Article by Brad Reel

Authored by Brad Reel

Published on June 6, 1997 in the Daily Journal

Copyright 1997. Brad Reel. All Rights Reserved. Published on the Kankakee Municipal Band website with permission of the author.

WEB EDITOR'S NOTE: Brad Reel was a french horn player in the band for many years in the 1990's. While serving as President of the band, he researched and wrote this outstanding historical article. It was published with photographs in the June 6, 1997 Sunday edition of the Daily Journal newspaper.

Prelude - The Early Years

In the effort to locate the earliest ancestry of the Kankakee Municipal Band, we must return almost to the year 1853 when the City of Kankakee was founded. One name in particular attached itself quite frequently to instrumental ensembles of the latter part of the 19th Century, Lawrence Babst. Babst was a very prominent, well-respected citizen of Kankakee during the latter 1800’s. His business was general hardware and he was very successful, but he also had a strong involvement in community affairs. The first band to which it is known that Mr. Babst was involved dates back to 1865, or even earlier, and was directed by Adam Zinkann. Babst’s father, Alois Babst, also performed in this group. In 1865, the City of Kankakee gave a general picnic - practically the entire town was in attendance. With the all brass and percussion band leading the way, the town assembled at the Court House and marched in processional south on Harrison Avenue. Their destination was a beautiful picnic area known as “Block 52.” This was later known as the “Lillie Block” and is now an area of houses on the northeast corner of the River St. and Harrison Avenue intersection. The band spent the entire summer day entertaining the townspeople at the picnic of 1865.

During the 1870’s, Babst founded the “Kankakee Silver Cornet Band” with his brother Henry and several other fine citizens. A silver cornet band is made up of all brass and a few percussion instruments; instrumentation and personnel of the Kankakee Silver Cornet Band was as follows:

  • Bb Flat Cornet - Lawrence Babst
  • Eb Horn - John Armour
  • Alto - Jones, “the tailor”
  • Baritone - Henry Babst
  • Bass Horn - Louis Demarr
  • Snare Drum - George W. Keady
  • Bass Drum - Louis Ehrich

This group met on the second floor of the Empire Block, later known as Knecht’s Corner, and is now a parking lot north of the Kankakee Antique Mall. The band’s greatest heyday occurred in the 1870’s when they were frequently called upon to entertain in Kankakee and nearby communities. When regionally famous performers such as Violinist Amos Cole, The McGrews & Deckers or The Willis Sisters would perform, the Kankakee Silver Cornet Band would open for them. Their repertoire of contemporary favorites included “When the Corn is Waving, Annie Dear,” “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,” and “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me!”

During the period of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the golden age of the instrumental ensemble with “no strings attached” emerged. From the fife and drum and drum and bugle corps of the military came the advent of the marching, pavilion and concert band genres. During the time of the turn of the century, prior to the intervention of television and radio into society, community bands, drum & bugle corps and pavilion bands were becoming a staple of society. Bands and orchestras were in extreme demand to offer entertainment, particularly at festivals like those held on Independence Day. Although sketchy, there is evidence to support that a band sponsored by the City of Kankakee existed from the 1880’s and lasted through the early nineteen hundreds and nineteen-teens. The band’s director during the 1880’s was Charles E. Voss, a well-known photographer in Kankakee who was also known as a bandsman. He was especially proficient as a brass player, being skillful on cornet, French horn and baritone. Charles Voss was the father of Emory V. Voss, renowned musician and long-time drummer for the Municipal Band. During the early 1900’s, a gentlemen by the name of Charles W. Burrill of the Kankakee Central Union submitted announcements of the concerts, along with all other performances held at Electric Park (now known as Beckman Park), to the Kankakee Daily Gazette. The band performed free concerts for the public at Electric Park on Sunday evenings. The honorable Professor Bruner was the director of the band during this period. The Kankakee Band was also a favorite to march in parades and perform in many neighboring areas including Bourbonnais, Chebanse, Iroquois and Buckingham particularly in conjunction with town festivals.

