Former State Lawmaker Honored

Alpha Media/Ed Hammond

The efforts of a former state representative from Peoria are recognized in Peoria County.

Airport Road from Dirksen Parkway to Pfeiffer Road is designated as Donald L. Saltsman Honorary Parkway. A brief ceremony took place Wednesday to unveil the signs.

Saltsman served in the Illinois House from 1981 until 1986. During his tenure in Springfield, Saltsman was instrumental in acquiring the funding to upgrade Airport Road.

“This was a two-lane road,” said Peoria County Board member Thomas O’Neill during the ceremony. “It’s great for the community, it’s great for Bartonville.”

Prior to being a state lawmaker, Saltsman was a Peoria firefighter from 1956 until 1984 and was president of Peoria Firefighters Union Local 50 for 12 years.

“He was a bulldog,” O’Neill said. “He worked for labor people, he worked for the people of this community. He might have been a little gruff at times and he said what was on his mind whether you liked it or not, but he spoke from the heart.”

Saltsman died in 2014 at the age of 80.

Several people attended the brief ceremony on Airport Road across from Limestone High School. They included family members, current and retired Peoria firefighters and retired lawmakers.

Peoria Firefighters Local 50 paid for signs that are displayed at each end of Airport Road. The signs will remain in place for one year, then given to the Saltsman family.

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