Bond County Bicentennial
1817 - 2017
Who We Are
The Bicentennial Planning Committee is made up of civic minded Bond County citizens with a keen interest in both the history and future of our state and local communities.
The core group was assembled in Summer 2016 to begin the early stages of planning for 2017; however, there are many opportunities to volunteer and participate on subcommittees that will focus on various 2017 activities.
Bond County residents young and old, and from all walks of life, are encouraged to take part in the organization and preparation for the historic events of 2017.
News & Press
PRESS RELEASE: Donnewald Distributing Presents Check to Bond County Bicentennial
March 23, 2017
Donnewald Distributing of Greenville has become the newest Premier Sponsor for the Bond County Bicentennial. At a gathering in Donnewald’s offices at the Howard M. Wolf Business Park Wednesday morning, company President Mike Donnewald presented a check for $5,000.00 to committee Chairman John Coleman.
“We’re glad to do what we can to help out a great local event,” said Donnewald. “Having Donnewald Distributing as a Premier Sponsor means a lot to us. We’re proud to have the support of their company and employees behind us,” stated Coleman.
Donnewald Distributing started in 1965 to distribute Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch products in Southern Illinois. In 2010 they opened their current facility in Greenville, where they distribute beers, wine, sodas, water, and other non-alcoholic drink to 23 counties in Central and Southern Illinois.
The Bond County Bicentennial Committee was formed by the Bond County Historical Society to plan events for this year. The main Bicentennial celebration will take place July 1 and 2 around the Bond County Courthouse Square in downtown Greenville. Music concerts, a parade, courthouse tours, and a family fun area are planned for that weekend. A Sunday fireworks finale and food and vendor area is also being planned that weekend by the Bond Fourth Fest Committee.
In Photo: Mike Donnewald of Donnewald Distributing (far left) presents a $5,000 check to Bond County Bicentennial Committee Chairman John Coleman (second from left). Also present are committee member Allan Davis (second from right) and Donnewald Distributing’s Vice-President, Bob Donnewald (far right).
Resolution Commemorating the 200th Anniverary of the Establishment of Bond County, Illinois
March 17, 2017
We are pleased to finally bring you the full text of the proclamation read at the January 5, 2017 Bicentennial Courthouse Program by Bond County State’s Attorney Chris Bauer.
The elegantly composed proclamation finishes, “NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the members of the Bond County Board of Commissioners that commencing on this date, January 5th, 2017, the 200th anniversary of the creation of this County, there shall be a year-long bicentennial celebration honoring the people, institutions and the rich history of Bond County, Illinois.” The resolution of the proclamation was approved unanimously that same evening.
Many thanks to Mr Bauer for sharing this document with us for this archives page.
NEWSBYTE: Ides Of March At Bicentennial - WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News
March 6, 2017
Last week, the Bond County Bicentennial Committee announced that Head East would be performing a free, outdoor concert the night of Saturday, July 1.
Now the committee has announced the headlining act for the night of Sunday, July 2.
It is Ides of March featuring Jim Peterik. Ides of March is from the Chicago area, having been in Berwyn in the fall of 1964. The original four members are still with the band. They include Peterik, Bob Bergland, Larry Millas and Mike Borch.
Peterik said the band is looking forward to being in Bond County. He said the band will bring it’s “A-game”, playing the band’s familiar hits and new songs, as well as other hit songs that Peterick wrote for other bands.
The band’s free, two-hour concert in Greenville is July 2.
PRESS RELEASE: The Ides of March Featuring Jim Peterik to Headline Day Two of the Bond County Bicentennial
March 5, 2017
The Ides of March, featuring Jim Peterik, one of the most successful song writers of the 1980s, will headline day two of the Bond County Bicentennial Sunday, July 2, 2017 in downtown Greenville, on the Bradford National Bank Main Stage.
Bicentennial entertainment chairman Randy Alderman said, “While the names may be foreign to some, the songs certainly are not. Jim Peterik, who formed the Ides of March way back when, took a little break in the 1980s to form Survivor, co-writing and performing many of their smash hits, including the 1982 Grammy winning Eye of the Tiger, as well as penning many hits for .38 Special and for other bands such as Sammy Hagar and The Beach Boys. The two hour Ides of March set will be familiar music, performed in part by the guy who wrote the songs.” He added, “This band, which features the original four members, and the music they perform, will certainly be a highlight of the year for those attending this free concert.”
John Coleman, Bicentennial Chairman, said, “It’s an honor to have this legendary band perform for our Bicentennial celebration. Their high-energy show filled with songs we all know and love will delight and entertain everyone.”
