PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Two Peorians are now forever memorialized for their work as conductors as part of the Underground Railroad.
Friday morning, permanent markers were placed near the grave of Moses and Lucy Pettengill at Springdale Cemetery.
The markers were made possible through Tazewell County’s Underground Railroad Conductor Recognition Project.
The Pettengill’s home, near Liberty and Jefferson Streets, was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The location of their old home is where the Peoria Civic Center is now.
Members of the Peoria Historical Society said it’s important to remember individuals who stood up for what was right.
“You hear that phrase so often, ‘Well that person was a slave owner but that’s what people did back then.’ No, there were a number of individuals who knew that was wrong. There were individuals who knew that they had to fight for the equality, the freedom, of all individuals,” said Maureen Naughtin, curator at Peoria Historical Society.
The Peoria Historical Society offers guided tours at the Pettengill’s second home at 1212 West Moss Avenue.
Naughtin said there’s a number of others locally that assisted the Underground Railroad, and the historical society is working to research and honor those individuals as well.