Miss Illinois

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For the state pageant affiliated with Miss USA, see Miss Illinois USA.

Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss Illinois program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women and to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. The program provides a forum for today's young women to express their viewpoints, talents, and accomplishments to audiences during the telecast and to the public-at-large during the ensuing year. Almost all contestants have either received, or are in the process of earning, college or postgraduate degrees and utilize Miss America scholarship grants to further their educations.

The first "Miss Illinois" sent to the national pageant, Lois Delander, won the Miss America title. Including Delander, five Miss Illinois representatives have won Miss America.

To become Miss America, a contestant must first win a local competition and then compete to represent her state, a process requiring personal commitment, hard work and talent. A woman may compete at the state level more than once, but may only compete in the national Miss America competition one time. Thousands of women participate each year in the local and state events, culminating in the selection of 52 national finalists who vie for the Miss America title. Tens of thousands of volunteers organize the local and state preliminary competitions, promoting community involvement throughout the United States and furthering scholarship and achievement among young women in their communities.

The Miss America Organization has partnered with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds and awareness for children's hospitals throughout the United States. Contestants competing in Miss America-sponsored competitions raise donations through appearances and fundraisers that benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund. In addition, each new Miss America becomes the goodwill ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, speaking on behalf of kids treated at children's hospitals and raising awareness around the country. It's just another way the Miss America Organization helps young women leave a legacy of service, scholarship, and support.


