Illini Pest Control (formed in 1939)

Illini Pest Control & Service was formed in 1939 by four entomologists on the faculty and staff of the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey. “The entomologists—C.L. Metcalf, Clyde Kearns, William McCauley and Dwight Powell— later became known for other professional contributions. “McCauley, for example, is credited with the idea for pest strips and flea collars.  Kearns did some of the original research on the pesticide chlordane. And Metcalf was co-author of the textbook “Destructive and Useful Insects.” At Illini Pest Control, they employed U. of I. students part time as pest control operators to give them practical experience.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the company, an employee picnic was held at Urbana’s Meadowbrook Park in September 1999.  This was according to The News-Gazette who interviewed Bill Delaplane, the company’s president (85 years old) and Nancy Delaplane, 80, the vice president/secretary.  The Delaplanes’ connection with the business dates back to 1942 when Bill Delaplane—then a University of Illinois graduate student in entomology—was offered a job as full-time manager for the firm.  They purchased the company in 1947.  One of their sons, Gary Delaplane, served as the company’s director of operations from 1987 until his death in 1994. And one of their daughters, Diana E. Delaplane, was general manager as of the year 2000.

The preceding information was taken from “Entomology Newsletter 2000”.  This newsletter was published annually by the Department of Entomology, School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 320 Morrill Hall, 505 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801 USA.

The following pictures were taken from a 2’x3′ poster created for the 25th anniversary of the company.  Apparently this poster sat in storage for many years.  It made its way to my Uncle Dwight A. Powell (son of one of the founders Dwight E. Powell Jr.).  He met one of the Delaplane daughters at a medical conference in 2011 and she sent this to him because of how prominently his father is featured in the poster.

This is a 2’x3′ poster created for the company’s 25th anniversary in 1964.

Return to Dwight’s home page.


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