Mount Pulaski Township Historical Museum
 & Genealogical Research Center

104 E. Cooke St. (south side of the town square) 
Mt. Pulaski, IL 62548
(217) 792-3719

click here for the history of our museum >

Visit the Mt Pulaski Township
Historical Society Museum
& Genealogy Research Center

<west side of town square>
 & ~ Mt. Pulaski Courthouse ~
Where A. Lincoln, Judge David Davis, Billy Herndon, Stephen A. Douglas, Samuel Treat & others  worked as lawyers on the mid-1800's Illinois 8th Judicial Circuit
<Illinois Historical Site>

2018  Meeting Dates & Times  <-- click here

Mrs. Margaret Tierney Lanterman - long-time MPGS elementary teacher who spent many of her retired hours working in
the Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Museum ... shown here setting up the museum's upstairs' classroom in 2005

Mount Pulaski History

Abraham Lincoln in Mt. Pulaski

Museum Hours 
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
- 4:00 pm

Museum is CLOSED
 during winter months: 
 Nov - Dec - Jan - Feb

Open by appointment:

(AC - 217)
Carol Van Rheeden:  792-3860
Sue Schaffenacker:   792-5693
Fred Lipp:  737-6085

Courthouse Hours
Tuesday - Saturday
 Noon - 4:00 pm

MPTHS Museum
 2nd Floors
Current Looks

MPTHS Museum
 2nd floors
Before & After Photos

                 Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Society

President:  Carol Van Rheeden:
Secretary:  Mary Knauer:
Treasurer:  Judy Knauer:
Program Chair:  Barbara Stroud-Borth:
 Sue Schaffenacker:
Maintenance & Schedule:  Fred Lipp:
Founder & Curator Emeritus:  Mrs. Waneta Stephens


Vaughn de Leath (September 26, 1894 - May 28, 1943) was a female singer who gained popularity in the 1920s, earning the sobriquets "The Original Radio Girl" and "First Lady of Radio."

When Leonore Vonderlieth was twelve, soon after the death of her father, moved from her hometown of Mount Pulaski, Il.  with her mother and sister to Los Angeles.  She eventually attended Mills College there, but almost immediately started a singing career. She took to a stage name, Vaughn De Leath, and began singing in the new, emerging jazz-style that had fewer restrictions. Her voice ranged from soprano to contralto.

In January 1920 inventor and radio pioneer, Lee DeForest, invited her to his studio in New York City's World Tower, where they are in a full space sang "Swanee River".  This action is sometimes cited as the first radio broadcast in which 'live' was sung, although some historians dispute this.  According to some reports of this event, DeLeath retired her soprano voice and took up contralto singing when DeForest realized that high notes could destroy the fragile vacuum tubes in the microphone amplifier. So she was perhaps the first that crooned, a singing style that was very popular in the decades.

She performed in and wrote songs for New York's Broadway, but the radio was and remained her medium. She became a radio star at a time when there was a lot of air time to fill and few artists were available for this purpose. She sang, but also played various instruments with which they could accompany himself: piano, banjo, ukulele and guitar.  She was also at home in different styles. She also wrote songs: she has about 500 songs to her credit.

Record Success

In 1921 she began to sing for WJZ and around that time also began her record career. She took in the 1920s on for pretty much all the record labels of that time:   EdisonColumbiaOkeh,GennettVictor and Brunswick. Her records were released under her stage name, but also under other names like Gloria Geer, Mamie Lee, Sadie Green, Betty Brown, Nancy Foster and Marion Ross. Among the musicians who accompanied her at the recordings were some top musicians from the early jazz such as trumpeter Red Nichols, trombonist Miff Mole, guitarists Dick McDonough and Eddie LangFrankie Trumbauer, cornet player Bix Beiderbecke and Paul Whiteman Orchestra leader (e.g., "The Man I Love").

