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Peasley: Recorder celebrates electronic conversion

An ambitious undertaking that began soon after Phyllis Walters was elected McHenry County Recorder inspired a well-deserved celebration Sept. 18.

McHenry County Recorder’s office is one of a few counties in the United States, and the first in the state of Illinois, to complete a backfile conversion of documents dating back to 1839.

Walters is proud of the perseverance and success of her staff in planning, researching and completing the task of converting paper documents into computer images.

The staff divided 173 years of recordings into five phases, encompassing more than 1,500 rolls of microfilm containing three million documents.

The 11 million images were enhanced for clarity and converted to digital form, to be used in the computer network system.

Each image was tied to a document number. Software allowed the staff to verify data on a computer, eliminating visual checking of print-out sheets.

“Completion of the project makes it possible to obtain information [back to 1839] within seconds. This enhanced efficiency means no more books to store or repair,” Walters said.

During the open house, several historical personages were portrayed by local actors.

Scott Whitney portrayed President Ulysses S. Grant.

Ladies of the Civil War Roundtable were portrayed by Gloria Mack, Marie Wilt and Maureen Mikyska.

Brian Anderson on bugle and Cynthia Beach on violin provided music for the occasion.

• • •

Will McKay, who played in Woodstock Little League for six years and also managed teams during the past few seasons, is the new league president.

He was executive vice president last season.

McKay was chief umpire from 2009 to 2011.

He served as vice president for the junior and senior leagues, off-season clinic coordinator, fall ball coordinator and scholarship fundraising coordinator.

McKay, a 2006 Woodstock High School graduate, is the 16th man to serve as president since Woodstock Little League was formed in 1954.

Commenting on the success of the WLL, he said, “I would like to see our All-Star teams become more competitive. We have named Ryan Wormley to the newly-created position of vice president of player development. Ryan will be developing interactive coaching clinics, increasing the number of players involved with our off-season clinics and offering clinics during the Little League season.”

Also elected were four board officers: Tom Hawkins, executive vice president; Rick Reuter, player agent; Lori Balfanz, secretary; and Brian Rockwood, treasurer.

• • •

It was a relaxed gathering as members of the McHenry County Fair Association conducted their annual meeting at the fairgrounds Wednesday evening.

The 2012 fair was quite successful in attendance and competition.

Officers elected were Ken Bauman, president; Charles Beard, vice president; Tom Linneman, treasurer; and Hannah Rinn-Meinert, secretary. Robin Lucky was elected director and Colin Jescke, Huntley, director-at-large.

• Don Peasley has been an editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. He can be reached at 815-338-1533.

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