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Barry Schrader


I have been writing a column for the Chronicle most of the time since December 2007, with two breaks, one in 2016 and the other in 2017 when my wife Kay suffered a stroke. They are all archived here.


If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

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State Bicentennial event could come to DeKalb

By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist.............................March 23, 2018

The executive director of the Illinois State Historical Society, William Furry, visited DeKalb last week to speak before the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society. He shared some historical findings about the Illinois bicentennial, which is this year, then conducted a trivia contest using Powerpoint, doling out an Illinois-produced prize – a Heath candy bar – to those giving the correct answers.

I only got one candy bar – for naming one of the Native American tribes based in Illinois. Someone already had shouted out Potawatomi, so I added Sauk.The rest of the bars were won by other local historians who know more history in this county than me. I won’t try to name all of them, as I might miss someone, and that would require a correction.

The toughest question was “How many counties in

Illinois State Historical Society executive director William Furry, left, discusses possible Bicentennial trivia contest locations with Ron Klein, president of the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society. (Schrader photo for ShawMedia)

the state are named for women?” The correct answer is “none,” and Furry would like to change that by renaming one of the smaller counties downstate. Then he asked, “Who should be that woman?”

Some interesting news came at the end of his talk, when he said they are looking for sites around the state – maybe a half-dozen – to hold Bicentennial trivia nights, featuring local historical societies and history buffs. Afterward, he discussed this with the DCHGS president, Ron Klein, who agreed to search for an appropriate location large enough to accommodate about 15 to 20 teams at tables around the room, plus an audience.

I would think Faranda’s Banquet Center, St. Mary’s Memorial Hall, the Barsema Alumni Center or even the NIU Convocation Center might hold the crowd expected for such a competition. There obviously would be a charge for players on each team, and a lesser ticket price for spectators.

That might be the reason why the event would be blocked out on area TV outlets, since more people could decide to sit at home with their favorite beverage and a bowl of Heath bars (they are produced in Robinson, Illinois) and try to second guess the contestants. Sort of like what Kay and I do every night when “Wheel of Fortune” is aired on Channel 7.

I have some of my own trivia questions to suggest for Furry:
1. Who is buried in the Jacob Haish mausoleum at Fairview cemetery?
2. What town has the largest population in DeKalb County?
3. What famous newsman is buried in Waterman’s North Clinton cemetery?

Don’t read on before guessing, but the answers are:
1. No one is buried in that mausoleum because there is no Haish family mausoleum.
2. The largest “town” defined as such in state statutes, as opposed to a city or village, is Cortland, the only municipality with that form of governance in DeKalb County.
3. Clayton Kirkpatrick, editor then publisher of the Chicago Tribune

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Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115