In 1856, the Grand Prairie Bank of Urbana, Ill., opened a branch in West Urbana (now Champaign). The directors constructed a brick building for the branch, which was completed in 1858. After two months, the branch dissolved into the Cattle Bank, which only survived until 1861. From 1865 to 1971, the building held a mineral water manufactory and several grocery stores. After fire gutted the structure in 1971, developers slated it for destruction. However, a listing on the National Register of Historic Places led to plans to restore the building, a project completed in 1983. The Cattle Bank is the oldest commercial building in Champaign County. In 2001, after serving a number of tenants, the building became the Champaign County Historical Museum.
This collection contains material related to the restoration of the Cattle Bank, including flyers, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other items. Several nails taken from the structure and a tuft of horsehair found in the original plaster are also kept in the collection, as well as a report on the construction and history of the building by Bruce M. Hannon.
Professor Hannon of the University of Illinois gave the collection to the Library's Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.