Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame Members

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame recognizes "those people and places along Route 66 whose blend of hardy individualism and grassroots community spirit gave the road such special character."

To qualify for election to the Hall of Fame, nominees must have made significant contributions to the character or history of the Illinois portion of Route 66 from 1926 to 1977 while it was an official United States highway in the State of Illinois.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a person or place to the Hall of Fame, that has contributed to the education of others and/or promotion of Rt.66 in Illinois.

General Guidelines for nominating to the Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame:

Anyone may nominate, but self-nomination is not permitted, and those currently on the HoF Committee are not eligible. Induction is considered an honor and there is no absolute right or guarantee of induction. No Association member shall be held liable for not selecting any nominee. All material submitted to the committee shall become property of the Association unless stated otherwise.

Suggested points to include in a nomination to the Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame:

  • Your name, address, phone number and email address
  • Name of the Nominee Individual OR Place OR Individual and place OR Individual and family OR Individual, family, and place
  • Who is/are this (these) person (people)? Where is the nominee located?
  • Is the nominee living? If not, are family members still around?
  • Are the nominee and/or family members involved and supportive of this nomination?
  • If the nominee is a structure – Is it still standing? What is it being used for?
  • What is the nominee’s connection to Route 66?
  • How did the nominee contribute to the historical status of Route 66 in Illinois?
  • What contribution did the nominee make to
  • educate-promote Route 66 in Illinois? Provide a timeline of the nominee’s life and connection to Route 66.
  • Was the nominee born on Rt. 66? Did the nominee live on Rt. 66?
  • If the nominee had a business on the highway – how is it connected to Route 66?
  • What has the nominee done to be worthy of consideration for the Route 66 Hall of Fame? Is there anything unique or unusually special about this nominee on Route 66 in Illinois? Is the nominee’s contribution considered exceptional? In what way?
  • Do you have photos and/or other memorabilia from this nominee that clearly establish the connection between the nominee and Route 66 in Illinois? This could include newspaper articles, magazine articles, etc. If so please submit some of them or copies of them.
  • Do you have any letters of support for this nomination? If so please submit them. Establishing a connection to Route 66 in Illinois is very important in this annual selection process.

Your application will be judged by comparing your nomination to others who will be presenting similar documents and material.

If a nominee is not selected the nomination is held for two more years and reconsidered each of those years.

Submit your nomination(s) to:
"Hall of Fame Committee"
c/o The Route 66 Association of Illinois
110 W. Howard
Pontiac, IL 61764

Click to download a printable list of Hall of Fame Nomination Guidelines.

Here we proudly share the growing list of those who through the years have made Route 66 in Illinois the place we know, cherish and vow to preserve.


Inducted June 9, 1990

Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant, Broadwell
John Geske and J.P. Walters, Dixie Truckers Home, McLean
Francis Marten, Our Lady of the Highways Shrine, Raymond
Francis Mowery, Illinois State Police, Pontiac
Russel Soulsby Shell Service Station, Mt. Olive


Inducted June 8, 1991

Mertha Paulsen Jensen, Paulsen (Carefree) Motel, Dwight
M.F. "Cotton" McNabney, Cotton's Village Inn, Bloomington
Ed Waldmire Family, The Cozy Dog Drive-In, Springfield


Inducted June 13, 1992

Ariston Cafe and the Adam Family, Litchfield
Steve and Glaida Funk, Funk's Grove
Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket, Willowbrook
John Stonecipher, Stoney's Service, Odell


Inducted June 12, 1993

Chester D. Henry, Illinois State Police, Pontiac
Ervin Kolarik, Chicken Basket Restaurant, Willowbrook
Effie Marx, Waitress, Dwight
Bill Shea, Shea's Finest Truck Covers, Springfield


Inducted June 11, 1994

Hubert Henry, Truck Driver, St. Louis
Rodino Square and the Carmen Rodino Family, Pontiac
The Riviera, Roadhouse and Restaurant, near Gardner


Inducted June 10, 1995

Grace Brown, Larry and Debbie Lucas and Howard E. and MariAna McAnarney, Art's Restaurant, Farmersville
The Benedict Family, Chuck and Delmar Benedict and Eleanor Benedict Roberts, McLean
H. Burt Parkinson, Editor, Gardner
G.J. Mecherle, State Farm Insurance, Bloomington


Inducted June 8, 1996

The Old Log Cabin Restaurnt, Pontiac, Marjorie O'Brien, Brad and Debbie Trainer
Eddie's Pure Truck Stop/Eddie's Union 76 Truck Stop, Towanda, Edward and Marjorie Baize
Wilton C. Rinkel, Farmer, Edwardsville
Irvin Brothers, Inc., Bloomington, Maurice Irvin


Inducted June 7, 1997

Rev. Dean "Shug" Benton, Truck Driver, Bloomington
Albert Cassens Family and The Cassens Transport Co., Edwardsville
Ralph M. Hay and Frank Hay, Hay Brothers Garage, Divernon
J. Richard Jones, Dick Jones Garage, Odell


