Unsung Heroes Celebrated During Open House

February 19, 2019 11:57 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

The public is invited to the annual tour of the Dr. Richard Eells House on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 from 1-4 pm, located at 415 Jersey St. The event is free and the public is welcome.

The event celebrates Black History and Dr. Eells' role in helping area slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad System. This year’s program, Unsung Heroes, will feature a kaleidoscope of stories, song, poetry and discussion tying into some of Quincy’s unsung heroes.

Mett Morris, of Quincy, will lead a discussion with song complimenting these stories of heroes in Quincy history. The program will celebrate the lives of Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first black priest in America, William “Billy” Dallas, the first black Quincy police officer to die in the line of duty in Illinois, and Col. George Iles, World-War II Tuskegee Airman.

"These influential Quincyans have received deserved recognition in recent years and we will celebrate their lives and contributions during this year’s open house," said Dave Oakley.

Dr. Richard Eells' and his home in Quincy played a historic role in the struggle to end slavery and help those trying to escape its demeaning grip.

On an August night in 1842, Charley, a runaway slave from Missouri, knocked on the back door of Dr. Richard Eells at 415 Jersey Street in Quincy. Charley was seeking freedom and Dr. Eells, an active Quincy Abolitionist, was there to help. While transporting Charley to the next site on the underground railroad, a posse searching for Charley stopped Eells’ carriage at an area that is now Madison Park and Charley fled. Regretfully, he was later found and returned to slavery in Missouri.

For his part in the rescue, Dr. Eells was prosecuted through the courts, starting with Circuit Judge Stephen Douglas in Quincy, then the Illinois Supreme Court and finally to the US Supreme Court. While Dr. Eells was prosecuted and Charley did not find his freedom that night, we invite you to join us to celebrate their efforts to find freedom for all in the pre-Civil war era and celebrate the unsung heroes after the civil war era. The Dr. Richard Eells house is a documented site on the underground railroad.

In addition to entertainment and discussions on Black History, the board of Dr. Richard Eells house will thank the public for its annual support.

"The house is the oldest brick home in Quincy and maintaining it in pristine fashion is no small undertaking. The organization is especially appreciative to those who have supported recent campaigns and the organization's ongoing efforts to repair the roof and weather damage," Oakley said.

The Eells House offers a wide range of local history. Besides the program, you can also view and learn about the work done to refurbish the house and its period furnishings and fixtures. While the program is free, donations are fully tax deductible and any financial support is greatly appreciated. Donations can be made to the “Friends of the Dr. Richard Eells House”, and mailed to P.O. Box 628, Quincy, IL 62306.

Refreshments will be served, so please join to celebrate this important piece of Quincy and U.S. history. For more information, please call 217-257-7647.

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