Hero of History Award presented to Kathleen McGwin

At the Annual Meeting of the Marquette County Historical Society on Wednesday, November 10th, the 2021 Hero of History award was presented to Kathleen McGwin, Montello. 

McGwin is not only a hero of history, but also a champion of history. She promotes history not just at the museum, but throughout the communities and the county as a whole. McGwin runs the MCHS website and the Facebook page. She has been active and created many displays and numerous programs at MCHS and at the Montello Historic Preservation Society (including the Scottish exchange, quilt display at MHPS; Key Ingredients, a traveling display in conjunction with the Smithsonian National Museum for MCHS, and more). She has served on the board of each organization and in leadership roles as well.

McGwin has authored several books and co-authored books as well, documenting many facets of Marquette County’s past such as the history of the Montello granite quarry, the hunting and fishing legacy of the area, and many other local topics, along with books geared toward children. She and her dogs have made local history easy to understand for the younger readers, giving them an enthusiasm for history, both in and out of local classrooms. Summers have involved going on jaunts with young and older participants alike through John Muir territory with walking sticks. The significance of John Muir to Marquette County has been one of McGwin’s major focuses.

Her work with the Fox River preservation project has produced kiosks that explain the significance of this waterway throughout the early history of the county. The list of Kathleen McGwin’s historical contributions could go on and on, but needless to say, she is an excellent example of a hero of history.

The Hero of History award was started 11 years ago. Previous award winners are: 2010 Fran Sprain; 2011 Esther Brancel; 2012 Neil and Pat Kruger; 2013 Clint Kolpin; 2014 Roberta Johnson; 2015 Gene Yates; 2016 Mary Jean Thalacker; 2017 Janet Pope and Ella Fae Johnson; 2018 Ed Thalacker; 2019 Joan and Norm Ingraham; 2020 Greg Smith.