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The Mercer County Historical Society in Aledo, IL, features the Essley-Noble Museum, as well as a machine shed, and one room school house.


New Acquisitions

The museum features a farm wagon, which was built circa 1900 in Millersburg by blacksmith/wagon maker James M. Burgess. James's son Willard became a blacksmith and also farmed in the Aledo area before moving to Wisconsin where the wagon ended up. A great grandson of James, Don Burgess, obtained the wagon in various parts from his cousins Carol Burgess and Mary Burgess Schwark and had it restored. It is painted in the original colors, green for John Deere. Don Burgess pulled the wagon with a team of Belgian horses and now has given it to the Mercer County Historical Society. It is on display in the machine shed at the museum along with other historical farm implements.

There is a card game featuring vintage Aledo businesses. Not a lot is known about it, but it appears to be from the turn of the previous century and more than likely played like the game of "Authors." It was donated by Richard McMeekan.

Come and see our vintage camera collection, going back to the 1800's. There are three more "modern" ones that were donated by Keith Clark.

There is a set of fish net needles donated by Tom Moyers. The card reads, "These are fish net needles made by John Frieden. He whittled them out. I was around eight years old as I remember him making fish nets. I have put in frame Jan. 2010. I am 91. His daughter Lorena Frieden Moyers." The museum also has a set of the fish nets donated by Dave Frieden and a display is in the making.

"A History of the CB&Q Illinois Pea Vine" by R.W. Linroth contains photos and information on railroads in Mercer as well as nearby counties. Also, come and see our railroad exhibit.

There are approximately 20 Mercer County advertising items donated by the Mabel Mayhew estate. You can see these and other advertising items at the museum.

We also have an oil painting by Alice Hare of the Shale City brick kiln. It was donated by Marilynne McGuire.

Volunteer Kathy Coe is compiling a binder of War of 1812 veterans buried in Mercer County. It contains names, burial sites, and other available information so these men will not be forgotten. A similar volume of WWI veterans is in the works and these and other biographies and indexes of veterans are available for use in the genealogical department at the museum.

We have three "wooden nickels" from the Mercer County 1942 July 4th celebration. Series A,B, & C. They were donated by Dennis and Reeda Basala.

Contact us at 309-582-2280 for more information about our artifacts.