Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Bunker Hill Song


Pictured: Rev. Nelson D. Sweeny - Bunker Hill Song Author
Nelson Sweeny was born in 1868 and died in 1948.  For a time he was Minister at the Bunker Hill Methodist Church.  He was also an author.

You can download the music sheet at the following link: Bunker Hill Song

Verse 1:
We have a splendid city with a good old fashioned name, -
A name which stirs the loyal heart with patriotic flame. -
Old Glory floats above the stand to music by our Legion Band, -
While Lincoln's statue lifts his hand, proclaiming freedom through the land. -
Our shady streets and pretty homes convince the visitor who comes,
A home in this fair city is the thing he'd like to claim. -

Verse 2:
Those stylish suits from Sessel's make you look like millionaires, -
Jacoby furnishes our homes with rugs and easy chairs, -
Gosch fits the feet with shoes so neat, Suedel has goods that can't be beat. -
Emery and Dillard's wares are sweet, Jim Highfill feeds us classy meat. -
First National's a trusty bank,
No wonder Bunker Hill takes rank,
Way up in G for that is the truth, everyone declares. -

Verse 3:
Ed Bauser's coal will warm you, so you will never get "cold feet". -
Our Creamery makes butter that we all delight to eat. -
Welch makes the groc'ry bus'ness spin, Klinefetters bargains bring them in. -
Jacobi's hardware "gets your tin", Gerdt's millinery all does win. -
Van Horn and Best, the place to treat,
Take bitter pills or sundaes sweet,
Come on lets go we have a great old town that can't be beat.

Bunker Hill, in good old Illinois, -
Hear the shouts of happy girls and boys. -
City of homes, churches and schools,
Sorrows depart and happiness rules.
Hooray! For the best old town in the U.S.A.
I'd like to live here forever and a day
If you want to be jolly and see a good show,
Go to the Opera House with William Fahrenkrog.
If rest and quiet is the lot you would choose,
Sit in your big arm chair and read the Gazette News, Bunker Gazette News.

Copyright 1923 by Nelson D. Sweeny, Bunker Hill, Illinois

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, December 27, 2012, July 21, 2022

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Bunker Hill History Museum Grand Opening


Pictured: The present day Bunker Hill Historical Museum on 114 East Warren Street
Hours for the Museum are:
Saturday, 10:00 A.M. until Noon

For visits anytime, Please call our Museum President, Marty Lane at 618-585-4718. 

See our earlier blog posting about the Grand Opening of the Bunker Hill Historical Museum at

From the Gazette-News: October 14, 1999
Article by the late Eldon Duelm

    The Bunker Hill Historical Society Museum opened for the first time Saturday, October 9, 1999.
    Over 190 guests stopped in to see the new museum on its first day open.  More than 20 new members were added as charter members.
    The museum sign has been installed over the doorway area and displays of memorabilia were completed and labeled.  Members worked in the museum on Friday to complete the final touches for opening on Saturday.

Pictured: Members of the Bunker Hill Historical Society are surrounded by memoralia at the new museum.  Members include front row: Marian Whitfield, curator; Betty Zarges, Carolyn Scroggins, Thelma Roberts, treasurer.  Back row: Bonnie Hopkins, secretary; Eldon Duelm, president, Mary Lawton and Carl Stanton. --Photo credit: For the Telegraph, Keith Wedoe

    Special thanks need to be given to the picture committee, Carolyn Scroggins, Carl Stanton, and Marvin Rensing for their extensive time and efforts put into collecting, copying, and displaying the many historical pictures.  Thanks also go to Chub Howald, Betty Zarges, Marian Whitfield, Bonnie Hopkins, Willis Whitfield, Lester Lawton, Mary Lawton, Chuck Lawton, Marie Kampwerth, Charlie Dey, Doug Dey, Malvern Allen, Thelma Roberts, and everyone else for the work each one put into the effort of planning, organizing, and putting together the museum.