The Birth of a Community Band

In 1921, the Kankakee City Council authorized the park committee to offer three concerts held at Riverview Park (now Cobb Park) to determine their popularity. The concerts were furnished by the City of Kankakee and the Kankakee Musicians’ Association. An announcement for the first concert was printed in the Kankakee Daily Republican on June 29th, and the concert was held the following evening at 7:30. The program included: Suppe’s “Poet and Peasant Overture,” King’s “Sarasota March,” Fred Jerell’s “Revelry Overture,” “The Star Spangled Banner” and instrumental renditions of several popular songs of the day. Songs like Suppe’s “Poet and Peasant” are nick-named “war horses” of band literature and are still performed at concerts today. The concert, under the direction of Joe Tolson, proved to be a resounding success. Thousands of people came to enjoy the free concert in the park. There was such an overwhelming amount of cars packed around the park, police had all they could handle to prevent a major traffic jam. The members of the City Council were elated at the concert’s success and there was strong speculation that the activity would continue long after the three weeks scheduled.

The City of Kankakee and the Kankakee Musicians’ Association voted to continue the concerts the following year. The 1922 series included a performance on Independence Day prior to the fireworks display. It was followed by a concert on Thursday, July 20th featuring a youthful xylophone virtuoso, Master Burns of Decatur. The July 20th concert was reported to have the largest crowd to date for the Municipal Band concerts. The band’s popularity was particularly impressive considering the various competitive elements it had. There were still other community bands such as the band in Momence as well as several local Drum and Bugle Corps. Radio grew increasingly popular during the 20’s, as did dance bands during this period also known as the “Jazz Age.” Among the many groups frequenting the Kankakee area circuit was Vic’s Novelty Orchestra and Gene and His Originators. Research also revealed an ad announcing the appearance on July 1, 1924, of the legendary King Oliver and His Creole Jazz Band at the RAINBO in Momence, named after RAINBO Bread. What the Municipal Band concerts had going for them was that they were a “family” event, a reason to get outside on nice summer evenings and because they were sponsored by the city and Musicians’ Association, they were free. The 1922 concerts were under the direction of Curt Weihe and were held at Electric Park. A few announcements for the band during 1924-26 refer to the group as the “Kankakee Amusement Park Band.” Still under the direction of Conductor Weihe, the band performed their concerts starting at 7:15 at Electric Park.

During the next seven years, the band continued to perform regularly at Electric and Riverview parks during the summer months. The band performed at several other locations for various functions including the now nonexistent Luna Theater, the RAINBO, and the “Avon,” which used to be located west of town off IL 17 on Hieland Rd. Beginning in 1921, the band took turns performing at the Kankakee State Hospital and the RAINBO as part of their Fourth of July activities. On July 9, 1926 and July 7, 1927, the band was joined by the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps to perform for the disabled veterans at the Dwight Veterans Bureau Hospital. By 1929, Joe Tolson, seen playing trumpet in the above picture, was again announced as the group’s regular director.

Announcements, reviews and features about the band appeared in the Kankakee Daily Republican from 1921-29 with much frequency. Unfortunately, such information about the band during the next two decades were rare if even existent. With the entire nation feeling the impact of The Great Depression during the 30’s and of World War II in the 40’s, the Kankakee Municipal Band, with very little evidence to show otherwise, apparently disbanded shortly after the 1929 season. Live music continued to be extremely popular, nevertheless, and the Kankakee area was entertained by the likes of Wi-Mayo’s Orchestra, featuring accordionist Johnny Agatone, the Birdie Davis Orchestra and Sammy Berk and His 11 Men. The local “hot spots” included Eagle Island, with their “Harmony Boys,” Moonlite Garden, the Glass Rail and the Homestead, among others. In the “Swing Era” of the 1940’s came The Music Makers, Chuck Grainger and the Downbeats, “Bubbles” Orchestra and Russ Merk’s Orchestra. Broadcast radio came home to Kankakee in a big way in 1947 when on June 1st, WKAN came on the air for the first time. WKAN turns fifty this year (1997).

Several Daily Journal articles announcing more recent concerts have included a recurring paragraph regarding the band’s existence during WWII and the rest of the 1940’s. The articles stated that a militia band was founded by then Kankakee High School band director George Piersol during WWII. In 1947, Piersol and Bill Gousset began another band with adults only. But the band only could recruit a small number of participants which resulted in an imbalanced instrumentation and was forced to cease. George Piersol was band director for the Kankakee Schools from 1930 until he retired in 1954 and was the founder of Piersol’s Music Store.

