ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockton school will always be reminded of its roots, as Hononegah High School unveiled a statue of Hononegah Sunday.
Local organizations and donations from the community made it all possible, without costing taxpayers any money. The school is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and one school leader said that, hopefully, Hononegah is proud of what they have done for the school that holds her name.
“She’s part of the fabric of the community, the reason that we are here is to honor her memory,” said David Krulinkus, Hononegah Board of Education president.
Rockton residents gathered as the statue was unveiled in front of the school’s fieldhouse. Kurlinkus thinks that the nearly 300-pound bronze statue is a great addition to the campus.
It also gives the community a chance to look back at its history and remember who the school is named after.
“It was dedicated in 1923, which was some 75 years after she died, so she must have had a tremendous impact on the area,” Kurlinkus said. “People really thought highly of her.”
Judi Crane-Truman, president of Rockton Remembers, said that it is important to remember that Hononegah was real person born over 200 years ago.
“She was born in 1814 up in the four lakes region of Wisconsin, which is now Madison Wisconsin and in 1829 she and Steven Mack became husband and wife, and she was about 15 years old. In 1830, she had her first child. She died about 15 years later, with 9 surviving children.” Crane-Truman said.
She left behind a family who wants to keep her legacy alive. Michele Mackenthun is Hononegah’s 4th great-granddaughter, and she added that she is grateful to be able to honor her amazing grandmother.
“I am so proud to be her granddaughter,” Mackenthun said. “It’s just amazing how everyone in the community embraced her while she was alive, and they still embrace her.”
Mackenthun hears stories about her grandmother through other family members. She did not attend Hononegah High but said that her grandchildren will.