Area history, June 7, 2014

Area history, June 7, 2014

In 1914, Geoffrey C. Willis, pioneer merchant and philanthropist, died at his home at 103 N. Prospect Ave., C, last night. He was born in Kent, England in 1848. He arrived in Champaign a little more than 40 years ago. His first department store here was not large, but it was successful. Eventually, he moved to the present location, at the northeast corner of Main and Fremont streets in downtown Champaign. It was only last November that a new Willis' store was opened at the site.

In 1964, approximately 3,500 degrees, the greatest total in the history of the University of Illinois, will be awarded at commencement ceremonies later this week. Three honorary degrees will be conferred by UI President David D. Henry on internationally acclaimed contralto Marian Anderson, architect Mies van der Rohe and distinguished chemist W. Albert Noyes of the University of Texas, the son of the late Professor W.A. Noyes of the UI.

In 1999, the 13th annual Oldsmobile Balloon Classic of Illinois, starting Friday, will feature free admission, Air National Guard flyovers, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, fireworks, five scheduled balloon launches and an appearance by astronaut and Danville native Joe Tanner.

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