Bluffs and Piasa Bird, 2016

Madison County Oral Histories (60 total)

These oral history interviews were conducted by interviewers associated with Madison Historical and touch on various topics in Madison County history. These topics vary by interviewee.

  • Collection: Madison County Oral Histories
Thumbnail Title Description Date Date Added
Greg Kessler Oral History Interview This interview, with Madison County musician and historian of the local music scene, Greg Kessler, discusses the alternative music scene in Madison County and St. Louis during the 1980s. November 3, 2021 November 22, 2021
Kathy Childers Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, Kathy Childers discusses her family's Macedonian heritage and her father John Bellcoff, who was the mayor of Madison, Illinois from 1985 to 1997 and the Madison County Democratic Chairman from 1990 to 1994. She discusses how her family continues to practice Macedonian cultural traditions, including food, clothing, and dancing. She also describes her father's political career, including his role in establishing the Gateway Racetrack in Madison. She also discusses her grandfather's grocery store in Madison, Bellcoff and Son, and her and her father's work with funeral homes. July 17, 2019 November 4, 2019
Robert Coppersmith Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, Edwardsville resident Robert Coppersmith describes his experience in the United States Marine Corps, particularly his time in boot camp and as a tank mechanic. He was interviewed by his daughter, Eryn Coppersmith. July 21, 2019 November 4, 2019
Joann Condellone Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, Joann Condellone describes growing up with her family of Italian immigrant coal miners in Collinsville. She talks about her struggles with misogyny as a woman in the military, as well as her career in midwifery and various travels around the world. February 14, 2019 September 4, 2019
Mary Huntley Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, Mary Huntley describes her career as the director of the Hayner Public Library system in Alton, as well as her and her husband's involvement in the Civil Rights movement when they lived in Alabama. She also discusses her involvement with the local Democratic Party, her husband's role as director of the SIUE University Museum, and her childhood in North Carolina. May 27, 2019 August 29, 2019
Jim Pennekamp Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, Jim Pennekamp describes his role in various economic development organizations in the St. Louis metro area and Madison County, including the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, the Tri-Cities Area Chamber of Commerce (now called Southwest Madison County Chamber of Commerce), the Greater Alton Twin Rivers Growth Association (now called the Riverbend Growth Association), and University Park at SIUE. He also describes growing up in New Jersey and Brussels, Belgium, his participation in the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s and 70s, and his early career as a deputy juvenile officer in Jefferson County. He also reflects on changes in Madison County and the broader region in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly related to globalization and the transition from an industrial to a service-based economy. October 24, 2018 February 15, 2019
Wendell and Barb McAfoos Oral History Interview Wendell and Barb McAfoos were born and raised in Alton, Illinois. In this interview, they describe their lives in the Alton area through the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Topics covered include school life, cars, school socials, daily challenges and everyday life in rural Illinois, segregation of public spaces, desegregation of the Alton schools, toys and games kids played, their founding of the health club “Metro Sports,” and the history of industry in the Alton area. November 16, 2018 February 15, 2019
Norma Glazebrook Oral History Interview In this oral history, Norma Galzebrook of Alton, Illinois discusses her childhood from the 1940s in Godfrey, Illinois and her early baton twirling career. She mentions seeing Robert Wadlow in her youth as well as her days at the Alton Telegraph during the 1950s. Also discussed is the creation Glazebrook Park, established in honor of her late husband, as well as her extensive work with the St. Louis chapter of the Make-A-Wish foundation. December 2, 2018 February 15, 2019
Cindy McGrew Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, Cindy McGrew discusses her role and experiences as the owner of the Glen Carbon Traveling Tails Inn, a doggy day care, which she co-founded in 2008. She also describes growing up in a small town, attending SIUE, and her previous careers as a teacher and school counselor. October 8, 2018 February 12, 2019
William Iseminger Oral History Interview In this oral history interview, William (Bill) Iseminger, the assistant manager of Cahokia Mounds State Historic site, describes his career at the site and the broader history of the site in the 20th century. He also describes the archaeology work and its discoveries at the site. September 27, 2018 February 12, 2019