National Guard Leaving Beardstown

By Benjamin Cox on December 31, 2021 at 12:24pm

The Illinois National Guard is leaving Beardstown after 35 years.

The Cass County Star-Gazette reports that the National Guard unit stationed in Beardstown is consolidating with units in Macomb. The move started at the beginning of this month and should be completed by the end of February.

The Schewe Community Center will eventually be given over to the Beardstown Park District completely. The deed paperwork for the building and 10 acres of surrounding property is expected to be completed in March.

Officials from the Illinois National Guard told the Star-Gazette it was necessary to combine assets to maximize potential grants and to more efficiently use their resources.

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.