Abstract

Lucille "Sidney" Eslinger was born in Albany, Missouri, on November 9, 1922, the daughter of Delano R. and Alice M. Willoughby Eslinger. After graduating from high school in 1941, Eslinger turned down an opportunity to attend college to work at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, lll., partly for the opportunity to play for the Caterpillar Dieselettes, the fast-pitch softball team. Through a co-worker, Eslinger developed an interest in history, becoming an active proponent of historic preservation in central Illinois, including graveyards. After retiring from Caterpillar, she and a friend operated a dog grooming business and she was active in the Humane Society. Sidney died in Peoria on August 14, 2011.

The Eslinger Collection contains materials relating to Sidney Eslinger's interests in gravestone studies, including four books; a research notebook about Springdale Cemetery in Peoria; a photo album of Old Peoria State Hospital; correspondence and miscellaneous materials about stone quarries and symbolism; and a photo scrapbook, "Coin Harvey: A Legend in His Time." States represented include Illinois and Indiana.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

French
Special Collections & University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275
413-545-2780
L. Sidney Eslinger Collection
1905-2003
2 boxes (0.5 linear foot)
Call no.: PH 040

Background on Sidney Eslinger

Hotel at Monte Ne, Ark., 1962

Hotel at Monte Ne, Ark., 1962

Lucille "Sidney" Eslinger was born in Albany, Missouri, on November 9, 1922, the daughter of Delano R. and Alice M. Willoughby Eslinger. After graduating from high school in 1941, Eslinger turned down an opportunity to attend college to accept a job at the Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Ill., in part so that she could for the Caterpillar Dieselettes, the renowned fast-pitch softball team sponsored by the company. As a mainstay of the pitching staff, Eslinger toured the nation, and at work, she became the company's first female line inspector.

Through a co-worker, Eslinger developed a passion for history, and during her free time, became involved with several historical societies and with the cause of historic preservation. As a charter member of the Central Illinois Landmark Foundation, she helped preserve and commemorate local sites, and she was active in the Peoria County Old Settlers Association, the Tazewell County Genealogy Society, the Association for Gravestone Studies, and the Peoria Historical Society, for whom she led tours of Springdale Cemetery. After retiring from Caterpillar, Eslinger and her friend Doris Scobee operated a dog grooming business for several years, and she became an active supporter of the Humane Society. Sidney died in Peoria on August 14, 2011.

Contents of Collection

The Eslinger Collection contains materials relating to Sidney Eslinger's interests in gravestone studies and historic sites. The most interesting items in the collection relate to William "Coin" Harvey's eccentric failed resort at Monte Ne, in the Arkansas Ozarks. These include some ephemera and an interesting photo album depicting the ruins of the resort in 1962. The collection also includes photographs taken at cemeteries in Peoria, Ill., and Bedford, Ind., several books including four books; a research notebook about Springdale Cemetery in Peoria; a photo album of Old Peoria State Hospital; correspondence and miscellaneous materials about stone quarries and symbolism; and a photo album, "Coin Harvey's Watery Grave." States represented include Illinois and Indiana.

Collection inventory
Annual Reports of the War Department 1905. Washington, D.C.: GPO.
1905

Bedford (Indiana) cemetery
1958, 1983
60 photos
Civil War Centennial pamphlets: The Civil War: A Guide for Teachers. Springfield, Ill.: Civil War Centennial Commission and The End Before the Beginning. Springfield, Ill.: Civil War Centennial Commission.
1963
Coin Harvey: A Legend in His time
1962
Photo album

Photo essay on the ruins of William "Coin" Harvey's resort at Monte Ne, Ark.

Coin Harvey (Monte Ne, Ark.): ephemera
1954-1960

Includes brochure and envelope, postcard, and eight stamped envelopes cancelled in Monte Ne.

Cooley, Adelaide N., The Monument Maker: A Biography of Frederick Ernst Triebel. Hicksville, N.Y.: Exposition Press.
1978

"The Mystery of the Gravestone Mutilization on Mulberry Hill, Springfield Cemetery, Peoria, Ill." (photo essay)
2003
Photos
Osborne, Georgia L., comp., A List of Genealogical Works in the Illinois State Historical Library, Pub. No. 18. Springfield, Ill. : Illinois State Journal Co.
1914

Stone quarries (correspondence and miscellaneous materials)
Photocopies

Originals of these documents have been transferred to the AGS Ephemera Collection (MS 651).

Symbolism
1963

Tazewell County Illinois Cemeteries, Vol. 1, Dillon and Delavan Townships. Pekin, Ill.: Tazewell County Genealogical Society.
1979

"A visit to the Old Peoria State Hospital and its four secluded cemeteries" (photo essay)
2003
Photos
Administrative information
Provenance

The Eslinger Collection was donated to the Association for Gravestone Studies by Sidney Eslinger prior to 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, August 2012.

Related Material

The Eslinger Collection is part of the Association for Gravestone Studies Collection.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: L. Sidney Eslinger Collection (PH 040). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Monte Ne (Ark.).
  • Sepulchral monuments--Illinois.
  • Sepulchral monuments--Indiana.
  • Springdale Cemetery (Peoria, Ill.).
Names
  • Association for Gravestone Studies.
  • Eslinger, L. Sidney (Lucille Sidney).
  • Old Peoria State Hospital.
Genre terms
  • Photographs.