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Stephen A. Douglas, DAR Community Service Award to Arthur American Legion Post #479

DAR Stephen A. Douglas Chapter Community Service Chairman Karel Welch, Terry Ferchow, Dick Hein, Iris Dick for her husband Noel, Bill Crane, Chapter Regent Sheryll Herschberger.

In the beginning the project was to reframe, and then to display in a new case, the veterans’ photos that had been found in boxes in the basement of the Arthur pool hall.

Members of Arthur American Legion Post #479, Terry Ferchow, Post Commander and Dick Hein, Post Adjutant, spearheaded the fundraising for reframing and some new cases and also the problem where to display the pictures; the Arthur Community Center seemed ideal and the Arthur Village Board granted them permission to use it.

As they worked on the project, it grew to include all veterans up to the present time.

They also had an idea to have a historical mural painted to accompany the veterans’ photos. Commander Ferchow knew of a mural artist (Mike Harper, Danville) who had painted a mural in another town; Arthur’s would be a historical military mural (4 feet by 55 feet) depicting war from the American Revolution to the present painted above the 800 veterans’ photos displayed.

In the meantime, Noel Dicks created, and still maintains, a card index file with the researched information (scrapbooks, obituaries, stories, microfilm, news articles). Bill Crane created a website, with full biographies including veterans’ Civil War stories plus the location of 525 veterans’ graves in the Arthur Cemetery. A large indexed file locator was created in the Arthur Community Center for visitors to look up a name and find all known information about any local veteran and how to find the veteran’s picture on the wall.

The Stephen A. Douglas Chapter was very, very pleased to recognize these veterans for their hard work.

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