This was an interesting purchase I made this past weekend, thought I'd share it even though it only has a little baseball significance. It's a 1921-1922 University of Illinois Student Handbook. Small 4.5" x 2.5" pocket-size leather daily planner that's filled with half campus info and half calendar pages.
The reason I bought it was that it has a nice picture of Carl Lundgren, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs from 1902-1909 and was born in Marengo, IL, the town next to mine. I have a very small Lundgren collection but am looking to add more items. Carl was a star athlete at U. of I., then signed by the Cubs right after graduating and went straight to the majors. In his retirement, he was a very successful college baseball manager at Michigan and then Illinois, winning numerous Big 10 titles for his squads. He died young and unexpectedly in 1934. So that's the baseball connection.
But there's some other interesting items in the book, including an architectural rendering of the soon-to-be-built Memorial Stadium. It was one of the largest stadiums in the world at the time, opening in 1923. I was surprised by the tall "lighthouse" in the drawing, as it was never built. I see that it was supposed to be a campanile - or in other words, a bell tower. I tried to look up information about it and why it was abandoned, but couldn't find any reference to it. I did however learn that it rained alot during the construction of the stadium, and a bulldozer got trapped in the mud. It was less expensive to just bury it that pull it out, so there's a bulldozer still under the field at U. of I.!
I then brushed up on the fight songs of 1921, many of which were still in use when I graduated from U. of I. in 1994. They still have sand!
The most interesting aspect of the handbook was its previous owner. The first page has space for the owner to write their name and ID information. The book was owned by one Edna Mougin of Elizabeth IL. I had a great time reading the daily entries in the calendar pages. Seems Edna was a Junior, and spent most of her free time dating two boys - identified as J.D. and Justin. Numerous dates are recorded, with such entries as:
Nov. 4 - Freshman Frolic with J.D.
Nov. 15 - Movies with J.D. "This has been worth the whole evening."
Nov. 18 - Rain, Dance at Bradley, Justin
Nov. 19 - Beat Ohio 7-0. Dance after. Bought a new coat. J.D. walked me home.
Nov. 25 - Senior Informal. Wonderful times! Stair steps. Uhm Boy!
Dec. 12 - Justin and I walk. Moonlight
Dec. 13 - Justin walks home from breakfast with me.
Dec. 24 - My heart is torn between my 2 loves. Which do I like better - Brown or Blue eyes?
Dec. 29 - Letter from J.D. Mom finds cigarette.
Then, no more entries after the winter break, until:
Mar. 1 - Engaged! As the girls predicted!!
And that's it! I don't know who Edna ended up with, and it's killing me. I've Google researched her and found her parents, her high scool graduation, but no records of a marriage. Totally bummed, I'll have to keep digging. It's a cliff-hanger.