The Bond County Historical Society opened the Hoiles-Davis Museum for the season on May 2. New exhibits this year include several recent acquisitions, including two large collections of Greenville business advertising memorabilia exhibited in honor of the Greenville Bicentennial.
The first collection came from the Paisley family of rural Donnellson, donated by Virginia Kenny. The exhibit includes complete postcard collections from Greenville at the turn of the 20th century, including their original envelopes from drugstores like Watson’s and O’Neal’s. There is also a chalkboard slate from Elm Point School.
The second collection came from the estate of Lester Harnetiaux, donated by his brother and nieces and nephews. Lester, who was president of the BCHS for the past several years, was a serious collector of Greenville memorabilia and a portion of his large collection is on display.
Denny Donnell also donated two items related to the men from Greenville who fought in the Civil War. A field desk used by Captain Colby, who was killed in a battle surrounding the siege of Vicksburg, and later used by Donnell’s grandfather, who took over Colby’s position, is on display in the Civil War room, where the famous “Antiques Roadshow” sword of Colonel Reid is housed.
The other item donated by Donnell is a painted silk banner proclaiming “We Voted For Lincoln.” It is very likely the banner was created at DeMoulin Bros.
The museum’s person of honor this year is Bill Johnson, past Bond County Treasurer, who worked with the local Boy Scout troop for many years. He is also currently an active participant in the Hills Fort Society reenactments and the rebuilding of the fort at the Farm Heritage Museum.
In the Pet Milk Room there is also a new exhibit on the CCC when it had its camp in Greenville in the 1930s where Greenville Regional Hospital is now situated.
The Hoiles-Davis Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon and Sundays from 2:00-4:00 p.m. through the end of October.