Good fortune was on the horizon, however, thanks to the efforts of another director in the Kankakee school district, Ed Daniel. Daniel, with co-founder Virgil Bader, worked tirelessly during the mid nineteen-fifties, with a supportive Kankakee Park District, to reorganize the series of free summer concerts. The great tradition of concerts in the park from many years past was about to return to Kankakee for good.

Reorganization - A New Beginning

The roots of the Kankakee Municipal Band in its present form traces back to 1954 when the Kankakee Park District Community Band was founded. The band consisted of 35 members made up of musicians from Kankakee and surrounding communities. The director and co-founder was Edward Daniel, and instrumental music teacher in the Kankakee grade schools. The band was sponsored by the Kankakee Park District who furnished both a rehearsal and performance location. The band would rehearse at the Waterman Park (now Beckman Park) Community House on Friday evenings. The first public concert was Sunday, August 1, 1954 at the portico of the Civic Auditorium. Songs on the program included Sousa’s “Manhattan Beach March,” Leroy Anderson’s “Phantom Regiment” and “Syncopated Clock” and Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”; many of the same favorite selections in the band’s current repertoire. For many elderly Kankakeeans, the concert recalled fond memories of days gone by when the Municipal Band played concerts in the city’s parks during the 1920’s.

Two musicians that performed with the band after 1954 were original members of the group from the 1920’s; Emory Voss and Carl Wolf. Both Voss and Wolf are pictured above with the band from 1922. As a youth, Voss studied piano and flute at the Kankakee Conservatory of Music. Soon after, he began playing drums which he played until he retired. Once known as “Kankakee’s #1 Drummer,” Voss performed with several dance orchestras, vaudeville pits, the Kankakee Inter State Fair Band, the American Legion Drum & Bugle Corps and the Kankakee Band when conducted by his father Charles. Mr. Voss played drums with the Municipal Band until 1964 when he retired at the age of 77. He died two years later. One June 27, 1979, the Municipal Band concert was dedicated to the memory of Emory Voss. His favorite march from his days with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus Band, King’s “The Golden Dragon,” was played in Voss’s honor. His granddaughter played alto sax in the band at the time. Carl Wolf was one of the founders and played flute and piccolo with the Municipal Band during the 1920’s. His service to the band resumed again in 1954 as flutist and piccoloist. He also served a term as band president. On July 29, 1961, Wolf died following an extended illness. The following band concert on August 3rd was dedicated to Wolf’s memory. During the traditional playing of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the piccolo feature during the trio was taceted (not played) in honor of the passing of Mr. Wolf. The popularity of the concerts by area residents of all ages merited the Kankakee Park District’s decision to extend the following season to six summer concerts. In 1956, the band received support from the City of Kankakee and the Musicians’ Union Local 288; the group was thereby renamed the Kankakee Municipal Band following this recognition. They split the 1956 season’s performances between the portico at Governor Small Park and the band pavilion at Cobb Park. By 1960, the band’s season was extended to eight performances at the portico, plus they were invited to participate in the first Independence Day festivities held in Kankakee in several years. The annual Jaycees’ fireworks display, which continues to dazzle Kankakeeland every July 4th, began their marvelous exhibition at the 1960 celebration. The day was packed with entertainment from dawn to dusk. The Boat Club and Chamber of Commerce decked out the entire park with American Flags that proudly waved all 50 stars on Independence Day for the first time in our nation’s history. It was estimated that 15,000 people visited Beckman Park at some point throughout the day to take in the boat parade, water ski show, Little League baseball games, and a magnificent concert of patriotic tunes at 7:30. The day was capped off by fireworks launched over the Kankakee River.

In 1961, the band moved its summer concert season to Thursday evenings. Among the Thursday performances that year was a July 12 appearance on the lawn of the courthouse. With a handful of exceptions, the Municipal Band concerts have been held on Thursday evenings ever since. Ed Daniel served as the band’s conductor for the first 15 seasons during which time he attracted several new members to the group and increased the personnel of the band to 41. His last concert was Thursday, July 25, 1968 shortly following his acceptance of a teaching position in Michigan.

