Former Ludlow church site might become park

The former site of the Ludlow Christian Church could become a town park. Trustees of the church approached the village board last week about deeding the land to the village.

LUDLOW — The demise of one of Ludlow’s churches could provide a benefit for Ludlow residents.

Trustees from the old Ludlow Christian Church, which closed several years ago and was razed, are proposing to give the site where the church sat to the village to be made into a park/playground.

The church bell and a stained-glass window from the church will be placed in a brick encasement on the property as a memorial to Francis Marguerite Walker.

Walker, who never married and never drove a car, was active in getting children in the community rounded up and walking to church services. She died in 2012 at age 100.

“She was always caring and helpful when it came to kids,” Ludlow Mayor Steve Thomas said. “She was good about gathering up kids, getting them to Sunday school. She would walk them home.”

She taught Sunday school at the church for 78 years.

He said Walker also got children to attend Memorial Day services, “passing out flags. Everybody’s got stories about that,” Thomas said.

Walker would take either the bus or train from Ludlow to her place of work. (She worked at Sears in Champaign for 30 years.)

He said the idea of putting the bell in a monument at the site has been floated by the former members of the church for some time.

“We’re going to let the church do their magic with their contractor and build their monument to the church,” Thomas said. “With what’s left, then we will have a design made and have (village board trustees) approve it.”

The village will maintain the property.

He said the village doesn’t want to duplicate the new playground equipment recently installed at Ludlow Grade School. Construction of a playground with a picnic table or two is possible.

“Maybe someone would want to donate some swings or a water fountain in somebody’s name,” Thomas said.

Thomas will look into possible grant money for the project.

Village Clerk Sandy Langley will check with Ameren regarding a pole light at the memorial.

Other business

In other business during last week’s monthly board meeting:

• New board member Marsha Spear, who was elected in April, attended an Open Meetings Act seminar and talked about the requirements governing public bodies. The board discussed attendance and a designee from the board. New board members Paxton Palumbo and Miranda Moore, who were also elected in April, will also attend an Open Meetings Act seminar.

• The board learned that B&M Tree Service had removed large branches on the corner of Church and Pera streets and on Hickory Street.

• The board learned village employee Rick Chenoweth had to get a new part for the village’s John Deere tractor and that seal coat work would begin on Oak Street in a couple of days.

• The board adjourned to executive session to discuss salary increases and possibly adding a second-part time police officer. The village employs a full-time officer and currently one part-time officer. Thomas said the village formerly employed a second part-timer.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com