Historian of the year

2022: Edward Bunting Jr.

The Downers Grove Historical Society is pleased to announce that Edward Bunting Jr. has been selected to be the 2022 Historian of the Year.

If anyone could be called the official photographer of the history of Downers Grove it should be Edward Bunting. Using his camera he had spent many years documenting the history of Downers Grove.  Ed Bunting born in 1935 came to Downers Grove in 1938 as a small boy. His father Ed Bunting Sr. worked for Dickie Motors. Ed Jr. went to Downers Grove High School and while there he was a member of the camera club. But his interest in cameras started when he received his first camera at the age of six. This interest in cameras would continue for many years and be a part of many jobs Ed had. In 1952 he joined the Naval Reserve as a photographer’s mate. After spending a few years in Taiwan he returned to Downers Grove and began a 36-year career with Nicor Gas as an investigative photographer photographing many things for the gas company in several states. Ed served as a paid-on-call firefighter for the Downers Grove Fire Department and soon became an investigative photographer for the department. He held that position for 24 years and he was honored as one of the few to be given the degree of Master Fire Photographer from the International Fire Photographers Association. Ed also found time to serve on the Downers Grove Community Events Commission for 12 years and the community grants commission for 2 years. Ed designed the logo for the original Heritage Festival.

Ed Bunting

Interested in history Ed was a board member of the Downers Grove Historical Society for 32 years, serving as president for some time. He was considered the official photographer for the society as he took many photos of Downers Grove that were used for the two Downers Grove history books Downers Grove 1832-1982 and Downers Grove Revisited.  When the Downers Grove Museum sponsored the 10th Illinois Civil War Regiment re-enactors group Ed joined and brought his photographic talent to the group. He also joined a World War Two re-enactors group. His love of history was the reason he started collecting pictures of Abraham Lincoln he organized a program he presented to many groups. During his free time, Ed even found time to be a crossing guard for the El Sierra School in Downers Grove. Now retired to Wilmington Illinois he still is active with their historical society.

The many photos Ed has taken of Downers Grove provide a rich and wonderful documented history of our village. His efforts with his camera and his years of dedication to the Downers Grove Historical Society surely earn him the title of Downers Grove Historian of the Year for 2022. A recognition ceremony was held October 8, 2022 at the Lincoln Center.

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