Welcome to the Grundy County Historical Society and Museum
Visit Grundy County Historical Museum Where History Is Collected, Preserved and Displayed.
The mission of the Grundy County Historical Society is to provide a permanent location to house, preserve, and display objects pertaining to the county’s past including items of a cultural, social, geological, and anthropological nature.
The Historical Society was organized in 1923. The initial collection was displayed in a few handmade cases in the basement of the Grundy County Courthouse. Eventually in 2001 the Society rented a storefront on Liberty Street in Morris.
Then, in 2008, space was purchased in the historic Coleman Hardware Building and our Museum was fully realized. After 84 years, the collection finally had a permanent home. In 2018 we will be adding an additional 5,000 square feet for display and storage and research purposes. We offer private tours of the museum and the caboose with 24 hours notice. In addition the museum has a meeting room which can comfortably seat up to 10 people around a conference table or 30 people in auditorium seating for use before or after a tour.
Welcome to Grundy County, Illinois
Grundy County contains only 432 square miles, so it is small compared to many other counties, but it is one of Illinois’ most important commercial and agricultural counties. The Illinois River, along with other streams, gives Grundy County about 45 miles of waterways. The Illinois & Michigan Canal flows through the county seat of Morris, adjacent to the Illinois River.
Morris the County Seat
The first permanent settlers arrived in Morris in 1831. The town is named after Isaac Newton Morris, who was a commissioner of the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Morris was incorporated February 12, 1853. Abraham Lincoln visited the Morris home of William T. Hopkins prior to his departure for Ottawa, Illinois for the Lincoln-Douglas debate. Do you have history you can share with Grundy County? If you have historic pictures or stories about Grundy County that you would like to share, please contact us.
The Name Grundy
The father of the bill creating Grundy County was William E. Armstrong. He was an ardent admirer of Felix Grundy, the greatest criminal lawyer Tennessee ever had. Through Mr. Armstrong’s influence the new county was named Grundy although it is doubtful the famous lawyer ever set foot inside its boundaries.
Upcoming Events: All events have a 7:00 p.m. start time unless noted otherwise
- May 22, 2018 – Annual Meeting, An Evening of Music by Coal City High School (Location: First Presbyterian Church)
- November 23, 24, & 25 2018 – Festival of Trees – Professionally decorated trees and wreaths, silent auction, raffles, and much more
- Museum Location: 510 West Illinois Avenue, Morris | Library Location: 606 North Liberty Street, Morris
- September 25, 2018 Sue Morse and Jewel Buttrey "History of the Corn Fest"
- October 23, 2018 Ida Schoop, Linda Tyler and Pat Malinowski, "Local WWII Soldiers' Letters to the Editor"Meeting will be at the Coal City Library
- March 26, 2019 John Hanson, "Presents Museum Tools and Blacksmithing"
- April 23, 2019 Program Committee "Bridal Gowns through the Decades"
- May 21, 2019 Annual Meeting Terry & Laura Lynch, "The History of Inventors in Illinois", Meeting at the Presbyterian Church
- Sept. 26-30 Grundy County Corn Fest
- Nov. 23, 24, 25, 2018 Festival of Trees