Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories book

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Buckley, Illinois
The Schaumburg Family's Hometown

Bill and Marcella Schaumburg

Buckley was a good place to live when the Schaumburg sisters were growing up, and these photos offer a nostalgic look back to Barbara's high school days in the fifties, as well as a look at the town during its Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2006. (Above, Bill and Marcella in 1963.)

Marcella's Secret Dreams memoir includes a colorful and historic chapter about what it was like for Barbara and her sisters to grow up in Buckley, a remarkable small farming community in the Midwest both then and now. Below she narrates a little tour through the town.

As you enter the town on Route 45, going south, you're greeted with this welcome sign. In the distance to the right of the sign, you can see the corner of Bill's garage, and at left, a bit of the roof of the Schaumburg home and the grain elevator across the street. More interesting, perhaps, is what the car's side mirror catches as Mollie snaps this picture with her attentive cat, Jivete, checking out the scenery.

This picture was copied from the corner of the large aerial photo of Buckley that was included in Celebrating 150 Years, the memorial book the town published to document its Sesquicentennial in 2006. In the upper left-hand corner, you can see Bill's garage and the Schaumburg home before improvements were made to the property. This land was inexpensive because it was so close to the railroad tracks and the grain elevator, which is very noisy when grain is being processed and loaded into waiting train cars.

As one comes into town "the back way" from the west, grain silos come into view, along with the steeple of St. John's Lutheran Church and Buckley's water tower.

This was the Buckley-Loda combined grade school and high school when the Schaumburg sisters were going to school. In 1990, the Buckley-Loda students consolidated with Paxton's School District. But the building still had life in it, and Christ Lutheran High School graduated its first class from it in 2000.

I was editor of the high school yearbook (that's me, 4th from left), so I couldn't resist including this photo of the ECHO staff and a couple of shots of the baseball and basketball teams that year. (I never imagined then that one day I'd be a professional book editor and author.)

Buckley-Loda high school had a great basketball team, and I believe we won a trophy this year (1954-55 season).

Just for chuckles . . . that's me at right. I was elected cheerleader in grade school (1950), not because I was popular, but because I had good legs and was the only girl who could do a backbend.

Buckley has always been crazy about baseball, and you'll recognize some of the basketball players in this 1954-55 team photo. The town has had a baseball team since 1860, but it wasn't until 1928 that the Buckley Dutchmasters were formed. (Today they are regular season and tournament champs.)

This is the second block of Buckley as one continues through town heading south on Route 45. The Buckley Bank, so vital to the town, is on the corner. Across the street, a sesquicentennial display is featured in the tent in the parkway that runs alongside the tracks of the Illinois Central Gulf railroad.

Just a snapshot of the middle of this block, taken by Mollie who is standing on the other side of the railroad tracks.

(There are several interesting and amusing stories in the book about the many streamliners and freight trains that passed through Buckley in Barbara's day. They took some getting used to.)

Happy townspeople line up and down the streets to watch the colorful sesquicentennial parade.*

Watching this parade reminded me of being there for the centennial celebration in 1956. It was hard to believe that fifty years had passed since then.


The Methodist Church, which the Schaumburg sisters attended, rang its bell for the last time in 1980 after 199 years of service. The town purchased its bell, which is displayed in the parkway with a sign featuring this picture and the story of the church's history. When the church was built in 1861, it was the only church for miles around. But it never had a large congregation, and there were only twenty or so regularly attending in its last year.

"The Schaumburg Sisters" are loving this time together in their hometown. It's wonderful to once again visit with our classmates.

(See this page for a current photo of the three of us.)


An amateur contest is part of the sesquicentennial's evening events, and here you see the three of us hamming it up on stage as we sing the song, "Sisters," and try not to make fools of ourselves in the process.

(We still love to sing together, but never again in public!)

WHEN ROUTE 57 BYPASSED Buckley many years ago, travelers no longer had to slow down to get through all the small towns on Route 45. That's good if one is in a hurry, but kinda sad, too, because there's something wonderful about driving a long distance on an old highway through one small town after another and taking time to soak up the local atmosphere and think about all the good people who live in each town. I'm sure they love their hometown as much as my sisters and I love our memories about growing up in Buckley.

Some time when you're not in a hurry, think about getting off the highway to take a little drive through Buckley. And if you should decide to stop and have lunch at one of the town's eating places, be sure to say hello from the Schaumburg Sisters.

* One red-white-and-blue float in the parade featured a large sign in bold capital letters proclaiming:


To see photos in the remaining categories, including family pets, Bill's garage memorabilia, family antiques, arts, crafts, and collectibles, return to:

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Copyright © 2017 by Barbara Brabec. All Rights Reserved.