The band resumed in its 16th season under the direction of Lloyd Higgerson. Higgerson was a 12 year band teacher at Eastridge High School and East Junior High. He and his wife also purchased Piersol’s Music store in 1967 shortly after Mr. Piersol passed away. The band continued to receive support from the city, the park district and the local musician’s union during Higgerson’s tenure as conductor. In his first two years, the band played seven summer concerts including the traditional July 4th concert prior to the Jaycees’ fireworks display at the Beckman Park Boat Club. The performances under Higgerson continued to have terrific music as well as some novelties that the audience truly appreciated. On July 10, 1969, Debbie Moore, then an eighth grader at East Junior High, displayed her talents as a baton twirler during selections performed by the band. The last concert of the 1969 season was enhanced by the presence of the Keen Keys Barbershop Quartet as the guest performers. In 1971, Ray LaCoste, then band president, made a request to the Kankakee City Council for appropriations for additional concerts at Governor Small Memorial Park. The 1971 season, thanks to the efforts of LaCoste, the generosity of the City Council and the band’s continued support from the community, was again granted eight concerts at Governor Small Memorial Park. The band was also allowed to continue their traditional July 4th Beckman Park performance and an appearance at the Kankakee State Hospital.

Higgerson served as the band’s conductor through the end of the 1972 season. Higgerson continued to support the band as an occasional player, audience member and as store owner of Piersol’s Music Store. In 1981, he led the band for two concerts when director Joe Grzelak was recovering from an unexpected surgery. He played in the group’s trumpet section in 1982.

The Grzelak Era

The 1973 season introduced Joseph Grzelak as the group’s third director. This was the band’s 20th season. Grzelak’s 17-years of service as director fostered an immense growth in popularity and a tremendous display of support from the band’s sponsors - the City of Kankakee, the Kankakee Valley Park District and the Musicians Union Local 288. Grzelak, a veteran music teacher in Bourbonnais and trumpet player in the band for 17 years prior to 1973, incorporated many creative elements into the band’s performances that catered to an ever-increasing crowd at the Thursday-evening summer concerts. His creativity was evident already in his first year when at the fourth concert of the series, he introduced an announcer, Earl Kelly of Bourbonnais, to introduce and give background information to selections the band would play. On July 24, 1975 the Municipal Band performed a concert with a local rock group “G Force,” led by Grzelak’s son Gerry. Gerry also played alto saxophone with his father’s band. The combined groups performed selections from G Force’s rock opera “Moonchild.” The Municipal Band sharing the stage with a rock band took an encore on July 1, 1982, when the Air Force Rock Band “Mach One” from Washington D.C. joined the band for an evening. This concert drew an enormous crowd for both Mach One and the city’s own Municipal Band.

Then it was the time for audience participation when a “Sing-along” was organized on July 12, 1978 and again on August 4 , 1983. The sing-along, with words provided for the audience in 1983, included “God Bless America,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “My Wild Irish Rose.” The audience would continue to hear the favorite crowd pleasers and were treated to weekly vocal and instrumental soloists many of whom were band members. The band was also joined on three separate occasions in 1978, 1983 and 1986 by the Kankakee Valley Aires Barbershop Chorus.

By the 1975 season the band was supported for a 10 concert season at the Governor Small Park portico, plus the extra performance on July 4th at Beckman Park. Governor Small Memorial Park was still the band’s main performance site for summer concerts. Under Grzelak, the band went mobile to perform on several occasions. The final concert of 1974 was held in Dearborn Square behind the First Trust and Savings (now First of America) Bank. The band played at Olivet Nazarene College for a June 27th concert in 1975 to play in conjunction with the Bourbonnais Sesquicentennial. One of the ten concerts in the 1976 series included an appearance at the 3-day American Bicentennial Festival at the County Fairgrounds. A special Father’s Day performance on June 15, 1986 staged the band at Court St. and Schuyler Ave. as part of the Musicfest and Gastronomical Extravaganza. The Kankakee Municipal Band also continued to play a very active role in the city’s Independence Day festivities. Under Grzelak, the band played a concert patriotic music in prelude to the Jaycees fireworks on the north bank of the river at Beckman Park until 1979.

