The Illinois Ford County Historical Society

The Ford County Historical Society, Ford County, Illinois



About the Ford County Historical Society

In the spring of 1968 Dr. W. G. Raudabaugh of Piper City, a member of the Ford County Board, asked Dr. W. W. Sauer if he would attempt to form a county historical society. Each member of the county board agreed to invite 30 people to a public meeting which was held in the large court room of the County court house. About 150 people from all parts from the county attended and after an explanation of the aims of such a society, Judge Howard Benjamin made the motion which was passed unanimously to form The Ford County Historical Society.

Over the years bimonthly meetings have been held featuring programs dealing with many areas of local and area history. Each September a dinner meeting is held at which special program material is presented.

In addition to regular meetings the Society has honored county students who have taken part in special history projects. The Society has reprinted into one volume the Historical Atlas of 1884, 1904 and 1916 and reprinted The Prairie Farmers Directory of Ford County for 1917. Using money given by the children of Merna Vaught, the first secretary of the Society, a slide presentation dealing with Ford County history was produced and a copy given to each school in the county. Several oral history tapes have been made and many articles on local and county history have been published. An archival file has grown over the years and contains much material which has been given to the Society by the public.

About the Museum
Summer Hours begin April 12
First Sunday each month, from 2-4 p.m.
Museum tours available on request, contact 379-3723, 379-4111 or 379-3217

2015 Meeting Schedule

November 20, 2015, 7 p.m.
At the museum in downtown Paxton.


Annual dues of $15 are due now as well.

Meetings are open to the public and there is no admission charge. For more information call 217-379-4111 or 379-3723

When: Bi-monthly meetings are held by the society. They are held in March, May, July, September and November. The annual dinner meeting is held in September.

Where: General meeting at the Water Tower Museum, 145 S. Market Street, Paxton.

Who: The meetings are open to the public. Reservations are required for the dinner meetings for those who wish to dine.

What: In addition to the business of the society, speakers at the meetings present topics dealing with many areas of local and area history.

2014-2015 Officers
President: Judy Jepsen-Popel
Vice-President: Rob Pacey
Secretary: Carol Thilmony
Treasurer: Margaret Fiorillo





Available at the Museum


Ford County

Thomas Ford
Governor of Illinois
1842 - 1846
Born 1800 in
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Died Nov. 12, 1850 in
Peoria, Illinois