By Richard Scanland
LANSING, Ill. (January 26, 2022) – On Monday night at the Lansing Public Library, Dr. Kenneth J. Schoon gave a presentation on the history of the Pullman neighborhood.
Schoon, a resident of Indiana, is a Professor Emeritus of Science Education at Indiana University Northwest. His book, Pullman: The Man, The Company, The Historical Park won the 2022 Best of Illinois History Award.
The presentation was sponsored by the Lansing Historical Society. The event ran for just under two hours and was targeted toward adults and seniors.
The presentation was given to a large crowd of local history enthusiasts that took up nearly every seat in front of the stage at the Lansing Library. Dr. Schoon’s lecture was both informative and entertaining, earning a few laughs from the crowd as he covered the entire history of Pullman — both the company and the neighborhood.
Moving from founder George Pullman and his career to the legacy of the company, Schoon spoke about Pullman’s innovations for train car designs, and how he ran his business. Schoon explained how George Pullman claimed that the “Pioneer” train car he created was included on President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train, which is unconfirmed by historians, but an interesting claim, nonetheless.
The audience also learned about how the town was built and the history of the company after Pullman’s death, such as how its mistreatment of employees led to unions getting involved and creating Labor Day. The lecture was accompanied by a slideshow that was a helpful visual tool and included photos from Lansing Historical Society. Though information on local history can be hard to find, Dr. Schoon’s lecture made it accessible.
Book for sale, upcoming events
Dr. Schoon’s book is for sale online at various retailers, including Amazon.
The Lansing Historical Society, in partnership with the Library, will continue to host historical presentations. Patrons can find information about events catered for all ages, from children to seniors — as well as events that the whole family can enjoy, such as movie nights or arts and crafts sessions — at Lansingpl.org, or by signing up for the Library’s newsletter.
The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue. More information about the Lansing Historical Society is available on its Facebook page.