The most notable change of performance location was the move to the band’s present home. For the first 23 years, the Municipal Band’s main site was the portico at the Governor Small Memorial Park Civic Auditorium. In March of 1975, the Kankakee Valley Park District (KVPD) made their first mention of a proposal for a bandstand. The Daily Journal on July 15th of the same year reported that the Board entered an agreement with Kankakee Township whereas the township would donate $20,000 to the Park District for the creation of a bandstand in Bird Park. Ground was broken on August 8, 1975 along the north rock formation in Bird Park. Present for the ground-breaking ceremony were Kankakee Township Supervisor Bruce Huot and KVPD Board President Don Palzer. Construction ensued while the band played their 1976 series at Governor Small Park. The first season held at the band’s new home was in 1977, the band’s 24th year. The performing area at this point was merely the cement stage floor fronting the north rock quarry with the canopy, sound and lighting system still on the way. On May 12, prior to the start of the concert season, Grzelak brought the Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center Band to play at the Municipal Band’s new home. The outdoor acoustics, even before the arrival of the canopy, were given a thumbs up and the band commenced in their permanent new home.

Nearing the close of the 1977 season, the Park Board, as reported by the Daily Journal on August 2, accepted an $8000 donation for the construction of a canopy covering the Bird Park Bandstand area. Bids for its construction were requested in March of 1978. The canopy was installed over the course of the 1978 concert season; each concert showed the band playing under construction inching one step closer to completion. Flag Day, June 14, 1979, constituted the first performance of the Kankakee Municipal Band at their completely constructed home in Bird Park. It was fully equipped with a brand new lighting and sound system furnished and installed by the KVPD. Concerts continued to begin at 8:00 in 1979, but performers now had an easier time seeing their music thanks to the new lighting system. The final concert of 1979 on August 16th was dedicated to all of the men and women who helped in the construction of the bandstand. Present at the dedication ceremony which preceded the concert were Grzelak, Kankakee trustee Darwin Jaenicke, AFM Local 288 president and long-time band member Mel Blanchette and KVPD president Don Palzer. Seven enjoyable seasons later at the June 19, 1986 concert, a retired Don Palzer was presented with a framed copy of the Park District’s resolution to rename the Bird Park Bandshell to the Don Palzer Bandshell Presenting the honor was Chris Bohlen, park president, with several park district commissioners also on hand. The Don Palzer Bandshell has been the adorning name overhead ever since. A few other events occurring during Grzelak’s direction was the creation of new uniforms for the band in 1980 - a white, short-sleeved sport shirt with red collar with the Kankakee Municipal Band logo on the front. The band still wears a modified version of this uniform; the collar is now white. In 1985, beginning the week of June 30, the band moved the start of its concerts up by one half-hour to 7:30 due to overwhelming popular demand. They have begun at 7:30 ever since. During the 1987-89 seasons, the band featured a weekly guest conductor as a means to give local music teachers an opportunity to direct a band of mostly adult peers. Many local band and orchestra directors, many of whom were Municipal Band members, shared their talents as well as some new music with the band and the audiences at Bird Park.

In 1989, Grzelak, after serving the Municipal Band as a player for 17 seasons,1956-72, and as director of the band also for 17 seasons, 1973-89, announced that he was retiring at the end of the season. On August 3, 1989, Joe Grzelak conducted his last concert as director of the Kankakee Municipal Band. Several former guest soloists were invited to perform, and the crowd was even larger than normal to see Joe’s last concert. At the conclusion of the concert, he was presented with a plaque by the Park District in honor of his achievements and was given the title “Director Emeritus” upon his official retirement. Grzelak returned in June of 1990 as Director Emeritus to lead the band in several of his favorite numbers. This was the last appearance Grzelak made following his retirement. On August 15, 1992, following a long illness, Joseph Grzelak died. His passing occurred after the conclusion of the 1992 season. The Municipal Band dedicated the entire 1993 season to his memory; each concert was accompanied with a picture of Mr. Grzelak along-side the band.

The Band in the Nineties

The 1990 Season opened with Harold Huber named as the new director of the group. This was the band’s 37th year. In 1990, Huber entered his 30th year of instrumental music instruction, his 21st at Peotone Community Schools. He appeared with the band in July the previous year as a guest conductor. Huber retired in 1994 after 33 years teaching instrumental music. He continues to assist with the music program at St. George school in Bourbonnais Township on a part-time basis.

