Capias. Inside view. WHS object 3080.

From the Curator, Fall 2015

We welcomed Robert Franklin as our 2015 summer digital exhibits intern. As we said goodbye to The Adventurers installation, he created an online exhibit based on the original so the research and stories told would live on.

Our collections inventory is in full swing. Volunteer Bill McKay is working with our oversized files, starting with creating a better inventory of our historic maps of Winnetka and the North Shore. These maps are valuable resources for local residents, architects, and researchers. We are grateful for all of his hard work!

One of the most interesting items we have come across so far during this inventory is a capias, or order for arrest of a person, issued 19th July 1798 by Mr. J P. Dunn, Sheriff of Kaskaskia, Randolph County, Territory of the United States North West of the Ohio.

Capias. Inside view. WHS object 3080.

Capias issued July 19, 1798. Inside view. Notice the seal on the left side. WHS object 3080.

Capias. Outside view. WHS object 3080.

Capias. Issued July 19, 1798. Outside view. WHS object 3080. Notice the handwritten numbers in pen on the outside of the document. These marks are common on WHS artifacts accepted by the Society before the 1990s when professional staff began caring for the museum collection. Today, artifacts are only marked in ways that are reversible in keeping with standard museum practice.

The warrant was issued for the arrest of Peter Cooper, for trespassing on the property of Jonathan Owsley of Kaskaskia, who requested $100 in damages. A hefty sum for 1798! The Owsley family later settled in Winnetka, starting with Elizabeth “Bessie” and George Knox Owsley around the 1890s.

In honor of fire prevention week, we created a display of Great Chicago Fire Relics from Mr. Heinig, a tailor and German immigrant, who moved to Winnetka after the fire destroyed his home in 1871. The items will be on display through January.
— Siera Erazo

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