Newspaper Articles

   The selected newspaper essays available here appeared in the "McDonough County Voice," 2010-2016, in the weekly Hallwas column titled "On Community." They reflect a variety of his common themes, including the struggle for community, the importance of belonging, the crucial role of memory, the personal value of reading, the history and literature of Illinois, and the impact of temporality and death in our lives.  Archives and Special Collections, at Malpass Library, Western Illinois University, has hundreds of other articles in the John Hallwas Collection, which are indexed by subject matter categories, including Aging, Beautification and Preservation, Blacks in Local History, Books and Reading, The Civil War, Education, Female Social Activism, Films, Hallwas Autobiographical Writings, Individualism and Community, Local Festivals, Local History, National Politics, Nature Writers and Environmental Issues, Self- Growth, Social Commentary, Social Interaction and Sense of Place, and Writers.

For more information:



"American Society: From “The Promised Land” to “Coming Apart”(Feb. 25, 2012)

“The Help” and the Struggle for Community in America" (Aug. 27, 2011)

"Memories and Realizations: Looking Deeper at “Dandelion Wine”(June 30, 2012)

"Memory, Community, and Self-comprehension in Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology”" (Oct. 22, 2011)
"Virginia Eifert: Nature, Spirituality, and Community"(Nov. 19, 2011)
"Here to Stay: On Choosing to Belong" (April 10, 2010)

"The Deeper Meanings of Home" (June 18, 2011)

"Extending Our Lives Backward through Older Folks" (Oct. 15, 2011)

"Lida Crabb: Promoting Personal Contact, Building Community" (Mar. 10, 2012)
"The Liberal Arts and Social Responsibility" (May 15, 2010)

"Reflections on the Decline of Reading" (Feb. 26, 2011)


"My Experience of Change; Our Need for Continuity"


"Poet Dave Etter and the Issue of Belonging"


"Some Ultimate Issues in Family History"


"Educator, Historian, and Community Activist James Burns"


"Our Place, My Quest, and the Novel “Raintree County”"


"Mortality and a Meaningful Life: Reflections at 70"


"The Decline of Small Towns"


"“Selma” and My Memories of Racial Tension in the Sixties"


"The Case for Reading—Once Again"