August 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment! Women fought long and hard for equal suffrage. In Illinois, the fight began in the mid-nineteenth century with the first suffrage meeting held in 1858 and the formation of the Illinois Woman Suffrage Association in 1869.
Eureka’s embrace of women’s equality dates to the mid-nineteenth century. Walnut Grove Seminary (forerunner of Eureka College) in 1848 was the third school in the nation and first school in the state to enroll women on an equal basis. In addition, there was an equitable number of women on the school faculty during the mid-nineteenth century. Eureka College further supported public discussion of equality by hosting Susan B. Anthony on campus in March of 1870 as she conducted a speaking tour across the state on women’s suffrage.
Librarian Cindy O'Neill loves researching local history! She has extensive experience in historical research, genealogy, and archival resource management. She previously worked in the archaeology and museum fields and has Master's degrees in both history and library science. Recent local history projects include a history of the Eureka Pumpkin Festival, the creation of a digital archive of festival photos and memorabilia on the Illinois Digital Archives website, and an architectural history of the Eureka Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).