Year Name Hometown Age Local Title Miss America Talent Placement at Miss America Special scholarships at Miss America Notes
2016 Jaryn Franklin[1] East Moline Miss Blackhawk Valley Vocal "Dream A Little Dream of Me"
2015 Crystal Davis Anna 22 Miss Southern Illinois Vocal "That's Life"
2014 Marisa Buchheit Chicago 24 Miss Chicago Operatic Vocal "Je veux vivre" from Roméo et Juliette
2013 Brittany Smith Elmhurst 23 Miss Northern Suburbs Irish Step Dancing "Lord of the Dance"
2012 Megan Jo Ervin Rushville 23 Miss Quincy Dance "Faithfully" Top 10 Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness Award (Swimsuit) 1st runner-up at Miss Illinois 2011 as Miss Macomb and Contestant at National Sweetheart 2011
2011 Hannah Smith[2] Huntley 20 Miss Windy City Ballet en Pointe "Palladio" Top 10
2010 Whitney Thorpe-Klinsky New Baden 22 Miss River to River Tap Dance "On the Dance Floor"
2009 Erin O'Connor Evergreen Park 20 Miss Macomb Ballet en Pointe "I Wanna Dance with Somebody Remix"
2008 Katie Lorenz Chicago 24 Miss Chicago Lyrical Dance "Footprints in the Sand"
2007 Ashley Hatfield[3] Anna 24 Miss Heartland Vocal "To Love You More"
2006 Heidi Ekstrom Mundelein 24 Miss Kane County Ballet en Pointe "Ride"
2005 Lauren Allen Batavia 21 Miss Western Suburbs Freestyle Gymnastics "Rhythm of the Night"
2004 Michelle LaGroue Naperville 24 Miss Chicago Vocal "I Know the Truth" from Aida Had previously held the title in 2002 when Erika Harold won Miss America, this was allowed as she had not previously competed at Miss America. Was also Illinois' Junior Miss 1998.
2003 Andrea Fritz Schaumburg 21 Miss Chicago Lyrical Dance "Dance With My Father"
2002 Michelle LaGroue* Naperville Miss Tinley Park
Erika Harold Urbana 22 Miss Land of Lincoln Classical Vocal "Habanera" Winner Preliminary Interview Award, Preliminary On-stage Interview Award, Overall Interview Award
2001 Kristin Castillo Macomb 18 Miss Macomb Classical Violin "Praeludium & Allegro"
2000 Jenny Powers Andover, MA 21 Miss Northern Illinois Classical Vocal "Quando me'n vo'" Preliminary Talent Award, Non-finalist Talent Award Was eligible to compete for Miss Illinois as a student at Northwestern University
1999 Jade Smalls Evanston 21 Miss Chicago Classical Piano "Etude in C Minor" 1st runner-up
1998 Amanda Jo Meadows Sycamore Miss Macomb Baton "1-2-3 Maria" Non-finalist Talent Award
1997 Ashley Eisenhauer* Herrin
Katherine Shindle Evanston 20 Miss Lake-Cook Vocal "Don't Rain on My Parade" Winner Preliminary Talent Award
1996 Tania Gibson Lake Barrington 19 Miss Fox River Valley Vocal "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard
1995 Tracy Hayes Wheaton 22 Miss Greater DuPage County Vocal "Tonight" 4th runner-up Preliminary Swimsuit Award
1994 Chuti Tiu Chicago/West Allis, Wis. 24 Miss Kankakee Classical Piano Non-finalist Talent Award America's Junior Miss 1987 representing Wisconsin
1993 Sara Martin Schaumburg 20 Miss Schaumburg Vocal "Hello, Young Lovers" Non-finalist Talent Award America's Junior Miss 1990
1992 Kathleen Farrell Chicago 23 Miss Kankakee Classical Piano "Danza No. 5" Non-finalist Talent Award Miss Illinois USA 1994, Sister of Miss New York 1984 and Miss Florida 1985
1991 Cheryl Majercik Niles 26 Miss Chicago Classical Vocal "O Mio Babbino Caro" Non-finalist Talent Award
1990 Jaclyn Greer* Granite City Miss Madison County
Marjorie Vincent Oak Park 25 Miss Kankakee Classical Piano "Fantaisie-Impromptu" Winner Preliminary Talent Award
1989 Jeri Zimmermann Evanston 21 Miss Northwestern University Vocal "On My Own" 3rd runner-up Preliminary Swimsuit Award Actress best known for playing the Borg Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager
1988 Dawn Spicuzza Collinsville 22 Miss Bethalto Vocal "If I Loved You"
1987 Cindi Hodgkins Schaumburg 22 Miss Chicago Vocal Medley "My Man" & "But the World Goes Round"
1986 Lisa Heussner Pekin 21 Miss Pekin Dramatic Interpretation "Emily Dickinson, Portrait of a Poet"
1985 Karen Moncrieff Chicago 21 Miss Northwestern University Popular Vocal "Through the Eyes of Love" from Ice Castles Toured with 1986 Miss America Gillette Show Troupe
1984 Ruth Booker Chicago 21 Miss Chicago Vocal "Kiss Me In the Rain"
1983 Rebecca (Becky) Bush Chicago 24 Miss Chicago Vocal "It's My Turn" Actress, using the name Rebeccah Bush, played Detective Katie Grant on Jake and the Fatman
1982 Jaleigh Jeffers Mt. Carmel 21 Miss Southern Illinois Piano Solo "Bumble Boogie"
1981 Sandra Truitt Evanston 25 Miss North Shore Classical Vocal "Près des remparts de Séville" from Carmen 1st runner-up Preliminary Talent Award
1980 Blythe Sawyer Naperville 22 Miss Chicago Classical Vocal "The Jewel Song" from Faust Non-finalist Talent Award
1979 Elizabeth Russell Pekin 20 Miss Heart of Illinois Classical Vocal "O Luce di Quest'Anima" from Linda di Chamounix Reporter for Wcvb-tv, Assumed Miss Illinois title after original winner, Shanna McNeill, was stripped of the title[4][5]
1978 Debra Carlson Ottawa 19 Miss Ottawa Flute Solo "Carnival of Venice" Non-finalist Talent Award
1977 Nancy Beatty Avon 22 Miss Macomb Classical Vocal "Voices of Spring"
1976 Betsy Jamison Mundelein 24 Miss Mundelein Popular Vocal "Who Will Buy?" from Oliver!
1975 Jean Waters Tuscola 22 Miss Crossroads Country Gymnastic Dance / Trampoline "High School Cadets"
1974 Jean Ahern Hinsdale 21 Miss Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Ballet en Pointe "Kitri's Variation" from Don Quixote 2nd runner-up Preliminary Talent Award
1973 Colleen Metternich Carthage 23 Miss Heart of Illinois Piano Solo "Variations on a Twelve Note Theme" Top 10 Preliminary Talent Award Toured with Miss America USO Troupe
1972 Carolyn Paulus Elmhurst 20 Miss Macomb Classical Vocal "Glitter And Be Gay" from Candide
