News of Yesteryear

Gail Borden Library holds a large collection of historic microfilmed newspapers, dating from as early as 1850.  Shown below are those issues that are currently available in a digital format. Follow the links to view or download these editions.

 
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The Elgin Advocate

  1873 - February 22, September 6
  1875 - May 8

  1876 - entire year
 
 1878 - entire year

  1879 - entire year
  1880 - entire year
  1881 - entire year
  1882 - entire year
  1883 - entire year
  1884 - entire year
  1885 - entire year
  1886 - entire year
  1887 - entire year
  1888 - entire year
  1889 - entire year     

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The Elgin Business Mirror

  1865 - May 12
 

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The Elgin Daily Courier

  1884 - March 18 through December 31;
  1885 - entire year
  1886 - entire year
 
 1887 - entire year
 
 1888 - entire year

  1889 - entire year

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The (Elgin) Daily News

  1877 -  entire year
  1878 -  entire year
  1879 -  January 23, May 3, July - December
  1880 -  3 issues
 
 1882 - partial year
 
 1883 - entire year
 
 1884 - entire year

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The Elgin Daily Frank

  1882 - February 1 through March 31
  1882 - April 1 through May 31
  1882 - June 1 through July 6

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(Elgin) Every Saturday

  1884 - April through December
  1885 - entire year
  1886 - April 3
  1887 - entire year
  1888 - entire year
  1889 - entire year
  1899 - December 30 - (final issue)

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The Elgin Gazette

  1850 - August 10, October 19, December 28
  1851 - January 18 and 25, April 19, May 17,
             June 21

  1856 - June 18, October 22
  1857 - January 21, February 4
  1858 - February 27, December 31
  1860 - partial year
  1861 - partial year
  1869 - February 4, February 11, February 25
  1872 - April 6
  1873 - February 22

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Elgin Weekly Frank

  1882 - entire year


 

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The Fox River Courier

  1851 - August 16, November 1 and 12, 
            September 20
  1852 - April 7
 

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The Illinois Weekly Palladium

  1853 - October 27
  1854 - February 2, September 14
  1855 - April 19, November 1

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Second District Democrat

  1863 - September 16 and 23, October 7 and 14
  1864 - March 16, 23, 30 and July 27
 

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Valley Chronicle

  1884 - November 28

 

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The Weekly Gazette

  1861 - May 16 through December 25
  1862 - entire year
  1863 - entire year
  1864 - January 6 through November 30
  1865 - February and May 24

                     *The digitization process is ongoing, so please check back frequently for new additions.

Elgin Death Records

Genealogists have long used records from Gail Borden Public Library to trace their family tree. 

One favorite reference source, Death records in Elgin, Illinois with burials at Bluff City Cemetery and elsewhere ... as recorded in the cemetery sextons' ledgers has been available on microfilm since 1995.

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New technology, funding support from the Elgin Genealogical Society, and permission from the Elgin Heritage Commission has allowed this valuable resource, commonly referred to as the Elgin Death Records, to be digitized. The digitization process allows for easier access to this resource for users unable to physically visit the library and protects the film reels from excessive wear and tear.

Follow the links to view the death records on Illinois Digital Archives.

Volume 1 contains death records from 1837 - 1924.

Select volume 1,  part 1 for last names beginning with the letters A - G.

Select volume 1, part 2 for last names beginning with the letters H - O.

Select volume 1, part 3 for last names beginning with the letters P - Z.

Volume 2 contains death records from 1925 - 1949.

Select volume 2, part 1 for last names beginning with the letters A - H.

Select volume 2, part 2 for last names beginning with the letters H - R.

Select volume 2, part 3 for last names beginning with the letters S - Z.

Books

Elgin has a long and interesting history, which has been patiently recorded in the many historical works located at the Gail Borden Public library and for purchase at the Elgin History Museum.  Luckily many of the authors, including E,C, Alft, has graciously given us permission to share many their books with you digitally.

Books and More

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Elgin Area Landmarks

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Elgin's Black Heritage

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Elgin National Watch Company

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Elgin and Surroundings

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Black pioneers of Kane County and Elgin, Illinois 1855 to 1880 : a genealogy and history

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Elgin: An American History

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Elgin: Days Gone By

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The Watch Word

The Watch Word magazine chronicled personal stories, photos, engineering successes, and company history for employees of the Elgin National Watch Company, a leading Elgin employer for over one hundred years. The first watch movement was created in 1867, and manufacturing continued until 1968. Watches produced after 1968 may bear the Elgin name, but have no connection to the Elgin, Illinois company.

Publication of the Watch Word begain in August 1921 and ceased in December 1956.

In a partnership between the Elgin Area Historical Society Museum and the Gail Borden Public Library, copies of the Watch Word are being scanned and made more easily available. Follow the links below to view specific issues of the magazine. Originals can be viewed at the Gail Borden Public Library & the Elgin History Museum.

 

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Issues currently available are:

1921 - August through December

1922 - the complete year

1923 - the complete year

1924 - the complete year

1925 - the complete year

1926 - January through April, June through December

1927 - the complete year

1928 - January through October, December

1929 - January through November

1930 - the complete year

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1931 - the complete year

1932 - January through June, September through December

1933 - May 1935 - Publication was suspended during the Great Depression.

1935 - June through December

1936 - January, February, April, May, August, November

1937 - March through December

1938 - January through March, May

1940 - March, July through December

1941 - January through May, August through October

1942 - January, February, April through December

1943 - January, February, April through November

1944 - the complete year

1945 - Special Anniversary issue - 80th Anniversary and War Production Issue, January through August, December

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1946 - January, February/March, April, June

1947 - Anniversary issue, June through December

1948 - January, March through December

1949 - January through May, July, August, October through December

1950 - the complete year

1951 - February through April, June through December

1952 - December

1953 - December

1954 - April, June, August through December

1955 - January through June

1956 - January through June, September through December

Publication ceased after the December 1956 issue.