We have digitized over 60 early Illinois county histories so far at the Open Content Alliance scanning center at Oak Street. Newton Bateman's Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Champaign County is one of a series he wrote where the first volume is a general encyclopedia of Illinois and the second volume is devoted to the history of a specific Illinois county. Bateman, a historian, was the superintendent of public instruction for the state of Illinois from 1859-1862 and president of Knox College, Galesburg, from 1875-1893. His description below of summers and winters in Champaign County capture "the mud, snow, and dreariness of winter, and the balmy loveliness of summer" so familiar to us all. A great source of photos and biographies of all the early Champaign and Urbana personages after whom so many local landmarks and streets are named (see below).