LOCAL 51 HISTORY
Up until about 1920, the IBEW International recycled local numbers as new locals were created and other locals folded. Thus a Local 51 has existed at various times and places as follows:
Chartered June 17, 1893........................Scranton, PA
Defunct July 1894.
Chartered July 31, 1899..........................Pittsburgh, PA
Defunct April 1900.
Chartered January 18, 1901....................Reading, PA
Defunct October 1903.
Chartered November 1, 1903.................Monclova Coahuila, Mexico
Defunct December 1905.
Chartered February 1, 1906....................Eagle Pass, TX
Defunct December 1908.
Chartered April 28, 1915..........................Peoria, IL
Merged into Local 702 July 10, 1936
Chartered October 1, 1944......................Springfield, IL
The following is the earliest available copy of a Local 51 entry in the IBEW Journal:
L.U. No. 51, Peoria, Ill. January 1917:
Just a few lines, to let the Brotherhood know that Local No. 51 is still on the map according to our last financial report. We have had a very successful year and have prospered. We have several traveling Brothers here who got all the work they needed at the C.I.L.Co.
Business is very good now, on account of changing the street lighting system. We have had little trouble settling up with the Interstate Telephone Company, but think everything will be all right.
Well, I guess I must close. Wishing all the Brothers success. I remain,
J. W. Mahoney
IBEW Local Union No. 51, as we know it today, was chartered on October 1, 1944. The members from the original Peoria Local moved out of Local 702 and into Local 51. The following are the charter members of Local 51 upon re-charter on October 1, 1944:
W. R. Boyd
J. W. Taylor
E. E. Madine
George L. Baker
Charles H. Pees
J. W. Humphries
H. C. Harner
O. L. Sexton
J. Ed Sedgwick
Myrel L. Davis
In 1956, we began leasing our office on the eighth floor of the Reisch Building located on fifth street, west side of the square, in Springfield. We paid rent of $240 per month which included “the cost of air conditioning and electrical current”. Eventually we moved down to the fifth floor of the Reisch Building and stayed there until we relocated to 1045 Outer Park Drive, Springfield.
In 1980, we purchased property located at 301 East Spruce Street, Springfield. This contract was contingent upon our financing not to exceed an interest rate of 12.5%.
On May 1, 2010, IBEW Locals 51 and 1306 (Decatur, IL) amalgamated.
In March 2014, we purchased property at 3171 Greenhead Drive, Springfield, and moved in August 2014. Due to our working Brothers and Sisters, we were mortgage free in 22 months.
Local 51 Business Managers:
1944 – 1962 W. R. Boyd
1963 – 1965 Melvin L. Wilson
1966 – 1968 Fred J. Hodack
1969 – 1971 O. H. Perry
1971 – 1974 Joseph Kacmar
1974 – 1978 Orley Welker, Jr.
1979 – 1995 John H. Browning
1995 – 2007 Dominic F. Rivara
2007 – 2016 James R. Bates
2016 Matthew J. Moore
2017 – 2019 John H. Johnson
2019 – Present Bobby Wedell