This isn’t a sedate “oldies” act-much the opposite actually. In concert, the Ides of March remain a vital, powerhouse rock and roll band whose typical 90-minute concert usually lasts two hours, and the encores are always the strongest songs of the night. The secret of the band’s longevity might rest in the fact that they all have remained best friends throughout the years, with not a hint of ego-trip to be found. This is especially unique because singer Jim Peterik rose to the top of the heap with his band Survivor (Eye Of The Tiger, The Search is Over, High on You) during the 1980s. Jim also co-wrote the multi-platinum hits for Southern favorites .38 Special (Hold On Loosely, Fantasy Girl, Rockin’ Into the Night). When Survivor ran its course, Jim returned “home” to the Ides of March, and the band never looked back. While many “vintage” groups supplement their sets playing “cover versions” of the hits of others, the Ides celebrate Jim’s “extracurricular” hits like they were “homegrown”, which they, in some respects, are.
The two-day Bond County Bicentennial celebration in downtown Greenville will be held July 1 and 2, 2017. It was previously announced that classic rockers Head East will headline day one of the celebration. Coleman added, “In addition to the headlining acts, The Bond County Bicentennial will feature a wide variety of musical entertainment throughout the weekend. Plus, the Family Fun Area returns, compliments of First National Bank, and a large parade is in the works.”
For more information on the Bond County Bicentennial sponsorship opportunities, and for a history of the County, visit, http://www.bondcountyhistorical.org, and follow the day-to-day announcements on the Bond County Bicentennial Facebook page.
Ides of March History...
On October 16th, 1964; a basement in Berwyn, Illinois played host to four schoolboys, guitars, drums, and their dreams. From that meeting sprang platinum hits, Grammy awards, and a common bond that has lasted ever since. The IDES OF MARCH mark a rare milestone in any partnership, let alone rock and roll; they have remained together, with all the original members intact for fifty years.
Best remembered for their 1970 smash “Vehicle”, the IDES (or their lead singer and songwriter Jim Peterik) have had hit records in each of the decades since that humble beginning. From the Brit-meets-Chicago Soul of their 1966 debut “You Wouldn’t Listen” to the rousing sports anthem “Finally Next Year” that cheered the Cubs throughout their red-hot 2003 season, the IDES have combined shimmering vocal harmonies with their trademark driving brass section to forge a sound that is timeless and unforgettable.
At their 50th year together, the accomplishments and accolades continue to accumulate. The band was honored by their hometown of Berwyn, Illinois by declaring the street running in front of their High School “Ides Of March Way”. The Ides have sung their thrilling rendition of our National Anthem for The Chicago Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Fire and White Sox with over 35 visits to Comiskey Park/US Cellular field. (The Ides sang the last home game at the “old” Comiskey Park, and the first night game at the “new” one!).
The Ides tunes have never left the airwaves on classic rock and oldies radio, but with the rise of music and dance competition TV shows, “Vehicle” has found a brand new audience-most notably on “American Idol” where Bo Bice rode the song to the final show, which led to his version earning the song another Platinum Award to accompany the original. You can also hear “Vehicle” regularly on commercial soundtracks, and it is in regular rotation on the playlists all of the nightly talk shows’ house bands.
The Ides “Vehicle” remains in overdrive, with no signs of slowing down. The band is hotter than ever, thrilling audiences in every city they visit. They are true gentlemen, taking the time to greet every fan who wants a picture or autograph after the show, leaving good vibes in their wake. At most every show, tales are heard of folks driving hundreds of miles just to attend their concerts. They say they don’t make ‘em like they used to, and that is certainly true for the Ides, who were “made” in a different time, but choose not to mellow with age, but forge ahead on a path of progress. You’ll see as many Gen-X and Gen-Y denizens rocking and dancing at an Ides show as Baby Boomers. Great music and great performance have no expiration or “sell-by” date. The Vehicle rolls on!
PRESS RELEASE: Big Announcement!
February 24, 2017
The legendary classic rock band Head East will headline day one of the Bond County Bicentennial on Saturday, July 1, 2017 on the Bradford National Bank Main Stage.
Head East has long set the standard for authentic, full-vocal, goodtime rock harmonies that few bands can equal. Their high-energy shows are filled with superb vocals, flashy guitar work and memorable keyboard melodies that continue to rock audiences of all ages. Their signature song, “THERE’S NEVER BEEN ANY REASON (Save My Life)” has long-been considered by many radio stations across the country as “The Rock & Roll National Anthem.” For more than four decades the band has brought classic rock to countless audiences all across North America.
