Special Guests, Sponsors, & Project Team

Colleen Johnson, MC

Click on the arrow below to listen to the remarks. Audio courtesy of WCBU-FM 89.9. A transcript is below the photo. All photos courtesy of the City of Peoria.

Well, it’s embarrassing that I have to get the tears out of my eyes before I continue. But I’m not sure how you follow that. I’ve been a big fan of yours. And now that you’re a sister here in the city of Peoria with me, I love you all the more. Thank you.

So many of my heroes are here today. And one of the things that I love about Peoria. And you’re supporting the Peoria Historical Society and why we’re relevant and important. And I thank you for that. We have some wonderful guests today. And some people that need to be acknowledged.

First of all, Lieutenant Governor for making the time for us. It does not go unnoticed how busy you are and all the demands that are on your time and places that you need to be, and that she would take the time to support us in this. Your words are going to stay with us for a very long time. Thank you. And for our mayor, who is one of my favorite people that I have gotten to know in Peoria. I am such a big fan. Thank you for all of your support. I remember when Bob and I first were able to talk to you about this story, and we said we’re going to reframe this, and this is going to be a shining star as you enter into the City of Peoria. You are a champion that we knew that we needed. Thank you so much for that. Of course, we think we’re going to thank Bob over and over again, for as long as we can. I would like to thank Charles Stanley, the ISHS board member and Markers Committee Chairman. I’d like to thank our project partners and contributors.

By the way, there’s still time if you’d like to contribute to this project, because Bob has wonderful plans for us to continue to develop this. He has storyboards and you know, who knows we’ll have a sculpture of Nance one day, but we do thank the city of Peoria for working with us and for making this all happen.

The Peoria Park District, we wouldn’t be here without you. The Peoria Historical Society, my heart, the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the Peoria County Geneaological Society, the Illinois State Historical Society, donors and grantors, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the United Union of Roofers, local number 69, who donated the site. Thank you so much.

William G. Pomeroy Foundation of New York, the Abraham Lincoln Association, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Peoria chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Captain Zeally Moss chapter, National Society Sons of American Revolution, Peoria American Legion Post number two, many generous individuals and firms too numerous to count

The project team, Carl Adams, Lincoln, historian, journalist, author, national Juneteenth organization, and good friend of mine. I’m thankful to say Bob Hoffer, local history enthusiast, Sons of the American Revolution. All around best man in Peoria, Joe Hutchinson, officer Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. And genealogist Jared Olar, curator, Pekin Public Library history room, genealogist. David Pittman, local activist, which is putting it mildly, Peoria Park District advocate, Executive Committee of the Peoria NAACP. And Bill Poorman, local educator, writer, media producer and Lincoln enthusiast.

We are in the Land of Lincoln. We are the heart of this great state. And we have so many to thank. I appreciate all of you.