Local History

Remembering Gregg McGee: A Legacy of Service and Love for Knowledge

Monday, January 8th, 2024

It is with deep sorrow that the Six Mile Regional Library District announces the passing of our longest-serving former employee, Gregg McGee. Gregg, a Granite City, Illinois native, dedicated over four decades of his life to the library, leaving an indelible mark on our institution and the community we serve.

Gregory Lee McGee, born on January 16, 1947, to Marvin Lee and Conleth Margaret (O’Brien) McGee, passed away on December 24, 2023, at the age of 76. His journey through life was marked by resilience, determination, and an unwavering passion for knowledge and communication.

Gregg’s early life took an unexpected turn when, drafted during the Vietnam War, he found himself assigned to company clerk duties in Furth, Germany after an injury redirected his military career. Returning home with government assistance for education, he enrolled at SIUE, where he played a pivotal role in launching the student-run radio station WSIE-FM, later becoming its station manager.

Despite not envisioning a college education, Gregg’s life took another turn when he secured a temporary job at the local library. Little did he know, this would be the beginning of a lifelong commitment. Over the years, Gregg’s impact extended beyond the library as he initiated his own local cable show, “Coffee Break with Gregg McGee,” providing a platform for local experts and occasionally featuring national celebrities.

Simultaneously, the library was evolving, and Gregg played a crucial role in its expansion. He served as branch manager when the first branch facility opened in Nameoki Village Shopping Center. Despite facing challenges, including the need for a master’s degree in library science, Gregg persevered. With the support of the library, both he and his brother-in-law earned their Master of Library Science degrees from the University of Missouri.

As an assistant manager with the Six Mile Regional Library District, Gregg continued to enrich the community by sponsoring visits from local and national writers. His commitment to literature was further exemplified through his enduring friendship with acclaimed writer Robert Owen Butler, a Granite City native.

Gregg’s retirement, after an astounding forty-three years of service, was due to health reasons. During retirement, he enjoyed gardening and cherished moments with his beloved dog, Bo. A faithful member of several churches, Gregg’s health unfortunately prevented him from attending in person.

Gregg McGee’s legacy lives on through his three sisters, a brother, and numerous extended family members and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Six Mile Regional Library District, for masses, or to favorite charities.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road, Granite City. A funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Church, 2606 Washington Avenue, Granite City, with burial at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Edwardsville.

Gregg McGee’s legacy is not only imprinted in the history of the Six Mile Regional Library District but also in the hearts and minds of those he touched throughout his remarkable journey. We remember him with gratitude, respect, and a profound sense of loss. May he rest in peace.

Obituary: https://www.irwinchapel.com/obituaries/Gregory-Lee-Mcgee?obId=30239981#/obituaryInfo

The January 2024 StoryWalk® at Worthen Park is in Memory of Gregory McGee

 


What’s in a Name? SMRLD Celebrates 20 years!

Saturday, July 1st, 2023

What happened 20 years ago?

The Da Vinci Code was the NYT Best seller fiction, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was the top of the movie box office, we were all listening to Clay Aiken…

AND…the library officially changed its name to Six Mile Regional Library District.  From May 1, 1990 to June 30, 2003 the library was known as the Granite City Public Library District.  Prior to that it was simply the Granite City Public Library, as we were a municipal library for the first 78 years.
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We have been the Six Mile Regional Library District for 20 years! Watch and listen for a little history about why we changed our name and just what “Six Mile” means.


Ancestry® & HeritageQuest® Library Editions

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

Powered by Ancestry® & HeritageQuest® / Distributed by ProQuest

Ancestry® & HeritageQuest® Library Editions, the largest online family history resources available, provide unprecedented access to family history via documents that record the lineage of individuals from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and more. Distributed exclusively by ProQuest, they bring the world’s most popular consumer online family history resources to your library.  Access to these valuable Premium eResources are only available for free while accessing the internet in the library.

Answers await all users—professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian—inside the thousands of databases of family information. User-friendly search tools and comprehensive indexing make it easy to start discovering personal histories.

MEET THE FAMILY FIRSTHAND …

… with millions of unique, full-text primary sources and enhanced images, including: 

  • Census records from the U.S., the U.K., Australia,
  • and Germany 
  • Canadian Census (1851-1911)
  • Birth, marriage, and death records for the U.S., 
  • Canada, and the U.K.
  • Canadian Genealogy Index (1600s-1900s)
  • U.S. military records (back to the 1600s)
  • Canadian military collections
  • Drouin Collection of French-Canadian and Quebec historical records (1621-1967)
  • Immigration, emigration, passport, and naturalization records
  • Jewish family history records
  • U.S. and Canadian passenger lists (1865-1935)
  • Directories and members lists from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
  • Court, land, tax, and probate records
  • Freedman’s Bank & Trust register of depositors’ signatures (1861-1875) via HeritageQuest®

In addition to collections from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., Ancestry Library Edition also features major collections from France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Australia, and China.

