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Jordan leaves $100K to Reddick Library

A $100,000 bequest to the Reddick Public Library District from the estate of the late Robert Jordan was gratefully acknowledged by the library board at its meeting Monday.

Official notification came from the Cantlin Law Firm of Ottawa on behalf of the executor of Jordan’s will, his nephew William Budde.

“It was exciting to open that letter,” said Library Director Molly DeBernardi.

The terms of the bequest is that the principal will be invested and only the interest used.

The library board has not yet determined how the interest may be spent, Board President Neil Reinhardt told The Times after the meeting.

“Rob wanted to give back to a community that’s been so good to him and his family,” Budde told The Times on Wednesday.

Jordan died Oct. 5 at age 97.

He was a 1938 graduate of Ottawa High School and graduated from Oberlin College in 1943.

Jordan then spent four years in the United States Army Air Forces, commissioned as a weather officer, and stationed, among other locations, at Saipan and Iwo Jima.

After beginning graduate school at the University of Chicago, he returned to Ottawa to partner with his brother, Bo, in running Jordan Hardware, as the fourth generation running the family retail hardware business.

When the business was sold in 1983, Jordan Hardware was the oldest retail business in Illinois to be operated by the same family in the same location, having been established in 1840. Jordan was active in bowling and tennis, and was a founding member of the Ottawa Tennis Club. He was instrumental in raising funds to replace two tennis courts in Allen Park with three new ones constructed with the proper north-south directional orientation.

After retirement from the hardware business Jordan developed an interest in genealogy, joining the La Salle County Genealogy Guild and donating a building to house original county probate records dating back to 1831. The Jordan Hardware property on Main Street was destroyed by fire, but the area is still referred to as the Jordan block.

In 2014, Jordan was inducted into the OHS Hall of Fame.

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