“Kelly” Wagle – The Bootlegger

During Prohibition of the 1920s and ’30s, Chicago was the headquarters for the illicit bootlegger activity of mob boss Al Capone and his syndicate. Capone held a tight rein on any buying, selling or transporting of alcohol in a territory that reached south of Peoria and further. “Kelly” Wagle of Colchester, known as the most…

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Peter Newell – Famed Illustrator

Peter Sheaf Hersey Newell (March 5, 1862 – January 15, 1924) was an American artist and author who built a sought after reputation in the 1880s and 1890s for his humorous drawings and poems, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, The Saturday Evening Post, Judge, Scribner’s Magazine, and numerous other publications. Newell was a native Forgottonian born in McDonough County who…

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The Republic of Forgottonia

The lore of “The Republic of Forgottonia” was created in the late 1960s in what is the very heart of the “Republic”; Macomb, IL.  A group of concerned citizens dubbed the area “Forgottonia” in protest of the lack of state and federal investment in highways and other infrastructure in a sixteen-county section of West Central Illinois. Variously described as…

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Bushnell Freight House Depot

The community of Bushnell has a long history with railroads. The city was founded in 1854 after Northern Cross Railroad built tracks through the area and named the site after the railroad company’s president, Nehemiah Bushnell. Today,  freight trains and the Illinois Amtrak line, as they have for over a century and a half, rumble daily…

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McDonough County, Illinois

Established in 1830, McDonough County is named for Commodore Thomas McDonough who led a successful battle against the British on Lake Champlain in the War of 1812. The county has the unusual distinction of forming a perfect square by Mercator map projection. The county seat, Macomb, is situated at the very middle of McDonough, and…

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