Local Authors

Mick Peterson

Mick Peterson resides in Pontiac, Illinois, with his wife Carole and his daughter Emily. They are also parents of Katie (Dr. Bryan) Huff, Julie, and Drew. Mick received his bachelor’s degree from Augustana (IL) College and his Master’s degree from Illinois State University. After thirty-four years as a high school teacher and coach, he plans to retire after the 2008 school year. He began his career at Flora High School (1974-84) where he taught English and was an assistant coach in both football and basketball. In 1984, he moved to Walnut (IL) High School, where he taught both English and PE and served as head football coach, assistant boys basketball coach, and head girls track coach. His football teams in Walnut won four conference championships and advanced to quarterfinal round in the Class 1A State Tournament in each of his five years at the helm, compiling an overall record of 50-9. Mick and his family finally settled in Pontiac in 1989, where he has been a member of both the PE and, more recently, the English departments for the past nineteen years. He served as the head football coach for eighteen years, assistant boys basketball coach for four years, assistant girls track coach for five years and head girls track coach for eleven years. During his tenure as head football coach, his squads won ten conference championships and qualified for the State playoffs on fifteen different occasions. Twice Pontiac reached the semi-final round, and in 1993, they captured the Class 3A championship. After the 2006 season, he retired from coaching with an overall record at Pontiac of 136-47.

Amazon Links for photos and/or book descriptions: 

Once A Coach

Carpe Diem


Pearle Lange

Pearle (Hopkins) Lange is a remarkable lady who has had a surprising variety of experiences. Her autobiography, which began as a collection of memories for her two sons, reaches far beyond a family’s history. Its pages give an insight to life in rural Illinois from the 1920s to the present. You will see Lange as the oldest of three farm children during the Great Depression, as a one-room country-school student, as a graduate from Walnut High School in Bureau County, as a Eureka College student during WWII, as a teacher in country schools, as a farmer’s wife helping in the fields, as the mother of two active boys, as a devoted daughter and sister, as a traveler, and as a pastor of the Walnut First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Her sense of humor, sensitivity, leadership, and strength of purpose permeate Lange’s pages as she acquaints you with the stories of some of the many people whole lives she touched or whose lives touched hers. Although she confesses that some of the dates and places may not be precise, she tells her story as she recalls it. Cry with her, laugh with her, and experience with her the many things that have earned her the affectionate identification in her community as Pastor Pearle. In 1999, the Walnut Community Chamber of Commerce honored Pearle Lange for her service by adding her name to its Hall of Fame.

Outhouses to Computers


Robert J. Glaser

A Fire of Straw in Bureau County: The Forgotten Utopian Dream of Lamoille’s Rosemont Domain is the unique story of a proposed utopian community in Illinois in 1843.  This book represents the only comprehensive research study of this overlooked event in our state and regional history.  The proposed community would have been part of an elaborate socio-economic movement intended to be a viable alternative to the emerging system of industrial-capitalism in the early nineteenth century.  A Fire of Straw in Bureau County offers the reader the opportunity to revisit a time and dream that impacted those currents of change. 

With a Masters degree from Illinois State University, Bob Glaser taught social studies at Walnut High School for over thirty years.  The LaMoille research developed from his work with the historic Galena Trail and Coach Road from Peoria to Galena, Illinois.  He and his wife live in Walnut, Illinois.

A Fire of Straw in Bureau County


Dan Churney

Dan Churney was a newspaper reporter in North Central Illinois for 25 years, and continues to be a freelance writer, with his work appearing in publications throughout Illinois, including Chicago. A graduate of Illinois State University, he has conducted local history tours and appeared in several independently produced movies. He has been interviewed a number of times on television and radio programs.

Take Two Bullets and Call Me in the Morning

Capone’s Cornfields: The Mob in the Illinois Valley


Margaret Lind

Margaret Lind was born in 1968 and raised outside of Wyanet, Illinois, the daughter of Robert & Patricia Lind. She graduated from Wyanet High School in 1986 and the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign in 1990. Margaret worked in Denver, Colorado for a few years after college then joined the Peace Corps in Oracabessa, Jamaica for one year before coming back to the area and teaching high school business and computer courses. Margaret married Thomas (Jim) DeVenney of Sheffield in 1999 and settled here with him and his three children Brianne, Tyler, and Nate. Their youngest son, Trent was born in 2001. This book was written in 2008-09 and published in 2009. Margaret draws from her own life experiences growing up on a farm and suffering family tragedy to create a story about loss, love, and the strength of faith and family The underlying theme in her writing depicts how good people may make mistakes and that second chances do exist.


Ronald E. Wolf

Recent release My Chance to Give from Covenant Books author Ronald E. Wolf is a motivational book about an orphan who is grateful and blessed to be raised as a strong Christian that inspires many to learn in giving with all their hearts and love unconditionally. Ronald E. Wolf, an ordinary farmer and an exceptional writer, has completed his new book, My Chance to Give: a heartwarming account penned by an adopted child.  He speaks about the impact of his adoption on his birth parents, adoptive parents, and everyone else he had a chance to grow up with. Ronald writes, “When I thought about writing my story, I looked at it as ‘my chance to give back.’  The more I thought and wrote, I realized that everyone in this story could say it was My Chance to Give.  The birth mother, the adopting parents, the doctor who delivered the baby, and the friends and family members of the adopting parents, all had My Chance to Give, and they did.” Published by Covenant Books of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Ronald E. Wolf’s new book is an inspirational read telling readers that life is precious and special, adopted or not.  One deserves utmost love and care, and all goodness by God. Ronald’s book is available for checkout at the Walnut Public Library. 

My Chance to Give


Steve Stout

Steve Stout, 68, of Utica, Illinois, a graduate of Illinois State University, is a Galesburg native now retired from The Times, a daily newspaper in Ottawa. He is perhaps best known as an area historian and author of numerous books and articles about Illinois Valley events. Stout’s first two books, “Black Damp: The Story of the Cherry Mine Disaster” and “The Starved Rock Murders,” are researched accounts of two of the most famous historical events in North Central Illinois. Stout, who has also authored several children books, credits fellow Galesburg native and famous poet Carl Sandburg as his inspiration for his love of writing and appreciation of Illinois history.

Black Damp: The story of the Cherry Mine Disaster

The Starved Rock Murders


Sauk Valley Community College Arts Publication “The Works”

The Works features written and visual artwork from SVCC students, alumni, faculty and staff. Every Spring, original written works and visual arts are collected and compiled by student editors. The Works is available at the beginning of each Fall semester. 


The Works is available for checkout at the Walnut Public Library.

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