Illinois National Guard Ceremony Transfers Beardstown Armory to Park District Today

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 1, 2022 at 10:10am

A long-time armory for the Illinois National Guard will become the property of the City of Beardstown today.

The National Guard unit stationed in Beardstown is consolidating with units in Macomb. The move started at the beginning of December and was recently completed. The Schewe Community Center will be given over to the Beardstown Park District completely during an official ceremony at 11:00 am today.

The Schewe Building is named for local philanthropist Karl Schewe who donated $200,000 for the building’s construction, which was completed in 1987. The building has been co-owned and jointly occupied by the National Guard and the Beardstown Park District ever since.

Schewe, a well-known area stockbroker and landowner who died in 1995, was known for large donations of money and land to various area organizations including $500,000 to Illinois College for its Karl H. and Louise H. Schewe Library, which was finished in 1976; gave time and money to the University of Illinois YMCA, and is responsible for the donated funds to build a gymnasium for the Lutheran Grade School in Beardstown.

The building is going to be in continual use with the Park District expected to take over all 20,000 square feet of the Community Center building along with a 4,000 square foot storage shed for events, offices, and programming.

The deed paperwork for the building and 10 acres of the surrounding property is expected to be completed this month.

Ben Cox contributed to this story