Preston Jackson – Artist

Preston Jackson

Preston Eugene Jackson has been called “one of the greatest black artists of our time.” Born in Decatur, IL Jackson attended Oakland Elementary School and Stephen Decatur High School, where he ran the one hundred yard dash in 9.7 seconds. Graduating in 1962, he attended Millikin University while working at Revere Copper. In 1967, Jackson enrolled…

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George Francis Chase – Brigadier General U.S. Army

Gen. Chase

Brigadier General George Francis Chase (1848 -1925) was the commander of the 15th Cavalry Regiment and in 1907 he became the United States Army Inspector General for the Department of the East. He was born on July 29, 1848 in Macomb, Illinois to James Morris Chase and Salina Venable. He attended the United States Military Academy from July 1, 1867, to June 12, 1871. He…

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Lawrence Yates Sherman – U.S. Senator

Sen. Sherman

Lawrence Yates Sherman was born November 8, 1858 in Miami County, Ohio. His parents Nelson and Maria (Yates) Sherman, first moved to McDonough County, Illinois in 1859 and eventually settled in Jasper County in 1867. Sherman attended public school and the Lees Academy in Coles County. In order to pay for a college education he alternately…

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Cyrus Walker – Pioneer Lawyer & Judge

Judge Cyrus Walker

Cyrus Walker (1791-1875) was a pioneer lawyer with a wide reputation, especially for success in criminal cases. He was a Virginian who moved to Macomb from Kentucky in 1832 and who’s uncles were veterans of the Revolutionary War. Walker was a colleague of Abraham Lincoln, and instrumental in helping to arrange two of Lincoln’s historic…

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Ernest J. Stevens – Millionaire Hotelier and Businessman

Ernest J. Stevens

Ernest James Stevens was born on February 13, 1884 in Colchester, McDonough County, Illinois. His parents were Jessie Louise (Smith) and James William Stevens. In 1890 the family with four sons moved to Chicago where Ernest’s father James W. and his brother Edward established the Illinois Life Insurance Company, a business that ultimately generated the substantial…

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C.V. Chandler

Charles Vilasco Chandler was born in Macomb, McDonough County, IL., January 25, 1843. His father, Col. Charles Chandler, who died December 26, 1878, was a prominent banker of Macomb and a sagacious financier. In 1852 Chandler was persuaded by his friend William H. Randolph to partner in an investment of land in McDonough County to the…

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George W. Swink

George Washington Swink, or G.W. Swink, (1836–1910) was a landowner and politician in Colorado and is said to have been the holder of the first timber claim certificate in the United States, issued by President Grover Cleveland on November 3, 1887. George W. Swink was born June 30, 1836, in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, and moved with his parents to Schuyler County, Illinois, when he was four.…

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Ray “Rock” Hanson

Raymond W. “Rock” Hanson former United States Marine Colonel and highly decorated veteran of World War I and World War II, was best known as the football coach at Western Illinois State Teachers College (now Western Illinois University) in Macomb, Illinois from 1926 to 1941. Hanson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1916 and served during World War I. He was assigned to the 75th Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. Hanson…

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