A Publication of WTVP

Moving to the Warehouse District
Last month, Farnsworth Group, a national engineering and architecture firm, announced the relocation of its Peoria office to the city’s Warehouse District. Currently located at 7707 N. Knoxville, the firm will move to the former Murray Building at the corner of Walnut and Water streets—one of the first corporate entities to locate in Peoria’s emerging Warehouse District following a renewed focus on the area.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” says Karen Jensen, Farnsworth Group president and CEO. “We hope to be one of the first of many new businesses that want to call the Warehouse District their home. We envision a bright future for this area of Peoria—one that will generate economic opportunities and vibrant places for people to live, work and recreate.”

The new office space will be located on the second floor of the four-story Murray Building, which is being renovated to accommodate mixed retail and residential units as well. The company plans to move in mid-2016.

Resources for Research
Have a question about Peoria-area history? Unsure where to turn? Here are some recommendations from Peoria Historical Society (PHS) Curator Bob Killion on how to research your question:

  1. Start with the Peoria Public Library. PPL holds its own history collection, the library of the Peoria County Genealogical Society, and the architectural library of the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation. These collections are located on Lower Level 1 at the Main Library, 107 NE Monroe in downtown Peoria. (309) 497-2000,
  2. Search the PHS collection. Only a small percentage of the PHS’ collections is currently in the database or digitized. PHS may have more material, so it’s worth asking the curator if he is aware of additional materials. Volunteers are working to input all items, but it is slow and time-consuming (shameless plug for volunteers!).!/collections
  3. Search the CARLI website. The PHS Image Collection is hosted through Bradley University on CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.)
  4. Finally, visit Bradley University’s Cullom-Davis Library. The PHS Research Collection is located in Special Collections’ climate-controlled environment on the library’s third floor at 1501 W. Bradley Ave. in Peoria. (309) 677-2850,

Killion recommends researching in the order listed above. The Society’s collections are organized uniquely by subject, so the more you know about your topic, the greater success you will likely have in finding material.

In addition, the Peoria Historical Society will do research for a fee ($30/hour for members; $40 for non-members), with a one-hour minimum fee charged. Call (309) 674-1921 or email r[email protected].


The Buzz About Beekeeping
The hobby of beekeeping—both rural and urban—is growing rapidly, and it’s easier to get started than you might think. Why should you start keeping bees? Well, for starters, it’s fun! Once you’ve set up your hive, the beecolony will constantly work to pollinate, make their honey and wax. There does not need to be a huge time commitment—just check on the hives for 30 minutes once a week, then collect the honey and wax twice a year.

What supplies will you need to get started? A beehive, of course, as well as beekeeping clothing, beehive tools and honey extraction tools—all of which are available at Blain’s Farm and Fleet, which will sell honey bees through February 29th, with pickup on April 30, 2016, 9am to noon at the Morton store. Visit or call (309) 263-0232 for more information.

Before you get started, make sure you know the ins and outs of beekeeping—and check with your local community to make sure it allows for the practice. To learn more about good beekeeping management and practices, consider joining the Heart of Illinois Beekeepers Association, serving Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties, online at 

CEO Kryptonite!
There’s much discussion as to what leading CEOs do to make their companies profitable, innovative and successful… but what about what they avoid doing? That’s the real strategic insight, explains Jim Alampi of Alampi & Associates, a Detroit-based executive leadership firm. “Slowly but surely, getting bogged down in the wrong tasks will bring down even the strongest executives.” According to Alampi, savvy CEOs do not:

A Restless Life (and Death)
In 1823, Col. William Stephen Hamilton, son of founding father Alexander Hamilton, came to Peoria to survey the lots along the Illinois River involved in the claims of French settlers—a notorious dispute that dragged on for decades. A few years later, he laid out and helped name Peoria’s original grid of streets—the downtown area bounded by Fayette, Monroe, Liberty and Water streets—and drew up the town’s first map. Hamilton also owned a 160-acre tract in Limestone Township, including the land where the Peoria International Airport is now located, which he later sold for $50.

Hamilton served in numerous public offices in Illinois before heading north to Wisconsin to join the mining industry. He took off for the West Coast in 1849 amidst the excitement of the California Gold Rush, but just a year later, fell ill and died from malarial fever. Ever restless in life, he was also restless in death—his body was exhumed twice (1877, 1889) and buried three times in three different locations. Today, he rests in peace in Sacramento’s City Cemetery, where a memorial marks his final resting place. iBi