Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 7, 2013

Family donates vast arrowhead collection to nature center

ALTAMONT — As a child John Warner would walk his family's fields north of St. Elmo with his father Ray and his brothers, collecting arrowheads and other Native American artifacts as they lay, exposed after the harvest and rain.

After his death in August, family members found a note, stating that Warner wished to donate his share of the collection - hundreds of pieces of local history - to Ballard Nature Center.

The Warner family donated the bulk of the collection to Ballard in October, and the family hopes to donate several other parts of the collection, including additional arrowheads and tomahawks, in the future.

"Those arrowheads are priceless," said John's son, Danny Warner.

Danny said his grandfather started the tradition of finding the pieces because enjoying the outdoors was important to him, he also enjoyed collecting pieces from a time long gone.

"He was just interested in having things in his hand from something like 12,000 years ago and knowing it was in someone else's hand all those years ago."

  Ballard Nature Center Co-director Patty Gillespie said experts are identifying the pieces and learning more about the history behind them. She hopes to have them available to the public by summer.

"We hope to emphasize what we can learn from the points and then identify the culture of the people who lived there," she said. "And in order to do that, we've lined up the Illinois State Archaeological Survey."

Judy Warner Thies, John's daughter, said her father had not had a connection to the nature center before his death, but he had proudly displayed the arrowheads in his home.

"He would love to have people come in and see them," he said. "He had them all over his walls and would show them to you. He wouldn't lock them up or anything. Everything went to Ballard, so people can enjoy it."

Gillespie said the donation shows the community's involvement in the nature center.

"It is reaffirming what we've already known and that is that there are many people who are community-minded and civic-minded," she said. "We see that every day, and it's incredible."

Judy said she hopes her father's donation will inspire community members to go outside and see what they can find.

"There's so much more to do other than just go to town and go shopping," she said. "You can go out in the woods and run around and find things. That's what's real."

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.

Text Only
Local News
  • Meth suspect pleads not guilty

    The Beecher City man accused of operating a methamphetamine lab in a Shumway home pleaded not guilty during a brief Thursday morning appearance in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 24, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2.jpg Perfect time to plant

    Steve Luchtefeld loves onions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hofer hearing delayed

    Proceedings were continued Wednesday for an Effingham woman accused of driving under the influence of drugs at the time of a traffic accident that killed a Watson teenager on her way to school.

    April 24, 2014

  • Missouri driver ejected, killed Tuesday ST. ELMO -- A driver from Missouri was killed when the semi she was driving overturned on Interstate 70 Tuesday. Royce E. Horton, 50, of Highlandville, Mo., was driving a maroon and white Freightliner truck-tractor westbound at 3:36 a.m. Tuesday on I

    April 24, 2014

  • Stew-Stras to upgrade technology STRASBURG -- With no new technology purchased since 2011, new computers will finally be coming to Stewardson-Strasburg Schools starting next year. Superintendent Michele Lindenmeyer said the district will be rolling out technology in phases over the

    April 24, 2014

  • Semi driver dead in accident on I-70

    A semi driver from Missouri was killed when their vehicle overturned on I-70 Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Shumway meth suspects plead not guilty

    Two of the four arrested in a Shumway methamphetamine bust earlier this month pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 22, 2014

  • Man found dead from gunshot wound ST. ELMO -- Fayette County authorities are investigating two unrelated deaths over the weekend. Matthew Austin, 47, of St. Elmo was found dead in his pickup by a family member at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at 501 W. Cumberland Road in St. Elmo. Austin appear

    April 22, 2014

  • Library seeks community support

    With a bid letting set for September and renovation of the old Fifth Third Bank slated to begin in December, the Library Board is actively looking for community support in fundraising. 

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham man gets five-year sentence for meth lab

    An Effingham man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday on a charge of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.