indoor pool of Hardtner Gymnasium. See explanation above.
For many years, racism has been a problem in the United States. The blackface minstrel act was very popular in the 19th century and it continued well into the 20th century. Many who were in theatre did it, including one famous African-American, Bert Williams. It was a part of our culture and it made fun of the way African-Americans supposedly acted. It made fun of what they did for a living and how they spoke ("The Legacy of Blackface"). It was all over the United States, including on the MacMurray College campus. Blacks did not start going to MacMurray until the first black man arrived here in 1957, two years after the mens college was founded. This photograph features people doing a musical in blackf and it was a student production (Dads Day Program). It was held on March 14, 1932, on a Dads Day. It had an opening chorus, four acts, and a grand finale. The fourth act was titled, "Minstrel Show." The finale chorus was a comedy (Illiwoco.)

The first Dads Day was held in the spring of 1925. It was usually held in March. Dads Day was a celebration, at first of parents coming to visit their daughters for a weekend. Then, it switched to celebrating fathers who were putting their daughters through college. It was like our Family Weekend of today (Greetings.)


Works Cited Dads Day Program. Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church. March 14, 1932. "The Legacy of Blackface." http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1919122. 11/13/07. Illiwoco. MacMurray College. 1932 p. 111. MacMurray College Greetings. MacMurray College. Volume 36 Sept.-May 1931-1932. March 17, 1932.
By Danielle Means

This photo pictures several girls on the first floor Jane Hall lounge having after dinner coffee. This picture was taken in January of 1938 and was used for an informational book titled MacMurray College. This particular photograph was used to describe Jane hall, which was only eight years old at the time. The caption below the picture reads, "Jane Hall, shown on the opposite page, extends its gracious hospitality to the hundred students who live there. The building is new- dedicated in 1930- and completely modern throughout. Rooms are arranged in suites of two with connecting bath, an each floor has a lounge, laundry, telephone booth and kitchen. Teas, after-dinner coffees, and house dances lend sparkling variety to life at Jane and at the same time develop the social poise every woman desires."
By Greig Spuhler.

Built in the 1940s largely in thanks to a significant donation by Annie Merner Pfeifferthe library was constructed more out of necessity than anything else. The library was housed in the basement of one of the residence halls prior to the erection of the library and was long overdue for a move, as it was literally bursting at the seams.

The college decidedafter quite a bit of deliberationon the architects from the firm Smith, Kratz, and Strong of Urbana, Illinois to design the library. The firm designed two different buildings, both pictured to the left. The first was a standard Georgian Revival building, while the other was a wonderful mixture from both Georgian Revival and Greek Revival traditions. It combined the focus on multiple large windowsa common trait of Georgian architecturewith the large Corinthian pillars stemming from the Greek tradition. It is unclear which blueprint won the bid, but all articles regarding the building classify it as Georgian Revival, lending the possibility that it was the first that was originally selected, but later changed to the latter. However, the latter sketch most closely resembles the building, so it is ambiguous as to which design was actually bid on. Regardless, nearing the end of the completion, plans for the library's tower changed, creating a need for a larger budget (and more fund raising). The tower was raised six feet to allow for a clock that was not called for in any of the original plans. Later, the Class of 1941 would donate a significant amount to allow for bells to be added to the tower.

The cornerstone of the library was laid October 10, 1940 at 2:00 PM. While it is most common for the President of the College to lay the cornerstone of any new building, Senator James E. MacMurrayPresident of the Board of Trusteeswas the individual who not only lay the stone, but spoke of the significance of the new library for MacMurray College. The President of the College, in fact, gave only a brief introduction, letting Senator MacMurray carry much of the weight of the ceremony.

The library cost $163,000 and about half a year to build. Also, at least one worker died in the construction of the building. When erected, the library housed 55,000 volumes and over 300 subscriptions to what the librarians considered essential periodicals for a center of higher learning. It seated 356 people, with a large portion of that space being found in the two reading rooms. It also had space to house 120,000 books, so as to allow for (some) future growth in the library's collection.

Today, the library houses eight personal computers, dozens of laptops, seats 275 students, and subscribes to about 200 periodicals. Although it lacks some of the passion for technological advancement it had in the past, it remains the only building on campus with high speed, wireless internet and is certainly leading the college towards a more technology-friendly future.

Hendrickson, Walter B. Forward in the Second Century of MacMurray College: A History of 125 Years. Jacksonville, IL: MacMurray College, 1972. "Exercises in Dedication of the Henry Pfeiffer Memorial Library." MacMurray College Archives. Vertical Files: Henry Pfeiffer Library Collection. 10 October 1940. Accessed 19 January 2007. McAlester, Virginia. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Knopf (1998). "MacMurray's Library Nears Completion." State Journal Register. 28 January 1941. Scheller, Lauretta (MacMurray College Archivist). Interviewed by Jonathan Ingram. Jacksonville, Illinois. 19 September 2007. "MacMurray College Founders' Day: Chapel Service and Laying of the Cornerstone of Henry Pfeiffer Library." MacMurray College Archives. Vertical Files: Henry Pfeiffer Library Collection. 10 October 1940. Accessed 19 January 2007. Hargrave, Victoria E. "Henry Pfeiffer Library, MacMurray College for Women, Jacksonville, Illinois." College and University Libraries in Illinois. Illinois Libraries: January 1953. Scheller, Lauretta (MacMurray College Archivist). Interviewed by Jonathan Ingram. Jacksonville, Illinois. 19 September 2007. Hargrave, Victoria E. "Henry Pfeiffer Library, MacMurray College for Women, Jacksonville, Illinois." College and University Libraries in Illinois. Illinois
by Jonathan Ingram.

