City of Colchester

Colchester is a city in McDonough County 7 miles west of the County Seat, Macomb, IL. The city is named after the town of Colchester, England.

Coal was discovered near Colchester in the 1850s and 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.  It was Kelly Wagle that paid to bring the players to Colchester.

Colchester is also the home of the Moses King Brick & Tile Works, registered as a National Historic District, and Argyle Lake State Park.