Famous Galvans

Our humble burg on the prairie has been home to some famous people. From John Crabbe to George Swank, several luminaries have called Galva "home." We invite you to explore Galva's artists, cartoonists, singers, historians, inventors and authors below:

John Crabbe...

The renowned John Crabbe replaced bassist William Hann in 1925, touring Europe and recording songs with The Four Harmony Kings.

George Fitch...

Perhaps best known for his "Old Siwash" stories, which were later immortalized in the 1940 film "Those Were The Days" starring native Illinoisan William Holden, George Helgesen Fitch was born in Galva during the year 1877.

You can download "At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch, as well as his humorous depiction of life in a small Midwestern town (Galva), "Homeburg Memories" for free, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

Fred D. Glidden...

Born in Kewanee, IL in 1908, Galva resident Fred Glidden, A.K.A. Luke Short, authored sixty-five books. Fred's manuscripts, teleplays, movie scripts, pulp-fiction and other assorted works can be found in the University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections & University Archives.

Jonathan Glidden...

Brother of Fred D. Glidden, this Galva resident won the Dodd, Mead prize for best Western of the year in 1941. Writing under the Nome de plume of Peter Dawson, Jonathan Glidden penned sixteen Westerns and numerous short stories for the pulp fiction market.

Rollin Kirby...

Born in Galva on 4 September, 1875, Kirby worked as a political cartoonist for several large newspapers. Kirby won three Pulitzers (the first ever for a cartoon, in fact), and you may see a sampling of his work at CBR.

Olaf Krans...

This famous painter was born in Sweden and arrived in the United States with his family in 1850 to help establish the Bishop Hill Colony. Although much of his work is now on display at the Tarnsjo Museum in Sweden, several pieces are on display at the Olaf Krans Museum in Bishop Hill and at the Chicago History Museum.

Representations of his work, as well as a picture of the painter's grave site in Galva, Illinois can be found at Illinois Ancestors.

Clarence E. Mulford...

Best known for his "Hopalong Cassidy" novels and Hopalong Cassidy teleplays, this Galva resident was born in Streater, Illinois.

Harry E. Pratt...

Lincoln scholar and Illinois State Historian Harry Pratt penned no less than nine books on his favorite subject: Abraham Lincoln. A complete listing of Mr. Pratt's known works, as well as where to find them, is kept by WorldCat.org.

Pratt served as editor and compiler for the Illinois State Historical Society Journal.

George Swank...

Galva native George Swank, publisher of the Galvaland Magazine, authored such titles as (click on the following links to find a library with the titles that follow - or contact the Galva Historical Society) Bishop Hill - Swedish American Showcase, Painter Krans of Bishop Hill Colony, Centennial of Galva, Illinois, Carl Sandburg: Galesburg and Beyond, and Lafayette 150 Years: 1986 Sesquicentennial.