Another view of the proposed architectural design of the library. See explanation above.
The library, upon building completion. See explanation above.
May Day was a celebration for women normally during the first couple of days of May. The ceremony was to crown the May Day Queen, and have a festival in her honor by using different stories, like Robin Hood and reenact them; there was dancing, songs, the play, and then the crowning of the Queen. It was located on the athletic field and on Rutledge Lawn. During the festival every year, there was dance around a pole called the May Pole Dance. This was an honor for the new Queen. The way the queen was picked was that the students voted for whomever they thought deserved to win it. The winner of fine candidates was presented at the ceremony and by tradition is wearing a white and yellow dress. This also got the women out of school for half the day, which was exciting to them (Greetings). The photo of the women in a pyramid is one of the dances that were going on during the festival. This is a picture of the Band of Tumblers from 1940s May Day. The Queen during the year was Miss Ruth Funk and they performed this in her honor. This was also the first year that the college band was honored as a band during the ceremony. The second picture is of the Queens court in May of 1931. The Queen is Miss Helen Metzler, and she beat out Miss Irma Riss and Miss Juanita Jordan. The story of the days events was written by a lady from Jacksonville named Miss Lucy Jones. There were over 2000 girls that participated in this ceremony. The bottom picture is of the Robin Hood Festival and the Queens Court which was in May of 1932. The picture is a dance that was performed as part of the play; the mens parts were played by women in all of these festivals. The last year of the May Day was in 1952, then it changed itself to a Commencement Dance and Crowning of the Queen in 1953.
By Lance Wallace.
The Queen and her Court, 1931. See explanation above.
The Robin Hood Festival. See explanation above.
In 2001, the MacMurray College football team won the conference title. MacMurray was in the Illini-Badger football conference. The team was led by head coach Bob Frey and defensive coordinator Steve Rogers. Steve Ballinger scored a team high 15 total touchdowns. Ballinger was also the leading rusher with 1446 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Starting quarterback Tim Peterson set season records in pass completions, pass attempts, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. MacMurray receivers Brian Chapman and Terry Davies had the most receiving touchdowns. Chapman led the team in receptions and Davies led the team in reception yards. James Turner thrilled fans with his team record of kick-off returns and kick-off return yards. Jon Hambelton charged the field and led the Highlanders in punt returns and punt return yards. Dan Haven led the Highlanders in kicking with 18 extra points made and 26 extra points attempted. He also led the team in field goals made and field goals attempted. Jon Hambelton and Justin Rhoades led the team with 3 interceptions each. Jon Robinson and Jon Hambelton crushed opponents, with 82 tackles each (MacMurray Greetings). After winning the conference title, John Hambelton was quoted as saying "it has been real fun. Many people did not expect us to win it and make the play-offs. The coaches had faith in us and we had faith in ourselves" (Bagpipe 2001). When asked how did a winning football team effect the campus and community, offensive linemen Jeremiah Byers said "Football was the sport everyone rooted for. This was a football school. Morale went up. Alumni stuff went up. Everybody won". "Mac had a very exciting atmosphere in 2001 because of football. I remember instead of students leaving to go home on weekends they would car-pool and follow the football bus to the away games. Football brought the school together; it was a family environment and what I remember the most is that everyone was happy," said freshman defensive back Orlando Hughes in 2001 (Hughes). The infamous Thomas Moore game is the most remembered of the season. MacMurray vs. Thomas Moore was the last game of the Mac played in the first round of the playoffs. According to sophomore offensive lineman at the time Jeremiah Byers "We were up 30-27 with less than 2 minutes to go. We had them at 3rd and 10 and we came up with a sack. They had to go for it and we broke up the pass on 4th down. Now it was our ball and we are going to winthat was until one of our defensive backs kicked the ball that was knocked down and it went 20 feet into the air. The referee threw an unsportsmanlike conduct on the kid and they got a new first down. Our team was devastated and the same guy that kicked the ball, got burnt on an out route and they scored, crushing our spirits. We got the ball back with around 40 seconds left and we just couldnt do anything"(Byers). Mac had a 9-2 football season losing in the first round of its playoff game with a score of 34-30 to Thomas Moore College, which later went on to win the Division III championship.
By Charlene Zomaya.
The picture provided is of MacMurray Students gathering at the Hub in the basement of Rutledge Hall. The Hub was one of the most popular places for students to hang out. There were many activities in the Hub that students were able to partake in. As seen in the picture, there is a jukebox that they could use to for dancing. They also had food and drinks that were available for the students. Most likely the drink of choice was Coca Cola. There was a ping pong table also located in the Hub, seen in a photo below. In the background of the photo there is a mural that used to be painted on the wall in the basement. However, the mural has been painted over with white paint, and no students have seen it since it was removed. The Hub was also used for different student organizations to meet in. The Phi Nu sorority along with the Belle Lettres society used the Hub for different socials, whether it be pledging activities, or different holiday parties. The date of the photo is inconclusive. However, with the information the picture provides, it most likely was taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
By Chris Fouts.
See Explanation above. Note mural in background.
See Explanation above. Another view of mural in background.
See Explanation above. Fun and games in The Hub.

Want to know more about the history department at MacMurray College?
Go to http://www.mac.edu/academics/programs/history.asp/

Illinois Great Rivers Conference Archives
Go to http://www.igrc.org/Administration/Archives.aspx