Dwight Illinois History online
The Dwight Historical Society invites you to an
*Visit our new Hat Display*
*Listen to the music of Lindsey Jensen*
*Enjoy Sweet Treats*
The Dwight Historical Society is pleased to present a display of women’s hats at their museum in the Historic Depot. The display will officially open during the Ice Cream Social, Sunday, August 7, from 6-8 pm and continue through the winter months. Highlights of the display include the hats made and donated by Harriet Kuster who lived and held hat making classes in Dwight during her husband’s tenure as Dwight’s superintendent of schools from 1948 to 1963.
Alex McWilliams recently gifted the museum with this mother’s extensive collection of hats. Among Alice McWilliams’ hats are several bearing the Bes-Ben label, adding the Dwight History Museum to the short list of museums owning the millinery of Benjamin B. Green-Field. The Chicago History Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City also have Bes-Ben hats in their collections.
Benjamin B. Green-Field, the “Mad-hatter” designer, was born in Chicago in 1897. Green-Field and his sister Bessie Warshawsky opened their first hat boutique on State Street in 1920 and later expanded to four more locations. Although his sister left the business early on, her brother’s quirky, frivolous hats continued to be extremely popular, selling, in the 1940’s, for $37-$1,000 when hats from Sears went for $2.
We hope to see you soon!
|Dwight History Documents|
|Dwight Star and Herald Images|
|The 1868 Dwight Star|
Dwight Historical Society contact information:
Address: 119 West Main Street; Dwight, Illinois 60420
Dwight Illinois History
Created and maintained by David Weis, 2012-2022