Women's Work After the Civil War

Exhibit focuses on women's role in work: Public Service, Teaching, Nursing, MIlitary, Dressmaking, and Beauty Culture.

Belleville Commercial College

by Judy Belleville
In 1893, high school was not a requirement. But to fill a need, Professor Joseph Foeller of St. Louis, MO opened the Belleville Commercial College on E. Main St. in Belleville. Although named a college, one could attend immediately out of grade school if desired. The college offered a business curriculum including bookkeeping, accounting, practical English, business arithmetic, typing and shorthand. Below is a sample of the “speed writing”, or Gregg Shorthand, a student could take and many did. Dictating devices were yet to be invented. The school offered courses year round and were from 2 weeks to a semester in length. The school also offered an employment service that included Belleville, the Belleville area and St. Louis, MO. The school, located on the second and third floor of the Belleville Savings Bank at 18 East Main St., closed in 1951.

Angela Briedenbach and Roy Foeller, descendants of the founder, contributed equipment, photos and archives to the permanent collection of the Labor & Industry Museum.

Annex Doubles Size Of The Labor & Industry Museum

The Labor & Industry Museum has begun an exciting time of expansion and growth. The Harrison Jumbo, the famous 1895 steam engine built in Belleville and acquired from the Henry Ford Museum, will finally have its own permanent display space. The building currently under construction is being built directly behind the museum at 123 N. Church St and will double the size of the museum. Additional displays will be developed utilizing the objects, photos and archives which have been collected since the museum opened in 2002.

In order to complete this expansion and provide additional programming, the museum is initiating a campaign to raise money to complete the interior. Our building campaign needs your donation!
All donors will have their name included in a dedication program and donors of $50 or greater will also receive a one-year museum membership and a subscription to our quarterly newsletter. Donors at the $250 level or higher will also have their name inscribed on a commemorative plaque which will be permanently installed in the museum. Also, recognition will be given at our dedication and grand opening ceremony. 

Please make all checks payable to the Labor & Industry Museum, PO Box 8242, Belleville, IL 62222