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A message from the Effingham County Museum's President, Delaine Donaldson 


RESCHEDULED EVENT---The special presentation "D-Day 80th Anniversary," with EIU Professor, Dr. Edmund Wehrle, has been rescheduled at the Effingham County Museum, for Thursday, October 3, 6:00pm - 7:00pm. The audience will learn about that important day in world history when, in WWII, the Allied Forces invaded Normandy. The presentation is the result of a partnership the Museum and the Effingham Public Library. As always, this is a free program and a library card is not required to attend but registration is required through the Effingham Public Library. Throughout its history, the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association, Inc., an organization devoted to the preservation of the history of the county, has sponsored a lecture series during the winter months, November-March.


Effingham's newspapers from earlier days tell the story of how the Fourth of July was celebrated in the Past.  The Effingham Democrat, on July 10, 1924, offered a description of how nineteenth century Illinois honored the birthday of America:  

"ILLINOIS HELD FIRST PUBLIC 4TH OF JULY IN 1833.  The Glorious Fourth in the July in the state of Illinois was a strictly safe and sane day until after 1865, according to historical records. Before that date a quiet and orderly celebration was the only known method of honoring the memory of the first Independence Day. Springfield newspapers show the first public celebration to have been held on July 4, 1833, in that city.  A large crowd gathered in Union Grove meeting house, where William M. Stewart delivered an inspiring Independence address, says the report.   

   Fourth of July, 1846, created some excitement in Illinois by announcement from Boston, over the “magnetic telegraph" that a steamship had traveled from Liverpool to Boston in ten days.  By 1865 Illinois’ Fourth celebration had begun to approach the jubilation of today.  The following item appeared in a Springfield newspaper a few days after the Fourth.  The Fourth of July celebration of this city was not much of a success due  the inability to inflate the balloon which was widely advertised to ascend that day. The fairgrounds were crowded and a salute of small arms and cannon marked the opening of the celebration.”

  From Lincoln on the same date came the news that “Gunpowder was too moist to burn during the heavy drizzle which lasted here all day, so the citizens gathered in the opera house where patriotic speeches were made."   In Alton, the only celebration of the Fourth of 1865 was a parade of the Irish temperance societies.  ‘‘By noon,” the report says "the town was deserted, citizens having gone away on picnics.”  In Jacksonville, on July 4, 1870, the announcement was made that cannon and small arms  in great abundance were brought out and firing was kept up most of the day.  Quincy, on the same date, celebrated by listening to a speech by General Sherman.  An editorial note in the Springfield Journal in 1875 comments on increasing Fourth observance."

     The same newspaper described how the City of Effingham celebrated the same day in an article titled  "EFFINGHAM HAD A FINE PROGRAM FOR THE FOURTH:"

The American Legion's Fourth of July celebration in Effingham was a marked success. A large crowd attended the all-day celebration and thoroughly enjoyed the program. A more complete account of the affair will be given later. The following is the program of the day:

Afternoon--- Music by the Effingham Boys Band; Song “America” led by Girls’ Glee Club; Invocation by Rev. H. O. Stevens; Reading of the Declaration of Independence by Mr. E.B. Schooley; Reading of the Preamble and Pledge of Allegiance by Mr. G. F. Taylor; Song “America For Me” by the Girls’ Glee Club; Introduction of Past Commander, Wm. B. McCauley by Dr. C. F. Taylor; Address by the Hon. Wm. B. McCauley;  Music by Effingham Boys’ Band; Reading by Miss Linnie E. Austin; Violin Solo by Mr. Wm. Franke, Accompanied by Miss Mary Fisher; Dance by Miss Maxine Hays; Music by the Effingham Boys’ Band.

The 7 O’Clock Evening Program consisted of Music by the Effingham Boys’ Band; Song by the Girls Glee Club; Oration by Mr. Harold Hutchings; Dance by Miss Maxine Hays; and Music by the Effingham Boys’ Band."

     A patriotic spirit has been part of the area heritage from its beginning.  Be sure to recall that spirit when July 4, 2024, arrives this year.





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Our Purpose

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Historic Lecture Series for 2024 and Other Events

Historic Lecture Series for 2024 and Other Events

Hours & Location

100 E. Jefferson Ave.,
Effingham, IL 62401

Daytime Hours:
(January-February)- By appointment only and some special evening hours, TBA
Phone: 217.240.2471 to leave a message

(March through December)
Tuesday and Saturday 10 a.m-2 p.m.

Evening Hours:
6:00-7:00 p.m. on night of lecture series, November-March
Other times by appointment: Call (217)240-2471 to leave a message

ECCCMA Meeting Schedule

Board Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the court-house first floor courtroom. For information contact Delaine Donaldson, President at:

General Membership Meetings are held once a month of the second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the court-house first floor courtroom.

Our MISSION is to preserve our Historic Register structure, to collect artifacts from county history, and to use them to educate our local and external communities, while immersed in the broader context of American history.

Our VISION is that the 1872 Effingham County Courthouse remains as an architectural gem that instills a sense of community pride and provides a venue to
educate and showcase the history, art, and transportation of Effingham County.

Get Involved

On November 11, 2012, the Museum opened its doors to the public. Currently there are exhibits on the first floor and the second floor. On the second floor there is exhibit space as well as room for lectures and other types of public gatherings.