July 24, 2012
Owen Muelder, director of the Galesburg Colony Underground Railroad Freedom Station at Knox College, has been elected to serve on the Underground Railroad Free Press Panel of Judges.
The panel awards three prizes -- one each for leadership, preservation, and the advancement of knowledge in the international Underground Railroad community -- each year in September.
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of people who helped slaves escape to freedom before the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned slavery in 1865.
Muelder, the author of articles about 19th-century history that have appeared in scholarly journals and anthologies, also has written two books about abolitionism, The Underground Railroad in Western Illinois and Theodore Dwight Weld and the American Anti-Slavery Society. He has delivered numerous speeches about the Underground Railroad and the anti-slavery movement to various groups throughout Illinois and across the United States.
A 1963 graduate of Knox College, Muelder has been director of the Freedom Station at Knox since its founding in 2004. He retired that year as the College's alumni director after working at Knox for 36 years. In addition to his bachelor's degree in history, Muelder earned a master's degree at Miami University of Ohio.
The Underground Railroad Freedom Station at Knox is part of a nationwide network of more than 60 stations that are affiliated with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.