Bicentennial entertainment chair Randy Alderman said, “We are excited that Head East will provide the headlining music on day one of the Bond County Bicentennial. The band still tours extensively and their sound and show will delight young and old alike.”
John Coleman, Chairman of the two-day Bicentennial event, said, “This is the first of several announcements we will be making. Our committee has worked really hard to put together memorable entertainment for our county celebration.”
According to founding member and keyboardist Roger Boyd, Head East will continue to bring their brand of dance and shout, good-time rock and roll to audiences of all ages for many years to come. “As long as I can lift my synthesizer over my head and the audience goes wild, we’ll keep rockin’ on!”
Their music has been featured in the cult movie classic Dazed and Confused, as well as Sahara and The Education of Charlie Banks, and Emmy award winning TV shows Friday Night Lights and That 70s Show. Their newest release (April, 2013), Raise A Little Hell, contains several Head East classic party rockers, including their monumental classic “There’s Never Been Any Reason (Save My Life),” along with new, soon-to-be HE classics, that capture all of the excitement, energy and magic of their live shows.
Head East is a 5-piece band consisting of Roger Boyd (keyboards & vocals), Greg Manahan (bass, lead guitar & vocals), Glen Bridger (lead guitar & vocals), Eddy Jones (drums & vocals), and Darren Walker (lead vocals & bass). They have always been one of the friendliest, most approachable, professional bands in rock and roll who are willing to make themselves available at all times for interviews and “meet and greets”.
Head East maintains a close bond with their loyal fans through their official website, YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter pages, and their official newsletter. The band is popular throughout the world and regularly receives fan correspondence from many nations and from across the United States.
NEWSBYTE: FNB Patriot Level Sponsor Of Bicentennial - Greenville Advocate & WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News
January 26, 2017
The First National Bank has signed on as a Patriot level sponsor of Bond County’s bicentennial celebration. Formed in 1817, the county is a year older than the State of Illinois. Founded in 1865, The First National Bank is one of the oldest financial institutions in Illinois.
Pat Kious, First National Bank Vice President recently presented a check for $1,000 to John S. Coleman, Bond County Bicentennial Chairman, and Howard Elmore, Bond County Board of Supervisors Chairman. Kious said, “As a community bank FNB was happy to support Greenville during its bicentennial and we’re now thrilled to partner with Bond County for its 200th birthday.”
Kious noted that this year’s celebration will offer a chance to honor all of the county’s communities and the unique histories of each. “With locations in Greenville and Mulberry Grove, The First National Bank is proud to serve Bond County,” Kious said.
Along with their sponsorship, FNB will be helping coordinate the family fun area at the Bicentennial celebration on July 2.
FNB’s other locations are in Vandalia, Ramsey and Patoka.
NEWSBYTE: BNB Sponsors County Bicentennial at Premier Level - WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News
January 10, 2017
As Bradford National Bank celebrates its 150th anniversary, they are once again stepping forward as the Premier Level sponsor for the Bond County Bicentennial. In 2015, the bank was the platinum level sponsor for the Greenville Bicentennial. The signature sponsorship was announced by Bradford National Bank president & CEO Doug Stroud.
Stroud said, “Bradford National Bank is pleased to step forward and provide funding and support for the Bond County Bicentennial. As a community bank who has been serving the county for 150 years, we felt it was appropriate for us to support this upcoming historic event in Bond County.”...
The bank presented their sponsorship check to Bicentennial chairman John Coleman, Bond County Board chairman Howard Elmore, and Bicentennial committee member Allan Davis. Coleman said, “Bradford National Bank is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, making them the oldest bank in Bond County. We’re proud to have a long-time member of the community as a partner in the Bicentennial.”
Elmore said, “Bradford National Bank has a long history of supporting all of the communities that make up Bond County and we are excited to partner with them for our Bicentennial celebration.”...
NEWSBYTE: Celebrating 200 Years: Bond County Begins Its Bicentennial - Greenville Advocate
January 10, 2017
Story by Advocate staff writer Emily Lucia, illustrated by 7 captioned photographs.
On January 4, 1817, Bond County was born. On January 5, 2017, the Bond County Board of Trustees with help from Bond County Historical Society, Hill’s Fort Society and the Bond County Bicentennial Committee officially started the celebrations for Bond County’s 200th birthday.