In 1923, she was also an executive officer in the radio world, the first female: they gave in the years until 1925 headed to several radio stations. In 1925 she went echterweer full-time singing. In 1928 she performed in experimental television broadcasts. She was the guest in the first broadcast of the Voice of Firestone Radio Hour and one of the first American entertainers that occurred in a transatlantic radio broadcast to Europe.

In 1931, she made her last recordings, for Crown Records and in that time she performed also in her last national network broadcasts: next, she was only active for local radio stations in New York. []

1927 Recording: "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"      more -->

Museum Phone:  
(217) 792 - 3719

Courthouse Phone:  
(217) 792 -

MP Welcome Sign
Rt. 121 & McDonald St.

A Looking for Lincoln Committee Project

2018 Mt. Pulaski Historical Society Meetings

<click above>

~ Mt. Pulaski Courthouse ~
Where A. Lincoln, Judge David Davis, Billy Herndon, Stephen A. Douglas, Samuel Treat & others  worked as lawyers on the mid-1800's Illinois 8th Judicial Circuit
<Illinois Historical Site>

Courthouse Site Manager:

Barbara Stroud-Borth
792 - 5126

She also demonstrated a high level of instrumental ability on the
ukulele & occasionally accompanied herself on recordings.  Her 1925 hit recording "Ukulele Lady" was used in the 1999 film: The Cider House Rules.  Another one of her hit songs was “Are You Lonesome Tonight”.  In 1960, her old hit achieved immortality when Elvis Presley made it one of his hit recordings.  The illustration with her & Dr. DeForrest is by Lloyd Ostendorf - 1971.  She wrote the lyrics & music for “Oliver Twist”, starring Jackie Coogan.  She has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.  Vaughn died in 1943.  Her remains are buried in the Mt. Pulaski Cemetery.  Some of her old records, photos & much more information are on display in the MPTHS Museum.  Her cousin, Henry Vonderlieth, together with his wife Jane, were the founders of the very comfort- able & well-maintained Vonderlieth Living Center in Mt. Pulaski in 1973.  This marvelous & affordable facility continues to serve Mt. Pulaski & Central Illinois.

Photo Credits & Information: MPTHS Museum

Click here for more --> Vaughn de Leath

Shelf Sitters on Sale

[photos of past museum window displays]

Early Recollections of Abraham Lincoln
by Elizabeth Lushbaugh Capps

History of Mount Pulaski 1911 (abridged) by Judge William Stringer

History of Mount Pulaski 1911 by Judge William Stringer

Mount Pulaski & the Lincoln Court
in Mount Pulaski 1836 – 1855
  by Phil Bertoni

History of Logan County 1911 by Judge William Stringer

Mount Pulaski in Logan County, Illinois

Logan County History and Information

Logan County, Illinois Genealogy
County History | Court Records | Vital Records | CENSUS Records | TAX Records | Military Records | Church & Cemetery |
Maps & Atlases | Genealogy Addresses | Genealogy Related Sites | Submit a Website or Report Incorrect Information

Mt. Pulaski Historical Museum Top-Floors Dedication - Sept. 8, 2005
Dr. Richard Norton Smith gives Dedication Speech

bio of Mr. Richard Norton Smith   &   (click here for another bio)
Former Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

newMt. Pulaski Museum  Military Cabinet Dedication - Sept. 2007

Illinois National Bank Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

2nd Annual Vintage Style Show

new Soldier's Invention on Display at the Smithsonian Institution

Mt Pulaski Historical Museum Undergoing an Extensive Restoration . . . needs funds for an elevator  

                                       Early Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by Elizabeth Lushbaugh Capps

                                                                          Mount Pulaski History

Mt. Pulaski Courthouse ... where Abraham Lincoln Practiced Law ...



Mt. Pulaski Courthouse        217 792 3919

... where Abraham Lincoln Practiced Law ...

 Courthouse Site Manager:

Barbara Stroud-Borth   217 792 - 5126