1971 Anita Pankratz Chicago 21 Miss Chicago Vocal / Piano "Someone to Watch Over Me"
1970 Lynn Alexander Loami 18 Miss Springfield Classical Vocal "Vissi d'arte"
1969 Dulcie Scripture Elgin 20 Miss Elgin Piano Solo "Khachaturian's Toccata" Non-finalist Talent Award
1968 Sharon Mitchell* Westchester 19 Miss Bellwood-Westchester
Judith Ford Belvidere 18 Miss Boone County Acrobatic Dance & Trampoline Act "The Blue Danube" Winner Preliminary Swimsuit Award, Preliminary Talent Award
1967 Kathryn Myers Aurora 20 Miss Fox Valley Dramatic Reading "Ion"
1966 Mary Lee Inzerello Elk Grove 19 Miss Quincy Modern Dance
1965 Kathleen Oros Granite City 20 Miss Granite City Popular Vocal "Just You Wait" from My Fair Lady
1964 Patricia Quillen North Aurora 21 Miss Geneva Clarinet Solo Finalist at National Press Photographers' Pageant 1962
1963 Judith Schlieper Decatur Miss Decatur Siamese Dance
1962 Pamela Gilbert Carbondale 21 Miss Carbondale Dramatic Reading Preliminary Swimsuit Award
Donnalyn Freund Winnetka 20 Vocal "I Enjoy Being a Girl" Non-finalist Talent Award Competed as Miss Chicago
1961 Jacqueline Bingert Winthrop Harbor 21 Miss Waukegan Tap Dance & India Ink Sketching
Nancy Kesler Oak Park 18 Modern Dance Competed as Miss Chicago
1960 Vicky Nutter Vandalia 18 Miss Vandalia Presentation of Fashion Designs Non-finalist Talent Award
Margaret McDowell Evanston 21 Dramatic Reading Non-fFinalist Talent Award Competed as Miss Chicago
1959 Suzanne Johnson Chicago 21 Vocal "Hello, Young Lovers" Top 10 Preliminary Talent Award
Carol Rubin Chicago 18 Modern Jazz Dance Competed as Miss Chicago
1958 Anita Olson River Forest Piano "Brahms' Rhapsody in G Minor"
Audra Deckmann Chicago Dance Non-finalist Talent Award Competed as Miss Chicago
1957 Jeannie Beacham Downers Grove Drama "The Great Debates" Finalist at National Press Photographers' Pageant 1957
Bette Lieb Chicago Dramatic Monologue from Romeo and Juliet Competed as Miss Chicago
1956 Tillie Micheletto Collinsville Vocal
Sandra Jean Stuart Chicago Water Ballet Video Presentation Top 10 Competed as Miss Chicago
1955 Marian Cox Oak Park Vocal "If I Loved You"
Florence Gallagher Chicago Semi-classical Vocal "Love Is Where You Find It" 2nd runner-up Competed as Miss Chicago
1954 Patsy Bruce Fairfield Drama Miss Congeniality
Regina Dombeck Chicago Dramatic Monologue from Mary of Scotland by Maxwell Anderson Top 10 Competed as Miss Chicago, Finalist at National Press Photographers' Pageant 1954
1953 Jacquie Dumbauld Alton Piano / Dance
Carol Segermark Chicago Vocal Competed as Miss Chicago
1952 Glenna Pohly Rock Falls Flute
Jo Hoppe Chicago Tap Dance 4th runner-up Preliminary Swimsuit Award Competed as Miss Chicago
1951 Doris King Harvey Dance
Adrianne Falcon Chicago Vocal & Dance Top 10 Competed as Miss Chicago
1950 Catherine Kleinschmidt Granite City Vocal "Come to the Fair"
Marjorie Adams Chicago Monologue "To the Lovely Margaret" Top 16 Competed as Miss Chicago
1949 Trudi Germi Chicago Classical Vocal "Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" 2nd runner-up Preliminary Swimsuit Award
Teresa Giorgian Chicago Vocal "Jealousy" Top 15 Competed as Miss Chicago
1948 Viola Hutmacher Quincy Classical Vocal "Italian Street Song"
Lois Nettleton Chicago Dramatic Monologue from Saint Joan Top 15 Competed as Miss Chicago
1947 Maree Evans Joliet Dress Design & Art
Joan Hiatt Chicago Vocal "Kiss In the Dark" Competed as Miss Chicago
1946 Patricia Frye Pekin Vocal / Tap Dance "I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do" Top 16
Cloris Leachman Chicago Comic Sketch "One Man Radio Program" Top 16 Competed as Miss Chicago
1945 Beverly Long Joliet
Lee Wieland Chicago Monologue "A Lesson With a Fan" Top 13 Preliminary Swimsuit Award Competed as Miss Chicago
1944 Betty King Bloomington Acrobatic Dance "Stardust"
Elaine Steinbach Chicago Vocal "You'll Never Know" 3rd runner-up Competed as Miss Chicago
1943 Dorothy Kohrt Ottawa
Marjorie Nelson Chicago Rhythmic Ballet Top 10 Competed as Miss Chicago
1942 Patricia Hayes Rochelle Dramatic Recitation Top 10
Bette Brunk Chicago Hula "Hawaiian War Chant" 1st runner-up Preliminary Swimsuit Award Competed as Miss Chicago
1939 Ethel Lodbell Chicago Monologue "From the Diary of a Contestant" Top 15 Competed as Miss Chicago
1936 Virginia Moeller Springfield
Genevieve Anderson Chicago Competed as Miss Chicago
Arlene Causey Chicago 3rd runner-up Best Model Competed as Miss Cook County
1933 Lillian Kroner 18 Disqualified because she resided in St. Louis
1927 Lois Delander Joliet 16 Winner Other contestants from Illinois were: Myrtle Valsted, Miss Chicago; Gladys Vile, Miss Danville; and Anna G. Bernard, Miss Springfield
1926 No Miss Illinois Mae Greene competed as Miss Chicago.
1925 No Miss Illinois Representing Illinois were: Margarita Gonzales, Miss Chicago; and Lucille Burns, Miss Elgin
1924 No Miss Illinois Margaret Leigh, Miss Chicago, placed 4th runner-up. Also representing Illinois was Virginia Lipscomb, Miss Decatur.
1923 No Miss Illinois Corinne Dellefield competed as Miss Chicago.
1922 No Miss Illinois Georgia Hale competed as Miss Chicago.

* succeeded to the title after Miss Illinois won Miss America


  1. ^ "Jaryn Franklin is Miss Illinois 2016". pageantsnews.com. 
  2. ^ "Miss Windy City crowned Miss Illinois". The Southern. July 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ Gier, Nancy (2007-07-01). "Downstater crowned Miss Illinois". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  4. ^ "People Potpurri". The Bulletin. Aug 16, 1979. 
  5. ^ "Shanna McNeill talks about her short reign as Miss Illinois.". 

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