Museum Sets Out to Honor the Legacy and Work of Legend Chester Gould
The physical Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum was a non-profit organization established to display, promote and honor the work, achievements and the life of Chester Gould (1900-1985), creator of the “Dick Tracy” comic strip and character. The museum perpetuated the legacy of Dick Tracy and the heritage of the comic strip, and Crimestoppers, through the development of the “Crimestoppers Youth Program,” developed in 2000.
Located in Woodstock, where Gould resided for fifty years, the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum was founded in 1991 by community members, Gould family members and friends who initiated the first Dick Tracy Days. Proceeds from Dick Tracy Days enabled the museum doors to open. Since that time, the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum relied on donations, merchandise sales and most heavily on funds from Chester Gould’s daughter, Jean O’Connell. In 1999, the museum held the first “Dick Tracy Crimestopper Open,” a golf outing which benefitted not only the Museum, but also the “Crimestoppers Youth Program.”
The Museum was housed in Woodstock’s historic Old Courthouse on the Square, and was a source of pride and goodwill for the community. Displays in the museum featured historic documents of all types, including original artwork, correspondence, photographs and hundreds of memorabilia, including Chester Gould’s drawing board and chair.
In 2000, The Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum expanded by officially opening the “Crimestopper Club Room,” filled with child-friendly hands-on exhibits including forensics, identification measures and drawing techniques. In 2000, this innovative room received a “Superior Achievement Award” from the Illinois Association of Museums and in 2001, received the “Award of Excellence” from the Illinois State Historical Society.
Over the seventeen years that the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum resided in Woodstock, Illinois, thousands of visitors from the United States and all over the world passed through its doors.