Pekin's Garfield elementary school was erected in the mid-1890's on the
corner of Eleventh and Henrietta Streets (across the street from the
current location of the Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society
library). A time capsule was placed in the cornerstone to be
opened at some point in the future. The time capsule consisted of a
handmade copper box that was stamped 26 July 1894. Local citizens
were asked to place mementos of the period into the time capsule.
Garfield elementary school was
torn down in 1986. At that time, the time capsule was placed into
the care of the Pekin Park District. It remained unopened until
recently when the capsule was donated to the society. Our archivists
recently opened the box and have been cataloging and preserving its
Among the items in the time
capsule was this June 1894 issue of the Pekin High School monthly
newspaper - The Mirror. The newspaper contains the entire
text of the 1894 commencement program and includes a listing of the class
of 1898. Many local stores contributed ads for the issue. As
can be seen above, the ink from the ads ran over time and can be seen
leaching through the cover and the picture.
The five members of the class
of 1894 each made a presentation during the commencement. Blanche
Erb was the valedictorian. The other members of the class were
Lillie L. Jones, John G. Nedderman, Mary E. Conklin, and Teresa E. Hughes.
The Latin phrase "Finis
Coronat Opus" on the cover of The Mirror means "The end to a
crowning achievement". In 1894, graduating from high school was
considered a very special achievement.
More items from the time
capsule will be featured as future "photos of the month".