WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The McDonough County History Consortium

Macomb, IL – There are many groups researching and preserving the history of McDonough County. But they don't always know what the others are up to. Now steps are being taken to make that confusion a thing of the past.

Various history organizations in the county are forming an umbrella group. It's known as the McDonough County History Consortium.

Spokesperson Bob Fischer says this will improve communication among the organizations while allowing them to maintain their individual identities.

"That's one reason I believe this concept is better than some ideas that came out several years ago," says Fischer. "There were ideas of trying to consolidate and form new organizations with mutual interests. Often when we do that, we find that the specific interest of one group does not fit well with another."

Fischer says the consortium could also prove to be a point of contact for government agencies looking to provide history-related grants and other funding.

"Sometimes it's difficult to know exactly where to go," says Fischer. "My hope is we can contact the appropriate organization and perhaps pull some additional monies into the county."

Fischer says a list serve has already been established for the consortium and he hopes to add more names to the list. He says other steps are already being taken to improve communication between various organizations.

Among the groups representing various aspects of McDonough County history are the McDonough County Historical Society, the McDonough County Historical Preservation Society, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, Friends of Vishnu, Western Illinois University Archives, and Western Illinois Museum.

In addition, there are historical societies in Bushnell and Colchester, a civil war reenactment group, and the McDonough County Antique Gas Engine Association.

Fischer says the McDonough County History Consortium is still getting started, but the Genealogical Society and the Historical Preservation Society have already agreed to give it a try.

Fischer wants as many groups as possible to know about the consortium and hopes many will get involved. He says groups devoted to McDonough County history can call him at (309) 259-0360 or send an e-mail to rjfish@macomb.com.