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(Former) Colchester, Illinois
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 40° 25.577 W 090° 47.518
15T E 687307 N 4477413
Quick Description: Today the Colchester Public Library.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/3/2018 5:33:40 AM
Waymark Code: WMZFEB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of library: McDonough
Location of library: Macomb St & Fulton St., Colchester
Library created: 2014
Phone: (309) 776-4861
Library has ONE Libarian
Architectural Style: Italianate

I was traveling from Iowa, where I met with an old Marine buddy, one I had not seen in over 50 years. Great visit.

Came though this town. saw an old boarded up church, just visible behind the library.and stopped for that...then found a huge city park with a few hundred memorial in the pavilion...I had to visit more.


"Colchester is a city in McDonough County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,493 at the 2000 census. The city is named after the town of Colchester, England.

"Coal was discovered near Colchester in the 1850s.

"According to the North American Stratigraphic Code, rock units were given names that included the geographic name of a location where the rock unit was first described. If the rock unit consisted of a dominant rock type, the rock type was included in the name. In this case, when coal was first discovered and described in Colchester, Illinois, the rock unit was named "Colchester Coal". When this particular coal unit was encountered in a different location, the coal was correctly identified as Colchester Coal.

"The mines in Colchester attracted immigrants from Pennsylvania. At first these included the descendants of Irish Protestant refugees from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Later they were joined by Irish Catholic refugees from the Irish Potato Famine.

"During the 1920s, Colchester was the home of Henry "Kelly" Wagle, a bootlegger associated with Al Capone. Wagle was involved in the production of alcohol and its transportation between Chicago and Kansas City.

"On September 11, 1921, members of the disgraced Chicago Black Sox baseball team played with the Colchester team in a game against nearby Macomb. Kelly Wagle paid to bring the players to Colchester." ~ Wikipedia


"Jesse White awarded $35,000 in state grant money for exterior improvements for the Colchester Library. That building is 125 years old and has previously served as the town's city hall, jail and firehouse. It even has it's original foundation.

"The state money be used to pay for repairs to that foundation." ~ Tri-Sates Public Radio


"A short time previous to the completion of the Northern Cross--now Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad--Lewis H. Little, the owner of the northeast quarter of section 13, then Tennessee township, determined upon that point for a location of a new town, and for that purpose the tract was surveyed by a gentleman by the name of Chester, then an employee of the railroad company. In honor of the surveyor, the new place was christened Chester, but on learning of the numerous towns in the country by that name, he prefixed the term "Col" making it Colchester. That term might very properly be implied to be an abbreviation of the word "coal," then beginning to be an important product of this locality. Mr. Little made no public sale of lots, but placing them upon the market, they were disposed of rapidly and the new town was soon under full headway. D. W. Campbell, still a resident of the place, bought the first two lots and erected the first building.

"Since the laying out of the original town in 1855, there have been six additions made to it; the first by Charles E. Gilchrist, the second by Martin Canote, the third by the Quincy Coal Company, two by James Roberts, and one by D. C. Reece. Charles Gilchrist made the first and only public sale of lots. At private sale the first lots sold from $20 to $60 each, and all soon passed out of the hands of the original proprietor. On the completion of the railroad the town grew very rapidly for about two years, when no further apparent growth was made until the time of the war, when immigration again was attracted to the place. As may be inferred, the class of citizens by which the town was settled was principally miners, hard working, intelligent men and women.

"In the month of April, 1857, a public meeting was held for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of organizing the town under a special charter. The question was discussed pro and con, and it was determined to submit the matter to a vote of the people. In May the vote was taken, 58 voting for and two against incorporation. So the town was incorporated, and a board of trustees, consisting of five members, was duly elected. The following are the names of the members of the first board: John Patrick, Thomas W. Hunt, John E. Jackson, William Cowan and W. L. Whitson.

"Colchester, like all other towns, has had its seasons of prosperity and seasons of adversity. Its most rapid growth was in the years 1856 and 1857, just after the completion of the railroad. From that time until the years 1863 and 1864 but little was done; then the town began to improve again, but soon fell back to a state of apathy, which continued until late years, when it began to take a new life. We now find it rapidly improving; new houses of the most substantial character have been erected and the town now contains a larger number of inhabitants than ever before.

"Colchester has many advantages not possessed by other towns of the county. The face of the earth not only yields its fruit to the work of the hands of her people, but the underworld is compelled to yield up her treasures, which go to enrich mankind and administer to the comforts of the race. Even should a drouth occur, these people have a mine of wealth in their coal fields that cannot be effected by it. The demand for this product has never yet been less than the supply; therefore, while other places may feel from time to time the effects of a monetary crisis, Colchester does not suffer in comparison with them." ~ McDonough WebGem

Name: Public Library

Address:
203 Macomb Street, Colchester , Illinois 62326


Date of Construction: 1889

Memorials/Commemorations/Dedications:
None


Web Site for City/Town/Municipality: [Web Link]

Architect: Not listed

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