Featured Biography:

Isrel L Blackburn

Sergeant Isrel L. Blackburn was born into slavery and for the first 48 years of his life he was the property of plantation owner John Bowman of Mercer County Kentucky. Blackburn’s life changed in 1864 when Bowman sold him to the Union Army. Isrel became a member of Company C of the 124th Colored Infantry during the Civil War. When the War ended, Blackburn made his way north and found a new home in Downers Grove, Illinois. He was given a piece of land owned by Samuel Curtiss to farm and raise 5 of his children. Proud of his new home, he was one of the signers of the village Incorporation Papers in 1873. Blackburn died in 1902 at the age of 90. Isrel Larry Blackburn was born into slavery in Mercer County, Kentucky on May 3, 1818, on a plantation owned by John Bowman. There he would live until

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