Council Members

Steve Thompson

Steve Thompson is a Mattoon native and has been a member of the Council since 2011. He is a historic preservation consultant and has served in a variety of cultural resource management and preservation-related capacities with the National Park Service, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Department of Defense. As the principal of the Mattoon-based Intrepid Consulting Services, Inc., Steve works with public and private clients to achieve historic preservation regulatory compliance for projects affecting historic resources.

A post-Napoleonic military historian, Steve has had the good fortune to work on unique historic property management and archaeological projects such as the relocation/rehabilitation of the U-505 World War II German submarine exhibited at Chicago's Science and Industry Museum and archaeological surveys of Little Big Horn, Stones River and Wilson's Creek National Battlefields. In 1998, Steve was commissioned a "Kentucky Colonel" by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for his contributions in the development of the Illinois/Kentucky Ohio River Civil War Heritage Trail.



Barbara Krehbiel

Barbara Brehm-Krehbiel has been a resident of Charleston since 1965. After interacting with the Council for a number of years, she accepted a Council member appointment in 2002.

Barbara's professional background is library science and has had a career of over 40 years in that discipline. She has served in a variety of capacities with library systems in Pratt, Kansas, Washington, D.C., Bloomington, Indiana, and retired from the Charleston Carnegie Public Library in June of 2009 after 37 years community of service. While with the Charleston Library, Barbara created the facility's departments of genealogy and Coles County/State of Illinois history. Since her retirement from the Charleston Library, Barbara has continued to assist the Charleston and Mattoon public libraries with the management of their genealogical and history collections.

Barbara has travelled extensively, visiting all 50 states, 21 foreign countries and has been a resident of Paris, France for a year. Barbara's travels have afforded her the opportunity to study many styles and eras of residential, religious, public and commercial architecture. In 1996, Barbara received an architectural photography award from the Federated Women's Club for an image she composed of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

Barbara is a member of 15 historical and genealogical societies throughout the nation. Locally, she has served in leadership positions for the Association for the Preservation of Historic Coles County, the Coles County Historical Society, the Coles County Genealogical Society and the Five Mile House Foundation. Barbara is the recipient of awards from the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Coles County Genealogical Society for her research and public assistance efforts.



Carolyn Cloyd

Born on Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington, Carolyn Cloyd's family settled in the Coles County area upon her father's retirement from U.S. Air Force. Carolyn has had a life-long interest in genealogy and history, particularly military history, and is an advocate of safeguarding Coles County's community identity through effective historic preservation practices. She is the executive director for United Way of Coles County and a part-time sports writer for the Mattoon Journal Gazette/Charleston Times Courier.






Cynthia Nichols

Cynthia Nichols, past Chair of the CCHPC, has served on a number of local, regional, and national agency and not-for-profit boards related to the preservation and stewardship of historical and natural resources, as well as the delivery of community social services. She was a steering committee member for the development of the Coles County Regional Comprehensive Plan. Currently, she is a member of the Charleston Tree Commission.

Her academic degrees are in history. Early in her professional career she managed the Barrington (IL) history museum and latter was the coordinator of the Douglas-Hart Nature Preserve (Mattoon) and the Neal Foundation (Mattoon). Cynthia recently retired from Eastern Illinois University as the Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity and previously served as EIU's Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.



Earl Halbe

Earl Halbe and his wife Elizabeth returned to Charleston in 2012 after over a decade in Key West, Florida pursuing their passion for music and theatrical performance. Earl brings to the Council affiliations with the local artistic community including the Charleston Alley Theater and the Mattoon Arts Council. He teaches acting at Lake Land College and, as a member of the Charleston Riot 150th Anniversary Steering Committee, is producing a dramatic presentation focusing on the events surrounding the March 1864 civil unrest in Coles County. Appointed to the Council in 2013, Earl is a student of the architectural design and social history of historic theaters/performance venues and is an ardent local advocate for the rehabilitation of and successful contemporary market adaptation of Charleston's 1935 Will Rogers Theater and Commercial Block.