John Coleman, Bicentennial chairman, opened up the celebration which took place at the Bond County Courthouse in the courtroom. Coleman welcomed guests as well as virtual guests, using Facebook’s livestream feature to stream the festivities to viewers at home.
Howard Elmore, Bond County board chairman, took the reins following the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance. A resolution was posed to Elmore and the board by Bond County State’s Attorney Chris Bauer. “Mr Chairman, for your consideration, a resolution commemorating the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Bond County, Illinois,” Bauer read. “Whereas the county of Bond in the Territory of Illinois was established as part of a legislation action by representatives of the Illinois Territory...” The county board passed the resolution unaminously.
Coleman then recognized all county officials, both past and present, reading off their names and asking them to stand to be thanked for their service to the county.
Next, a history of the county was presented by Coleman, Judge John Knight, and Bond County Historical Society President Kevin Kaegy.
“Bond County was named for Shadrach Bond, who served as a representative for the Illinois Territory in the U.S. Congress and was also the newly formed state’s first governor in 1818,” Coleman explained. Bond County was one of the original 11 counties in the territory, which would become a state in 1818. The county was much larger than it is today, stretching 24 miles wide from east to west and well over 600 miles long from north to south. It included parts of Vandalia as well as Lake Superior to the north. Coleman explained that Shadrach Bond had been a farmer, as well as a politician and a veteran of the War of 1812. He lived near Kaskaskia.
Judge Knight went on to explain the early courts of the county. “The first court session was held in the courthouse, which stood where the current one stands today, on May 30, 1817,” said Judge Knight. [Transcriber’s note: The first circuit court session was actually held at Hill’s Station/Fort, the first location of Bond County government. Judge Knight’s presentation had this fact correct while the Advocate article misinterpreted the timeline. Court moved to Perrysville in 1818, and in 1821 moved to Greenville.] The hand written records from that court session are still in good condition and hang framed on the wall just outside of the courtroom. These were displayed with several other artifacts at the celebration. Judge Knight also explained that the current courthouse is the third version of the courthouse, having been last fully renovated in the 1970s. The courtroom once occupied the full second floor. The moldings around the windows remain the only original part of the courtroom. It was also noted that some of the original furniture is still in existence as well.
Kaegy spoke after Judge Knight to tell the history of Hill’s Fort. “Hill’s Fort was one of three forts in what is the current county,” Kaegy said. “There was Jones’s Fort and Lindley Fort, as well,” Kaegy further explained that the Battle of Hill’s Fort took place on September 9, 1814, when a group of Native Americans ambushed the Fort, killing [Territorial] Rangers William Grotts, John Journey, William Pruitt, and Robert Lynn.
Coleman closed out the evening highlighting some of the artifacts that were present. “One of the artifacts we have here is a ledger from 1818,” Coleman said. “The first election took place in 1818 to determine the delegates that were going to go to the State Constitutional Convention in Kaskaskia. This is the first voter role, which shows each voter and how they voted in that election.”
The history of Bond County is a long and rich story. It is in no way brief and holds true to the many people who have brought the county to where it is today. From hardships to joyous occasions, the county has been about its people who constantly work hard to advance the county forward, yet hold true to the values that founded the county.
There will be many opportunities throughout 2017 to help celebrate Bond County’s founding, including a celebration on the courthouse lawn on July 2, complete with fireworks. Any additional information pertaining to Bond County Bicentennial events can be found on the Bicentennial Committee’s Facebook page or on their website.
PHOTOS: Bond County Bicentennial Kick-Off - Greenville Chamber of Commerce Sun Newsletter
January 6, 2017
NEWSBYTE: County Bicentennial Program - WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News
January 6, 2017
About 65 citizens nearly packed the courtroom at the Bond County Courthouse Thursday night for the kick-off program of the county’s bicentennial. The county board actually held a meeting during the program, approving a proclamation. Bond County State’s Attorney Chris Bauer read the proclamation.
During the program, county officials, from the present and past, were introduced. John Coleman, chairman of the Bicentennial Committee, talked about the Illinois territory and Shadrach Bond, namesake of the county. Circuit Court Judge John Knight spoke about the early courts of Bond County and the current courtroom facilities, and Kevin Kaegy told the story about the battle at Hill’s Fort.
Leading the Pledge of Allegiance were Territorial Rangers Bill Johnson, Eric Reelitz and Jim DeGroff. The Benjamin Mills Chapter of the DAR served refreshments.
