Historical tours of Gibson City cemetery set for June 9

GIBSON CITY — Historical tours of Drummer Township Cemetery in Gibson City, the third of a series of annual events featuring Gibson City history, will be held Saturday, June 9, at the cemetery located at 419 S. West St., with performances at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The tours will feature seven gravesites of notable people portrayed by local citizens in period costumes. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for persons under age 18. 

Tickets will be available beginning May 1 at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. Proceeds will support area history preservation.

Each of the featured deceased citizens has an interesting and unique story that will be interpreted through five-minute conversations:

— Lt. Henry Way was a military hero of the Philippine-American War and his funeral drew 1,500 people to Drummer Township Cemetery.

— Curtiss La Q Day built a biplane glider at age 15, learned to fly with the Wright brothers and later was a flight instructor at the Wright Brothers School in Ohio. 

— Andrew Jordan, along with his wife, Amanda, purchased about 700 acres from the Illinois Swamplands Commission, thus becoming the first settlers to the area.

— Local cartoonist Russ Johnson blended his experience in his father’s Gibson City hardware store with his art skills to produce a popular cartoon for a national hardware trade publication for six decades.

— Henry Dueringer and John Miner were both born in Germany and immigrated to the U.S. as young children, and their families found their way to Ford County. Henry Dueringer farmed in the area, with periods of service as a minister in northern Illinois and Indiana. Miner was brigadier for Burr Oaks, a 42,000-acre farm in Ford and Livingston counties.

— Hyland Arrowsmith was “Gibson City’s Good Friend” who founded the Gibson City Lions Club in 1922. He donated the land for the city’s South Park and was responsible for having a section of Illinois 47 north of Gibson City completed in 1927.

The city’s namesake, Margaret Gibson Lott Damon, will also be portrayed and will serve as hostess for the tours. Golf cart transportation will be available.

For more information on the Historical Cemetery Tour, visit https://gibsoncityhistory.com or contact Sharon Heavilin at the Moyer District Library at 217-784-5343.

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