Event: Good Neighbors: Making a Difference in Lake County, 9th Annual Lake County History Symposium


Good Neighbors: Making a Difference in Lake County, 9th Annual Lake County History Symposium

The Lake County History Symposium is an annual gathering of people interested in the history of Lake County, Illinois. Professional, amateur and student historians are invited to submit proposals for presentations at the Symposium. The Symposium will take place virtually on Zoom, Thursday, January 4 and January 18, 2024 from 6:30–8:30 pm.

This year’s theme, Good Neighbors: Making a Difference in Lake County, shares the stories of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to society and work to make their communities better. Each day will feature three different presentations. Breakout rooms will be open at the end of the presentations for participants to ask questions and engage in dialogue.

Presentations for January 18, 2024

Samuel Insull and Lake County
John Maxson

Samuel Insull (1859-1938) was a Chicago businessman who started as a personal secretary to Thomas Edison and eventually controlled electric, gas, and railroad companies in 35 states.  A Chicago resident, Insull was enchanted with the rural area north of the city and built a country home in Libertyville, now known as the Cuneo Mansion.  He helped shape the Lake County community by donating land for hospitals and facilitating easy access for students to travel to Chicago and enabling his friend Cardinal George Mundelein to host one million Catholics from around the world at the Eucharistic Congress of 1926.

Leonard Schmitt 45 Years of Community Service
Michael Flynn

Len Schmitt was a Charter Member of the Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country from 1956 until his death in 2001 and President of the Society for 20 years. This presentation focuses on Len’s dedication to preserving Lake County History, particularly in Mundelein and the area once known as Fort Hill.

Verna, I’m Going to Start a History Museum
Heather Johnson

In 1956 Robert Vogel gave up his day job at the Waukegan News-Sun to found the Lake County Museum of History in Wadsworth—the forerunner to the Dunn Museum. It was a monumental effort involving his wife Verna, family, friends, and at a time when museum best practices and resources were in their infancy. Vogel was just a resourceful guy who loved history and thought others might love it too.

Free registration at Questions via email to

For additional presentations, please go to events for January 4th, 2023.