Former Kable News Company building getting ADA-compliant entrance

Now called College Hall, the downtown building also will house the Mount Morris village museum

Mt. Morris Village President Phil Labash and Clerk Brooke Duffy look at some old newspaper clippings stored at the village museum on Oct. 24, 2023. The museum currently is on the lower floor of Mt. Morris Village Hall.

MOUNT MORRIS – The former Kable News Company building’s entrance is getting an upgrade.

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Mount Morris Village Board members unanimously approved tax incremental financing funding not to exceed $44,000 for Skills on Point to renovate the downtown building’s entrance to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The 132-year-old building now is called College Hall, Village President Phil Labash told Shaw Media in a phone interview Tuesday.

College Hall and Skills on Point are owned by John Russell, whose purchase of College Hall was finalized March 1, 2023.

Skills on Point is based in Rockford and provides ongoing medical education for health care professionals.

Russell is a nurse practitioner and has a doctorate of nursing practice, among several other certifications.

The American flag flies in front of the former Kable News Company building which also once was Mount Morris College's College Hall, on April 20, 2023. John Russell, of rural Mt. Morris, closed on his purchase of the historic building, located on the Mt. Morris campus, on March 1; he plans to restore and modify it into multi-use space that benefits the community.

Located at 16 S. Wesley Ave., the building was constructed in 1890 and 1891 to serve as Mount Morris College’s College Hall.

When the school closed in 1932, twin brothers Harvey and Harry Kable purchased College Hall and founded the Kable News Company, through which they distributed many of the publications printed at their other business, Kable Brothers Printing.

Kable News since has expanded into several similarly named parent and subsidiary corporations.

“One of the reasons why the [Village] Board is excited about this renovation project is because our museum is actually going to be in the former lobby,” Labash said. “This will make it ADA-accessible to the public as well.”

Currently, the village’s museum is located in the lower level of the Mount Morris Village Hall and rarely is open to the public.

The goal is to move the museum items to College Hall in phases and have it ready to open by June 1, Labash said.

The Mt. Morris village museum currently is on the lower floor of the village hall and rarely is open to the public.
Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.