Village of Bardolph

Unforgettable Forgottonia’s Bardolph is located in the central northeast section of  McDonough County, 6 miles northeast of Macomb and 5 miles southwest of Bushnell. The village was originally laid out on August 3, 1852 by William H. Randolph and C.V. Chandler of Macomb. It was first established as “Randolph” after it’s founder, until it was discovered another town in Illinois already had the name, thus “Bardolph” was created. Prior to that the area was originally known as “Wolf Creek.”

In the spring of 1856, W. S. and J. B. Hendricks bought half interest in the town from Randolph, and in June of that year a public auction of lots was held in which about 50 lots were sold. From this time the town began to grow. The railroad having been completed, Bardolph became a shipping point for a large territory. As neither the T. P. & W. nor the Rock Island branch of the Burlington railroads were in existence, large quantities of stock and grain were brought to the town from Eldorado, New Salem and Mound townships.

Bardolph was officially incorporated as a “town” by a special act of legislation passed on April 15, 1869.

The “whiskey question” was primarily responsible for the incorporation. In the latter part of 1868, one James McClintock of Macomb, having secured a government license, erected a building and opened up a saloon. The town, not being incorporated, was helpless to prevent or to regulate the traffic. Much indignation was aroused among the temperance people, not only of Bardolph but of the entire community as well, and efforts were at once inaugurated to drive out the saloon. This could be done only by having the town incorporated and thereby giving the people the right to control the whiskey traffic.

A notable early citizen of Bardolph was businessman and future Colorado Senator, George W. Swink. The town of Swink, Colorado, was named after him.

The population was 253 at the 2000 census. The village’s principal street is Broadway, which runs parallel to the Burlington Northern Railroad.

See A History of Bardolph, Illinois 1911 by the Epworth League.

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