Jerry Groniger

Jerry Groniger is a Lafayette Township native and manages operations of his family's Centennial Farm on the northeast perimeter of Mattoon. Jerry's involvement with many history-related, local not-for-profit and an array of public oversight organizations is well known throughout the county. Jerry has been a Coles County Historic Preservation Advisory Council member since 2001.

After graduating with the Mattoon High School Class of 1952, Jerry attended the University of Illinois, served in the United States Army and later received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Bloomington's Illinois Wesleyan University. Jerry followed a career in the food manufacturing industry and performed services within the spectrum of corporate enterprise. Sales, marketing, advertising, production and unit management were just a few of Jerry's specialties in the business arena before retiring back to Coles County in 2000. His resume includes positions at A.E. Staley in Decatur, Illinois, J.M. Smucker in Orrville, Ohio, and Universal Foods Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Since returning to Coles County, Jerry has been or is a member of the County's Citizens Advisory Committee for Solid Waste Management, the County's Tax Assessor's Board of Review, the Coles County Historical Society, the Mattoon Area Community Foundation, the Coles County Genealogical Society and the Association for Preservation of Historic Coles County. Jerry has served as an officer or in leadership positions within many of his associated organizations.



Joyce St. Michael

Joyce St. Michael is a Mattoon resident and has been a Council member since 2001. Joyce is a historic writer and a genealogist. Some of Joyce's publications include, Mattoon's Sesquicentennial Timeline Book, Mattoon's Lincoln Elementary School History, a local news feature article about Sears manufactured residential housing, the National Register of Historic Places Nomination for Mattoon's South 15th Street (Brick Streets) and the History of the Five Mile House.

Joyce's local preservation efforts include saving, preserving and development of programs for the Five Mile House, the rehabilitation and contemporary programmatic reuse of the Mattoon Illinois Central Railroad Depot and preservation of Mattoon's historic brick streets. Joyce's local history affiliations include memberships and leadership positions within the Association for the Preservation of Historic Coles County, the Coles County Historical Society, the Coles County Genealogical Society, the Five Mile House Foundation and the Rennels Family Reunion.



Kit Morice

Kit Morice is the Curator of Education at the Tarble Arts Center, EIU. She was part of a grassroots committee that helped to establish a historic preservation ordinance for the City of Charleston and has served on the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission since 2005. She has done extensive contextual research and survey of county-wide buildings and structures. Kit is a good resource for the context of local historic architects, buildings of all styles/eras and the broad scope of U.S. architectural history. She is currently in her thirteenth year of the rehabilitation of her 1902, Queen Anne-styled home on Jackson Avenue near the Courthouse Square.





Lori Henderson

A native of Mattoon, Lori Henderson currently resides in Charleston and is a full-time staff member of the Graduate School at Eastern Illinois University where she serves as the Director of the Integrative Graduate Studies Institute and the School's Publicity/Promotions Specialist. Lori possesses an associate degree in business from Lake Land College, a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University.

Lori is the current Board President of the Lincoln-Sargent Farm Foundation, a philanthropic group supporting operational/program development of Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Her most recent research involves the activities of the two Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Coles County and the preservation of the site of Camp Shiloh, the CCC camp of WWI veterans responsible for creating Lincoln Log Cabin State Park in the 1930s.



Sallie Cougill

Sallie and her husband Dan returned to Charleston in 1992 after Dan completed a 28 year career in the United States Air Force. Sallie purchased their 1904 Charles Mitchell designed Queen Anne residence on 6th Street while Dan was deployed during Desert Storm and has spent the last two decades meticulously restoring her dream home.

Sallie has served as the President of the interpretative volunteer organization at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site and has portrayed a variety personalities associated with the site. Additionally, Sallie has served on the Coles County Historical Society's Dudley House Maintenance Committee. Sallie has been a Council member since 2003 and enjoys collecting and restoring antiques of all kinds. Cultural resource preservation is one of Sallie's passions.