Under Huber’s direction, the band continues to delight audiences on Thursday summer evenings by performing songs proven to be crowd favorites over many years. The band’s repertoire each week is an eclectic arrangement of marches, overtures, “war horses,” show tunes and light-hearted pop favorites. Concerts always begin with the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Each week, a vocal solo, duet or ensemble is featured, singing the National Anthem and a medley from a favorite Broadway musical or of popular songs. Some of the local talent that has appeared frequently with the band include Pat Skelly, Rosellen Garnier, Sarah Hardaway, Mary LaLuna, Bernie Markley, Pat Gould and the Municipal Band’s own Judy Saurer and Melissa Marchman. There are still many others. The New Park Singers, a group also sponsored by the Kankakee Valley Park District, joined the band during the 1992 and 1993 seasons and will appear with the band this year on July 3rd. The traditional closing numbers are Carmen Dragon’s arrangement of Ward’s “America the Beautiful,” also sung by the featured vocalist(s), and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” 1997 marks the 100th birthday of the nation’s most famous and beloved march, “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Highlights of the band during the Nineties include a late appearance at the YMCA in August of 1994. In 1995, Ray LaCoste, the band’s tenor saxophonist, was presented a plaque by the band honoring his fortieth year performing with the group. The Kankakee Municipal Band would like to make mention that Ray LaCoste, after serving as the band’s tenor saxophonist for 41 loyal years announced his decision to retire in May. We thank Mr. LaCoste for his years of service to the Municipal Band and the community. The band’s current seniority leaders include Jewel Ann Wiltfang, euphonium, 23 years, Joe Lenart, clarinet, 29 years, Fran Smet-Mehrer, bassoon, 35 years, and trombonist and secretary-treasurer Rich Mehrer, 41 years! The band has also prepared to enter the 21st century with their joining the ranks of “netizens” on the World Wide Web. The Kankakee Municipal Band’s Web site includes programs and special events for each weekly concert, member information including an occupation and “seniority” list, a page that tells about the Municipal Band for web browsers around the globe, and a contact link where visitors can leave comments, suggestions and even song requests for the band, among other entertaining novelties. The URL (Web address) to view the Kankakee Municipal Band’s Web site is... The band would like to cordially invite everyone to visit their Web site.

This summer, the Kankakee Municipal Band will celebrate its 44th consecutive season of free concerts in the park. The band series is ten summer concerts, held on Thursday evenings at 7:30 at the Don Palzer Bandshell at Bird Park. It continues to receive support from the city of Kankakee, the Kankakee Valley Park District and a weekly gathering of appreciative local residents as well as visitors from outside the area. The current band roster has approximately 50 members made up of a balanced blend of amateur and professional musicians from Kankakee and surrounding communities. Some members are currently students and some are retired. Many members are educators, most in music, but also in mathematics, as a student counselor, and special education. Other occupations represented include small business owners, Realtor, cashier, kitchen and bath designer, civil engineer, newspaper reporter, farmer, machinists, nurses, social worker, chemist and “balloonist,” to name a few.

The 1997 season promises to once again be filled with entertainment to enjoyed by people of all ages. The Municipal Band would like to invite all of you to bring friends and family to Bird Park this summer for some free, old-fashioned family entertainment. Concerts will continue on Thursday evenings through August 7th. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy some relaxing evenings of “Music Under the Stars!”


Bateman, Newton, Selby, Paul, Letourneau, George R. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. 1906, Middle-West Publishing. Chicago, IL.

Beers, J. H. & Co. Atlas of Kankakee County, Illinois. 1883, Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society. Kankakee, IL.

Byrns, William P., Seil, William, Wasson, Donald L. Days Gone By: A Pictorial History of Kankakee County. 1977.

Houde, Mary Jean, Klasey, John. Of the People: A popular History of Kankakee County. 1968, The General Printing Company. Chicago, IL.

Lake City Publishing Co. Portrait and Biographical Record of Kankakee County, Illinois. 1893, Lake City Publishing Co. Chicago, IL.

Daily Journal, The. Related Articles from 1948 - 1997.

Kankakee Daily Gazette, Related Articles from 1877 - 1910.

Kankakee Daily Republican, Related Articles from 1920 - 1929.


Kankakee Municipal Band Archives

Kankakee Daily Journal

Kankakee County Historical Society

Kankakee Public Library

Olivet Nazarene University, Reference Library

Loretta Grzelak

Harold Huber

Rich Mehrer

Fran Smet-Mehrer