Eureka

Eureka, population 5000, is proud to be the college alma mater of President Ronald Reagan. “Dutch” entered Eureka College in the fall of 1928 where during his four years he lettered in football, track, and swimming as well as being in theatre before earning his degrees in economics and sociology. He was in student government and became the president in his senior year. Reagan was also a member of the dramatic fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Sigma.

Sites to Visit

Donald B. Cerf Center

300 E. College Ave., Eureka, IL
309-467-6407
The Ronald Reagan Exhibit located in the Cerf Center contains over 2000 items from Ronald’s college days, his movie career, his eight years as governor of California, his campaign for the presidency and his two terms in office. The items came to the college in 1975 at the request of President Reagan. FREE

Illinois Mennonite Historical & Genealogical Society

675 State Rt. 116, Metamora, IL 61548-7732, Eureka, IL
Home of the museum complex, Mennonite archives and historical and genealogical research library.

Website: imhgs.org

Metamora Court House

Metamora, IL, 113 East Partridge, Metamora, Eureka, IL
309-367-4470
The Metamora Courthouse was built in 1845 and served as the center of county government until the county seat was moved to Eureka in 1896. It is one of two surviving courthouses on the historic Eighth Judicial Circuit traveled by Abraham Lincoln. National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Website: www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/metamora_courthouse.htm

Research Room and Mini Museum

The Woodford County Historical Society pays tribute to Ronald Reagan and other sites and figures.  Visitors can sit in a chair from Susie's Restaurant, a local eatery closed in 1968.  Reagan and other locals were reported to have dined there. The museum is open from 1 to 4 PM Wed and Fri, or by appointment.  Call Karen at 309 467 4525.

Historic Markers and Monuments

Civil War Monument in Olio Cemetery

Recently restored monument to the men of Company A, 86th Illinois Volunteer Infantry who died in action was erected in 1868, approximately on the site of the village of Walnut Grove, now Eureka.  In 2012 Brandon Bressner, President of the Eureka Rotary spearheaded  restoration of the monument that had weathered to a point where much of it was unreadable.  The monument is the site of the Eureka Memorial Day ceremonies and is located just off Reagan Drive.

Peace Garden

Eureka College Campus, 300 E. College Ave., Eureka, IL
309-467-6407
The garden contains a bust of President Reagan and a portion of the Berlin Wall and commemorates Reagan's 1982 "Eureka Speech" where he announced for the first time his goal for a strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This speech is considered the beginning of the end for the Cold War.