In the late 1940s it became clear that Peoria was on its way to reform, but how far it would go remained up in the air. A new mayor, elected in 1945, had made serious headway in clamping down on corruption and vice, but the aldermanic system had yet to be taken on.

To the Saturday Evening Post‘s Elise Morrow, Peoria was taking on some of the contours of a typical midwestern city, with its nice suburbs juxtaposed to industrial areas. Its future, though uncertain, was full of promise, in no small part because of the energy that its middle-class citizens were investing in the city.