Given that this year is the 75th anniversary of the end of WW II, this is a look back at Champaign County involvement. Joseph W. Walter, long-time Urbana funeral director, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 and became a navigator, pilot with multiple ratings, and an officer (Lt. jg). A photo of Walter is shown here. His unit, VPB-119, included the first heavy bombers to return to the Philippines once most of the Japanese had been driven out. The accompanying photo, taken by Walter, shows their PB4Y-2’s in formation March 1, 1945, on approach to Clark Field. Each bomber had a crew of 12. Of the 30 crews, only 15 returned from combat. Lt. jg Walter was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three air medals now on display in the Champaign County Historical Museum, which submitted these photos and information.
The not-for-profit museum depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum, 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
The “Then” circa 1930 photo (#A1939) looks north from the east side of North Main Street at the entrance to Citizens National Bank, which was incorporated in 1865. It was first located at 108 N. Main St. and was moved to this location by 1890.
Note the Birdsill-Holly fire hydrant in front of the bank. On the west side of the street is Champaign National Bank. Note the spires of the Champaign County Courthouse and Urbana Methodist Church.
The “Now” 2019 photo is of the same location. The bank now is Security National Bank. On the west side of North Main Street, extending north from West Court Street to the Johnson Building, is Perpetual Federal Savings Bank. The Urbana United Methodist Church spire remains, but the Champaign County Courthouse, rebuilt in 1957 after a fire, has no spire.
The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story.
The free public museum, 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana, is typically open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, but the museum is TEMPORARILY CLOSED until at least May 1st with the State of Ohio's extended Stay at Home Orders. All programs and activities are also postponed during this time. We hope everyone stays safe and we look forward to seeing you when this quarantine is over!!
Check out the letter sweaters from 1938 in this sampling of Terre Haute historical photos!
Learn more Terre Haute history at the CCHS Museum, open Sunday (1-4pm) and Monday & Tuesday (11am-4pm).
Over the years, the face of Mechanicsburg has changed. Enjoy these views from yesteryear and learn more about Mechanicsburg's history at the CCHS museum!
Do you know where these photos were taken in Champaign County? We do, and we have the historical background information on each one. Visit us, and triad to figure it out 😉
Relics of Champaign County's past! Do you have experience using any of these items? Tell us all about it in the comments or come see these items firsthand in the Champaign County Historical Society Museum!
Champaign County was “all in” on the battlefield, at sea, and in the air. We were also “all-in” with war production and savings. The Museum has a large collection of WWII photos and displays. Here is a sample of them.
Do you remember the Concord Twp. High School? Perhaps your parents or grandparents are shown in the 4 photos at Concord Twp High School below. Please let us know in the comments if you recognize someone and share some more of their history with us!
These are just a small sample of the history preserved, protected and displayed in the Champaign County Historical Society Museum at 809 East Lawn Avenue, Urbana. Visit us to see and learn more!
And a belated congratulations to the 1936 County-wide Baseball Champions from Concord Twp. shown below!
The Pony Wagon Town, St. Paris, has a rich history, much of which is preserved by the Champaign County Historical Society. Are your parents or grandparents in these photos? Help us identify them in the comments below! Or visit us and see the photos in person at the Museum, 809 East Lawn Avenue, Urbana.
Back in the day the Rowdies of Harrison Township and Springhills cooled off their tempers in the old Springhills Jail (pictured above). The Jail is now preserved in the Champaign County Historical Society Museum where a whole wing was built around it.
Visit us on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at 809 East Lawn Avenue, Urbana and learn all about the Springhills Jail!
Looking Back at Champaign County
The Champaign County Historical Society strives to highlight historical people, places and events throughout Champaign County. If you have photos of historical significance that you believe would be of interest to Champaign Countians, please Contact Us.