Inducted June 13, 1998

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Mitchell
Arline and Elmo Winterland and the Oasis Drive-In, Lexington
Sky View Drive-In, Litchfield
White Fence Farm and the Hastert Family, Romeoville


Inducted June 12, 1999

Casey's Garden Shop, Bloomington
FitzHenry Oil Company, Joliet
Robert D. (Bob) Johnson and Brandtville Restaurant, Bloomington
Rialto Square Theater, Joliet


Inducted June 10, 2000

Agusta "Gussie" Keller, Pontiac
Joe Edwards, Gas Station Owner, Lincoln
The Launching Pad Drive-In, Wilmington
District 6, Illinois State Police Headquarters, Pontiac


Inducted June 9, 2001

Coliseum Ballroom, Benld
DeCamp Junction Tavern, near Staunton
Standard Oil Gasoline Station, Odell
Watt Brothers Pharmacies, Springfield


Inducted June 8, 2002

Gordon Gunderson, Gardner
Lou Mitchell's Restaurant, Chicago
Polk-a-Dot Drive In Restaurant, Braidwood
Schlechte Family Service Station/Worden Y Club Restaurant, Worden
Shea Family, Springfield
John and Lenore Weiss, Wilmington


Inducted June 7, 2003

Fassero Family, Benld
Andy Granatelli, Montecito, CA
Union Miners Cemetery, Mount Olive
Wishing Well Motel, LaGrange


Inducted June 5, 2004

Rita Erikson, Odell
Gray Family, Braceville
Luna Cafe, Mitchell
Streetcar/Diner, Gardner


Inducted June 11, 2005

Aggelopoulous Family, Wilmington
Ambler, Becker Families Texaco, Dwight
Atlanta Public Library, Atlanta
Chenoa Pharmacy, Chenoa


Inducted June 10, 2006

Willie Anderson Trucking, Lexington
Berghoff Restaurant, Chicago
Scotty's Restaurant, Hamel
Leland Storm, Hamel


Inducted June 9, 2007

Brown's Wrecker Service, Bloomington
Joy Henderson, Pontiac
Roger "Sodie" and Shirley Soderstrom, Bloomington
The Curve Inn, Springfield


Inducted June 7, 2008

Brook's Catsup Bottle, Collinsville
Leroy and Pauline Curtiss, Pontiac
Frank T. Sheets, Illinois Chief Engineer, 1920-1932


Inducted June 13, 2009

The Crossroads Diner, Mt. Olive
The Mill on Route 66, Lincoln
Sprague’s Super Service, Normal
Stateville Prison, Crest Hill


Inducted June 12, 2010

817 Hillsboro, Edwardsville – The Deck Brothers, Girard
Lewis “Zoo” Barrick, Lincoln – Snuffy’s Grill, McCook


Inducted June 11, 2011

Boyd’s Place, Odell
Leo Bornder, Lexington


Inducted June 9, 2012

Samuel L. Reichert, Sr., U.S. Route 66 Service Station Operator (1950-1970) Plainfield, IL
Quinn Service Station / Quinn Family / Elmo A., Eldon A., Elmo C. and Eula Quinn, Bloomington, IL
Roger Gray, Gray's Garage, Inc., Pontiac, IL
The Ra66it Ranch, Stanuton, IL


Inducted June 8, 2013

The Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta, IL
George B. Cathcart, Cathcart’s Café, Edwardsville, IL
Wilbur Fawns Sr. Family, Service Stations, Williamsville, IL and Sherman, IL


Inducted June 14, 2014

Nelch & Son Concrete - Springfield, IL
Postville Courthouse - Postville, IL
Hi-Way Café and Tavern - Edwardsville, IL


Inducted June 13, 2015

Steve's Café, Chenoa, IL
The Tropics Restaurant and Lounge, Lincoln, IL


Inducted June 11, 2016
8408 West Joliet Road, McCook, Illinois
Clay Dooley – Bloomington, Illinois


Tom Teague Ambassador's Award

The Illinois Route 66 Association Tom Teague Ambassador Award is a program administered by Hall of Fame Committee of the Route 66 Association of Illinois. Its purpose is to honor and commemorate the exceptional person or persons who have excelled in the education, promotion and restoration of Route 66 in Illinois since the decommissioning in 1977.

To qualify for election to the Tom Teague Ambassador Award nominees must have made significant contributions to Illinois Route 66 through:

A. extensive work in exposing the general public to the story of Route 66 in Illinois using lectures, presentations, photo exhibits video or recorded programs, and

B. Authorship of a published book on Route 66 in Illinois and/or the entire Route, and

C. Recipient of one of the National Route 66 Awards.

Committee Members may elect a new Illinois Route 66 Association Tom Teague Ambassador Award recipient during the annual Hall of Fame Committee meetings. This award is not anticipated to be an annual award. It is reserved for the truly exceptional individual who has provided outstanding benefits to the Route 66 Association of Illinois for an extended period of years.

Recipients of The Route 66 Association of Illinois Tom Teague Ambassador's Award:

Tom Teague - June 11, 2005

Durelle and Marilyn Pritchard - June 10, 2006

Lenore & John Weiss - June 13, 2009

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110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL, 61764
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Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.