SEE HOW THEY LIVED …

… with additional collections that add context and background to individuals’ stories, such as:

  • Biographies and histories, including American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) and WPA Slave Narratives
  • Collections that bring together diverse materials on communities of people, such as Jewish Family History
  • Photos and maps, ranging from postcards and panoramas to family photos and headstones

RECORD YOUR HISTORY …

… and find others on the same path. Ancestry Library Edition features helpful tools such as charts, summaries, calendars, message boards, and more. Beginners can use the tools and resources in the Learning Center to:

  • Begin their family trees
  • Get the most out of historical records
  • Connect with other researchers
  • Find answers to tough research questions 
  • And more 

More advanced users can share their expertise with others by contributing content to the Ancestry.com Family History Wiki, which you can access through the Help tab. 

Looking for more family history resources visit our Genealogy page. Interested in learning more about history check out some of our other valuable Premium eResources

Ancestry Library Edition Brochure


Brought to you by the Six Mile Regional Library District: The Granite City Press-Record Online Archives!

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brought to you by the Six Mile Regional Library District: The Granite City Press-Record Online Archives!

 

Granite City – Tuesdayday, September 15, 2020 –

The Granite City Press-Record Online Archives are available free-of-charge to the public through the Six Mile Regional Library District (SMRLD), starting with the decade of the 1960s.  Because of the behind the scenes work that has to be done to ensure their readability, the newspapers will be uploaded one decade at a time.  In a few weeks SMRLD will be ready to upload the 1970s.

All issues published from January 4, 1960, through December 31, 1969, can now be accessed at www.smrld.org/press-record/.  SMRLD IT & Facilities Manager Tallin Curran supervised this project.  He remarked, “Many of these issues from the 1960s have as many as 40 or 50 pages per issue.  A few have even more.  It’s a great mix of local news and advertisements from local businesses that are gone but not forgotten, such as Tri-City Grocery, Carp’s, the Washington Theater, Fleishman’s, and many, many more.

The Granite City Press-Record was first published on April 22, 1903, as the Granite City Press.  It ceased publication with the December 26, 2012, issue as the Press-Record.  For many years, the Granite City Press-Record was well-regarded as the place to find out what was happening through the announcements, news, and human-interest stories about the people and places in Granite City, Pontoon Beach, Mitchell, Madison, and Venice, Illinois.

This multi-year project, undertaken by the Six Mile Regional Library District, actually began in 2012, when copyright permission was granted to the Library by Lee Enterprises to digitize and make the newspapers available online.  Unfortunately, the costs for digitizing such a large project were prohibitive at that time.  The real work began in 2019, when SMRLD signed an agreement with American Digital Memories (ADM) in Oklahoma to have over 369 reels of microfilm scanned and converted into electronic files.

After the many months of converting the microfilm reels into readable files was completed by ADM, it was time for Library staff to begin the arduous job of sifting through the files checking for readability.  Files are checked and re-checked for clarity; when adjustments are needed the Library requests corrections from ADM.  It generally takes Library staff approximately forty hours from receipt of the mega-files until a full decade is uploaded and ready to read online

Executive Director Tina Hubert said, “It’s been a dream of ours to make the Granite City Press-Record Online Archives available and we are thrilled that dream is finally reality.  Keep watching for other decades to be uploaded in the future by liking or following the SMRLD Facebook page.

The SMRLD Facebook can be found at https://www.facebook.com/smrld.org/

The Granite City Press-Record Online Archives can be found at https://www.smrld.org/press-record/

 

Contacts:    Six Mile Regional Library District (618) 452-6238

Tina Hubert, Executive Director, extension 781

Tallin Curran, IT & Facilities Manager, extension 784

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Service Review 2018: SMRLD by the Numbers

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Service Review 2018


Missing Years of Granite City High School Yearbooks Found and Available Online

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Missing Years of Granite City High School Yearbooks Found and Available Online

 

Granite City – Thursday, September 27, 2018 –

Two years ago the Six Mile Regional Library District (SMRLD) announced the availability of just about 100 years of Granite City High School yearbooks online at history.smrld.org/yearbooks.  At that time, we noted that yearbooks for the years 1931-1953 were not available.

Since that initial announcement, SMRLD has worked with the Granite City High School Media Center Librarian Paul Macios and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville team responsible for Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois.  That team consists of Project Editors Jason Stacy, Stephen Hansen, and Jeff Manuel and Developer Ben Ostermeier.

