Hosmer-Williams Lecture Series - Elsah, IL


Hosmer-Williams Lecture Series
Elsah, Illinois

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Location: Farley's Music Hall, 37 Mill Street, Elsah, IL

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time: 7:30 pm

Description: “A Conversation between Benjamin Godfrey and James Semple: How Two Prairie Entrepreneurs Shaped the Riverbend Region." Accomplished re-enactors John Meehan (playing Captain Godfrey) and Kerry Miller (playing General Semple) will portray these prominent leaders of economic development in western Madison and eastern Jersey Counties in a lively and thought-provoking exchange that covers the major issues of their day: the abolition of slavery, women’s education, railroad and highway construction, and state banking.

The conversation takes place in the late 1840s’s when the Semple and Godfrey families lived barely three miles apart north of Alton. The oldest Semple daughter, Ada, attended nearby Monticello Female Seminary, a women’s college Godfrey had founded a decade earlier. Through business and politics, Semple and Godfrey undoubtedly knew each other. They were self-made men who took risks. Each suffered severe financial setbacks, which they regarded as temporary obstacles to be overcome. Both succeeded in doing so.

The program also features a documentary video of Benjamin Godfrey’s life. Zeke Jabusch, President of the North Alton Business Council, will narrate the video, which was produced by the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail Committee for the Council. The video highlights nine area sites where historic markers of Godfrey’s accomplishments will be placed.

Refreshments will be served following the lecture. Reservations are not required. Parking is available.


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Elsah, Illinois