Historic Galesburg

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Historic Galesburg - Page Text Content

BC: Brought to you by: Paige Drauden

FC: Historic Galesburg Comes to Life

1: Galesburg, IL was founded by George Washington Gale, a minister from New York. What he first wanted to do was establish a college, which became Knox College. On the journey to Galesburg people died trying to come and get here when it was first established. With the community effort to get the railroad here and when it did it became a booming success. Galesburg also had an anti-slavery society and made a big contribution to the Underground Railroad movement. During the Lincoln-Douglas debates Galesburg was the fifth (5th) stop. Old Main, which is the only remaining site, is located at Knox College. Galesburg is also home to Mary Ann Bickerdyke. She was a nurse during the American Civil War taking care of Union soldiers. Galesburg is also home to Hope Cemetery which holds several of Galesburgs prominant figures that contributed to its history.

2: In 1994 the Galesburg community had a re-inactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. This would not be the last. In 2008 there was another for the Lincoln Bicentennial. | CSPAN was there throughout the whole debate; it was not as long as the actual debate which was 3 hours. | In Knox College's classic groves, Abraham Lincoln and Stephan Douglas crossed metal swords in a contest which marked an epoch in history. Galesburg honored this.

3: The actual debate lasted 3 hours. In the Galesburg debate there were from 20,000 to 30,000 people who participated in the parades and the jollification. Mr. Douglas arrived by train from Monmouth by 10 o'clock. But Mr. Lincoln stayed the night in Knoxville. Lincoln arrived to the debate in a horse drawn carriage. At Knox College students wanted to participate in the action so there was a sign put up in honor of Lincoln saying, "Knox College for Lincoln." It was a great day for a debate after it had rained the night before.

4: A re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates took place during the celebration of Lincoln's Bicentennial. | The Lincoln re-enactor was portrayed by George Buss and General Grant who stands beside Lincoln was portrayed by Judge Harry Bulkeley. | The re-enactment took place at the original debate site at Old Main. The turn out of this day was exactly like it was back in 1858.

5: While you"re in Galesburg, you can visit Old Main by Knox College which was the site of the 5th Lincoln-Douglas Debate. | Knox College is located on 2 East South St. Knox is a Liberal Arts college and was founded in 1837 by abolitionists.

6: While at Knox you can also visit the Knox Library which has a lot of history to it. Knox holds a series of books President Lincoln read. | Most of the photos you will see here are of students that took the Lincoln Seminar class at the high school.

8: If you're taking a walk through the town don't for get to check out Hope Cemetery located on West Main St. During Railroad days, June 27-28, u can take a tour through the cemet3ry. There are quite a few respectable people who you will find in the cemetery.

9: Here at Hope Cemetery are some very interesting figures. Rumor has it that there is a vampire buried here. You can also take a look through the cemetery to try and find the unmarked grave of John Marion Osborn. Convicted murderer to die at a public hanging in Knox County. He is buried here but the location to where is still unknown. More prominent figures would be the founders of Galesburg, such as George Washington Gale. There is also a soldiers monument here at Hope Cemetery. Soldier was R.I. Law, M.D. He stands a height of 20 ft. and is made out of Barre granite. At the ceremony of the statue Robert Lincoln made and unveiling address.

10: Historic homes are also a big tourism factor in Galesburg. There is a walking tour where the historic home owners open their homes to the public and the onlookers can take a tour through each home.

11: These historic houses can be seen all through Galesburg. There are quite a few actually. Most of them were built between the "Victorian Era" (1850) to the early 1900's. Most of them are quite massive in size and several have changed appearance over time due to the wear and tear of the years.

12: 19th Century: In the first years of Galesburg's history, Seminary Street was the eastern boundary of the town. The land on each side of Seminary Street was used for agriculture. On Seminary Street, nine out of ten residents were employees of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad. Other than the "Panic of '93" and the two to three years of depression following, this period represented Seminary Street's commercial emergence as the primary link from the railroad to Main Street. | 20th Century Swift & Company announced the construction of a 50,000 dollar building on Mulberry Street to be completed in 1913 (the Packinghouse). A block west of Kellogg Street, in 1914, there were plans to build a 7-story first class hotel, the Custer Hotel, (The Kensington). Next to the hotel in 1915 the construction of the Orpheum Theatre was under way.

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Paige Drauden
  • By: Paige D.
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  • Title: Historic Galesburg
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  • Published: over 5 years ago