Illiana Lifestyle Spring 2023 | Page 11

has changed donated items and how people can do their research and scan items and email information and save items on jump drives .
For the future , Richter said she sees things changing a lot in what museums get because of so many things being digital . A lot of younger people today don ’ t print their pictures , Richter said ,
adding that her daughter is one who doesn ’ t .
“ If you don ’ t , how are you going to store them ?” Richter said .
Photos were saved to CDs and other ways that can ’ t easily be viewed today . There are also questions now of how long jump drives will last , taking things to the cloud , longevity , fees and passwords needed for access when people don ’ t have them .
“ It ’ s almost a detriment to having hard documents ,” Richter said about technology changes . “ I ’ m not sure in a lot of cases for personal history , where are you going to get the primary source documents in the future .” an antique store . The family no longer had an interest in the history and had sold everything off in an auction . So now , the Peoria soldier ’ s family picture hangs on the Weatherford ’ s wall . They also have his discharge papers , letters , his obituary and several other pieces of family history .
Their most extensive collection is that of one of the founders of the first veterans organization in America , the Grand Army of the Republic .
Larry said , “ Thanks to the late Melbra Judd , we have Captain Christian Riebsame ’ s officer ’ s sword , a compass he carried during the Civil War , family picture album , handwritten speeches and letters , a framed certificate showing he was a founder of the G . A . R ., and other family and personal items . We purchased everything that she had from the estate sale , and then found more advertised on eBay that someone else had bought to sell .” The Captain ’ s great-granddaughter had kept the collection together until she passed away .
They also have several individual items that families no longer wanted including a battered original Model 1853 British Enfield musket which was carried up the Dead Angle on June 27 , 1864 , on what is known as the bloodiest day of the Civil War for Vermilion County . That ’ s when Colonel Harmon and over 50 other members of the 125th Illinois Infantry were killed , and countless others wounded as they attacked a Confederate stronghold .
“ I got a call at work from a lady who said she wanted the antique weapon to go to someone who would appreciate it . I probably paid more that it was worth in its condition , but the history that went along with it was the real value ,” Larry said .
Larry was last year ’ s recipient of the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society ’ s Historical Preservation Award for his work in saving history and installing tombstones for veterans .
Many items from their collection are on display at the Vermilion County War Museum .
This is a portion of the Christian Riebsame family collection . It ’ s on a quilt made by spouses and descendants of veterans of the 35th Illinois Infantry . Photo provided by the Weatherfords