We are thrilled to announce that eighteen volumes of “Granite High World” School Newspapers have been digitized and made available through Madison Historical at https://madison-historical.siue.edu/archive/collections/show/10.  These editions span from the 1935-36 school year to the 1955-56 school year.  During these years Granite City High School did not publish a yearbook; instead, senior photos were printed in the high school newspaper.  The newspapers were digitized by three research assistants for Madison Historical, Brendon Floyd, Lesley Thomson, and Kelli West.

Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois is publicly available for use in research, teaching, and private study.  It documents, preserves, and shares the rich history of Madison County, Illinois and is coordinated by the Department of Historical studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  https://madison-historical.siue.edu/encyclopedia/

We still do not have any information regarding senior photos/yearbooks for 1931-1934.  Additionally, we are still missing physical yearbooks for the years 1912, 1921-24, 1926, and 2010.  If you or anyone you know has information regarding or copies of these missing years, please contact the SMRLD Research Team at (618) 452-6238, extension 730 or [email protected].

If you or someone you know has a copy of any missing yearbook, please consider donating it (or lending it for digitizing) to the Library.

 

Contacts:    Six Mile Regional Library District (618) 452-6238
Tina Hubert, Executive Director, extension 701
Juliette Douglas, Deputy Director, extension 782
Tallin Curran, IT & Facilities Manager, extension 784
Alex Smith, Research Librarian, extension 731

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Additional Information Available at http://history.smrld.org/document-archive/

 


We’ve found some local history treasure!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

letter to L.P. Frohardt from the Granite City School BoardLetter to L.P. Frohardt from the Granite City School Board. Dated June 14, 1897.

On letterhead from the St. Louis Stamping Company, which was owned by Granite City founders Frederick G. and William F. Niedringhaus. L.P. Frohardt was Granite City’s first superintendent of schools and Frohardt School bears his name. Also of note, the man listed on the letterhead as treasurer of St. Louis Stamping Company, George W. Niedringhaus, had a school (and our temporary home) named after him, too.

The content of the letter is transcribed on our Six Miles of Local History website history.smrld.org

 

 


Men of Granite book available for purchase

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Now for sale at either library location: Men of Granite by Dan Manoyan. A motion picture based on the book will soon be filmed in Granite City. Pick up your copy for $25.00 with a check made payable to “Men of Granite”

 

Men of Granite


Gregg McGee Celebrates 40 Years!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Associate Director and Branch Manager Gregg McGee was recently featured in a Press-Record article about his 40 years with the library. Congratulations, Gregg!

Gregg McGee - 40 Years

Photograph by John Swistak, Jr.


2001 Delmar

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Upcoming Events

  • Free Tax Preparation - By Appointment Only March 1, 2024 Free Tax PreparationFebruary 12 - April 15, 20242001 Delmar AveBy Appointment OnlyRegistration opens January 18The program is designed to help families with an annual income of less than $60,000.This project is brought to you by the Gateway EITC Community Coalition and VITA.Call 618-452-6238 Ext. 730 for appointments or more information
  • Free Tax Preparation - By Appointment Only March 2, 2024 Free Tax PreparationFebruary 12 - April 15, 20242001 Delmar AveBy Appointment OnlyRegistration opens January 18The program is designed to help families with an annual income of less than $60,000.This project is brought to you by the Gateway EITC Community Coalition and VITA.Call 618-452-6238 Ext. 730 for appointments or more information
  • Nintendo Switch March 2, 2024 at 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Teen Room, 2001 Delmar Ave, Granite City, IL 62040, USA Nintendo SwitchEvery Saturday, 1-4 PMTeen Room, 2001 Delmar AveGrades 7-12For more information email the Teen Services Librarian at: [email protected]
  • Intro to Loom Knitting (rescheduled) March 2, 2024 at 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm Six Mile Regional Library District, 2001 Delmar Ave Granite City, IL 62040 Rescheduled: Intro to Loom KnittingSaturday, March 2nd at 2 PMTraining and Events Room, 2001 Delmar AveCome try out loom knitting, whether you are a seasoned crafter or have never picked up a ball of yarn!Registration Required - Space is Limited!Sign up by emailing [email protected] or calling 618-452-6238 ext 730
  • Free Tax Preparation - By Appointment Only March 4, 2024 Free Tax PreparationFebruary 12 - April 15, 20242001 Delmar AveBy Appointment OnlyRegistration opens January 18The program is designed to help families with an annual income of less than $60,000.This project is brought to you by the Gateway EITC Community Coalition and VITA.Call 618-452-6238 Ext. 730 for appointments or more information

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