Joseph Merlin Hutchinson – Projects Director
He and wife Linda Aylward joined the Society in 1999 when Linda, who worked for the Peoria Public Library, transferred to the Local History and Genealogy department and wanted to learn more about using the research materials.
Joe’s paternal Hutchinson ancestors came from Virginia and settled in Rosefield Township, in what became the town of Oak Hill in 1837.
Joe and Linda have given several presentations at Society meetings over the years on various topics ranging from cemeteries to Civil War research and general local history.
Joe has been active with the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, a lineage organization that concerns itself with preserving the memory of Civil War soldiers since 2003. His Great-grandfather fought with the 77th and 58th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Joe is has been on the board of the Oak Hill Illinois Cemetery Association since 2000, first as a Trustee and later as Treasurer since 2009. He learned by chance that his Great-grandfather also served on the board in the 1890’s.
Joe has assisted the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation with the maintenance of the Greenhut Memorial Grand Army of the Republic Hall at 416 Hamilton Blvd. since 2008.
Joe and Linda have been members of the Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society and Metamora Courthouse Civil War Dancers since 2008, demonstrating Civil War era ball dances.