A 1908 photograph of The Model Clothing Co. provided clues to dating a previously unidentified photo of flag-draped businesses on South First Street.

Mystery solved! Two early photos taken during Monmouth’s 1908 ‘Home Coming’

MONMOUTH, Ill. — Sometimes the solution to an age-old mystery can come unexpectedly, and that was the case recently when a 50-year-old question regarding a historic photo was finally answered.

Thanks to Scott Haase, who is renovating the former Review Atlas building, I came into possession of a wonderful photo of the Model Clothing Co., which for more than a century occupied the storefront that is currently the home of Maude Specklebelly’s boutique at 109 East Broadway. In the photo, the store is decked out in an impressive display of American flags and bunting.

Kathy Lowe Arthur of Monmouth lent me this postcard that was used to advertise Monmouth’s first Homecoming.
An advertisement in the Warren County Democrat shows September 18 attractions for the 1908 Home Coming celebration. It’s interesting to note that the big event of the day — a daredevil bicycle jump — didn’t begin until 11 p.m.
The original “Home Coming” photo is now identified as having been taken at the 1908 fall festival. Why the photo was identified as “Wall Street” remains a mystery.

Editor and historian for Monmouth College. Avid researcher of western Illinois history for 40 years. FB and Twitter. jrankin@monmouthcollege.edu