    Others from the community whose efforts are also appreciated are the generous donation by AARP, City of Bunker Hill for providing the building, Dean Landreth for donating display cases, Bill Turney Heating and Cooling for repairing the air conditioner, and everyone else who helped get the museum ready, especially those who donated or loaned display items and the community for purchasing memberships and giving their support.

Pictured. Bunker Hill Historical Society Board Members - June 2010
Left to right are board members of the Bunker Hill Historical Society: Liz Wieseman, Bonna Hopkins, Carolyn Scroggins, Betty Zarges, Carlos Arzuagas, Carole Bierbaum, Mary Lawton, and President Marty Lane.  Not pictured is Bill Wilkinson. 

Pictured: Various historical memorabilia on display at the Museum 

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories here at

--Cite this story: Nolan, Donna J. "Bunker Hill Preserves Past with New Museum." Alton Telegraph, October 1999
    The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, June 10, 2010, July 14, 2022. 

    Thursday, July 7, 2022

    Bunker Hill's First 4th of July Celebration


    Pictured: The Bunker Hill Band (circa 1905).  Left to right (Back row): Henry Cardell, Honas Fahrenkrog, Sam Lee, Pet Neil, Charles Hendricks, William Cardell, Joe Lee, Lute Jansen;
    (Front Row): L. Pates, W. Wood, Albert Goodwin, Lemuel B. Smith.

        Reprint of our earlier blog posting at

        In 1839, the whole community turned out, some 60 people in all, for the town's first 4th of July celebration.  A liberty pole (flag pole) was raised, the Declaration of Independence was read, toasts were made, and much good food eaten.  This celebration took place on the ground in the area now occupied by United Community Bank.  On that same holiday in 1842, over 400 people participated in the celebration and listened to the Upper Alton Band.  On July 4th, 1844, 350 citizens, headed by the Bunker Hill Band, went to Woodburn, and there met the Alton Band.

    Pictured: The Bunker Hill Drum Corps around 1900 at the Hotel (probably Monument House). Note McKinley's Picture at left.

        A paper 111 years old, dated June 16, 1840, was found by carpenters when Dr. Hess remodeled his office in 1951, giving an account of the upcoming July 4th celebration.  The early settlers were justly proud of their independence and in writing agreed to contribute money and food stuffs to provide the community with a dinner.  

    Pictured: Bunker Hill - Woodburn July 4 Celebration Letter dated 1840 found in Dr. Hess's Office during remodeling in 1951.

        The Proclamation reads: We, the citizens of Bunker Hill and vicinity, feeling desirous to join our friends of Woodburn in the celebration of the birthday of our national independence, do cordially, freely, and willing, contribute such sums or articles as are attached to each of our respective names, for the purpose of providing a dinner suitable for the occasion:

    • James Phillips, $1.00
    •  Francis W. Burham, $1.00
    • Alexander Nys, .50
    • C. Washburn, .50
    • John C. ?
    • Luke Knowlton, $1.00
    • H.V. Hopper, $1.50
    • Samuel B. ?, $1.00
    • ? Squires, $1.00
    • Moses True, $3.00
    • Larkin Stark, eight dozen eggs, eight pounds of butter, 10 loaves of bread, and $1.75
    • James Wood, one pig, $1.00
    • Franklin Vaughn, one pig, $1.00
    • Joseph Burton, cake, six chickens, $1.00
    • Edward Burton, $1.00
    • J.W. Richards, one pig, six chickens, $2.00
    • Wm. Squires, six pounds of butter, bread, $1.50
    • James Hamilton, six pies, five loaves bread, two punds of butter, cake, $1.50
    • A. Chruch, provisins, $1.00
    • Solomon Davis, $2.00
    • Ebenezer Howell, $2.00
    • G. Parmenter, $1.00
    • A.W. Cummings, $1.00
        Most of the able bodied citizens marched to Woodburn to hear a fine oration by Mr. Lincoln (not Abraham).  There was said to be a crowd of 600 to 700 people in attendance.  Other speakers were John Logan and D.D. Davis of Alton.  

    ...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

    --Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, July 9, 2020, July 7, 2022.