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Coal City, IL 60416
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WWII Honor Roll


History is all around us, but sometimes it hides on a shelf.  That’s what Coal City Police Officer Kevin Jones learned when he discovered a long-forgotten framed document on the second floor of the village police
station after cleanup of the area by Coal City Maintenance Department personnel.  Jones’ discovery was an honor roll of members of the United Mine Workers Local 1147 who served in WWII.

The second floor of the police station at 525 South Broadway Street was at one time the village board meeting room and was also used as a meeting place for various organizations, including the mine workers
union.  The honor roll has forty hand-lettered names of those who served from Coal City and surrounding communities, including Carbon Hill, Diamond, Wilmington, Braidwood, South Wilmington, Gardner and Mazon.  Sixteen names were almost illegible due to fading of the ink.

Jones and Chief of Police Tom Best saved the document, which was still in its original handmade frame, the glass missing for some time.  The Coal City Village Board entrusted it to St. Juvin Post 1336 of the
Veterans of  Foreign Wars, who organized a fund raising effort that generated over $2200 to restore and preserve the honor roll.

St. Juvin Post 1336 of the VFW partnered with Coal City Public Library District Director Jolene Franciskovich, Head of Reference Services Irene Shepkowski, and reference staff members who researched the names using local obituaries and the 1940 census to identify and gather information on those who served their country.

The photo on the front of this pamphlet shows the honor roll in its original frame and untreated condition.  Art Restoration Experts of Downers Grove, IL undertook the task of stabilizing and preserving the document, which suffered from being attached to an acid-bearing cardboard backing along with repainting of the fading sixteen names, which had been lettered with sepia ink.  It appears that the names were added in several stages using different ink colors.  The honor roll was then properly matted and framed to preserve an important part of our local heritage.

The Coal City Public Library Reference Department staff has prepared a compendium of information about the honor roll.  This information, along with the honor roll itself, is available for viewing at the library.

Brochure on the Honor Roll of WWII Veterans

Narrative that is included in the video, written by Charlie Brown.