Owl Creek Gazette and Radio feature Bond County Bicentennial Series
January 5, 2017
The Owl Creek Gazette kicks off their 12 issue series of the history of Bond Co. with an installment from Bill Johnson, and plans for future articles to be written in the OCG by Randy Alderman, John Goldsmith, and others! The January 1st OCG podcast, “Creekside with Don & Jan” provides a bit of a preview of the article.
NEWSBYTE: Special Historical Program to Kick Off County Bicentennial - WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News
January 3, 2017
A special program to kick off the bicentennial year of Bond County will take place Thursday at the Bond County Courthouse.
John Coleman, Kevin Kaegy and Circuit Judge John Knight will speak at the event which begins at 7 p.m. in the courtroom.
Coleman, chairman of the Bicentennial Committee, said the event will be a historical evening, honoring elected officials, sharing local history, and showing off some unique local artifacts...
PRESS RELEASE: Bond County Bicentennial Kick-Off Event January 5 at Courthouse
December 28, 2016
The Bond County Historical Society’s Bicentennial Committee will hold its first event of the County’s Bicentennial year at 7:00pm January 5, at the Bond County Courthouse. Committee Chairman John Coleman announced that the special historical program will take place in the courtroom and will feature presentations by Kevin Kaegy and Judge John Knight. The Bond County Board will also meet to read a special resolution commemorating the historic milestone that night. The event is free and open to the public. The Benjamin Mills Chapter of the DAR will provide refreshments for guests.
“It’s going to be a very memorable night with lots of stories about important people and events from the County’s history,” said Chairman Coleman. “We celebrated Greenville’s Bicentennial in 2015, now it’s Bond County’s turn.” Coleman also explained that the event will be streamed live on the @bondcountybicentennial Facebook page so it can be seen by those not able to attend.
Bond County was formed out of Madison County by the Illinois Territorial Legislature on January 4, 1817. Its original borders were six miles further south and east of its present borders, and once included parts of Vandalia. Its northern border stretched up to the shores of Lake Superior. Hill’s Fort was the first County Seat, and it was one of only 15 counties that sent representatives to Kaskaskia to make Illinois a state in 1818. It’s named for Shadrach Bond, who had been the Territorial Representative to the US Congress, and later became the first State Governor of Illinois.
The committee is planning several events during 2017, including a festival and parade around the courthouse square in Greenville on July 2, in conjunction with the Bond County Fourth Fest. More information is available online at www.bondcountyhistorical.org, or on the Bond County Bicentennial Facebook page.
NEWSBYTE: County Bicentennial Planning Process Update and Courthouse Grounds Use Request - Greenville Advocate
December 8, 2016
“... At [the Bond County Board’s] regular bimonthly meeting December 6... John Coleman from the Bond County Historical Society and chair on the Bond County Bicentennial Committee provided the board with an update on the planning process and to request the use of the courthouse and courthouse lawn for the celebration.
Coleman stated, ‘We just met with the Bond County Fireworks Committee and have decided that we will be having a fireworks display on July 2.’ The Bicentennial Committee has also decided that there will be a parade through town and music entertainment from local bands. Coleman requested that the board allow the committee to set up tours of the courthouse and grounds for the celebration. The board unanimously approved.
The Bond County Bicentennial Year will kick off on January 5 at the Bond County Courthouse.
The historical society is also hosting a fundraiser for the July 2 event on December 12 at St. Lawrence Church gymnasium. ‘It will be a soup, chili, and movie night,’ Coleman said. ‘We have these old movies of life in Bond County that we will be showing. It should be a lot of fun.’ ”
November 30, 2016
Join us Monday December 12th @ St Lawrence Church Hall - 512 S. Prairie St., Greenville, Illinois for a hearty Soup/Chili supper and stay for an Exclusive Screening of Greenville’s Home Movies from the 1940s & 1950s!
Serving soup and chili (includes fixings of crackers and cheese) and homemade desserts from 5:00p-7:00p with a 7:00pm Showtime for the first movie. RSVP or invite your friends to the event on Facebook. A benefit event for the Bond County Bicentennial Celebration, Tickets are available from Watson’s Drug Store, Will-o’-th’-Wind, TNT RV & Generator, and at the door: $6 - Adults, $3 - Kids ages 4-10, FREE - under 4.
NEWSBYTE: County Board, Old Business - Greenville Advocate
November 17, 2016
“The board briefly discussed the county bicentennial celebration stating that they would kick off the celebration on the fifth of January. Elmore explained that they would have their Tuesday morning meeting on January 3 and recess to Thursday, January 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the courtroom at the courthouse. Judge John Knight would officially start the celebration of the bicentennial year.”