A Memorial Page Dedicated to Our Beautiful City

Talented Monmouth Musician Started Early Bus Line

**Photo Courtesy of jeffrankin.medium.com Beginning in 1906, the interurban electric railway allowed Monmouth residents to travel conveniently and inexpensively between nearby cities. Even after automobiles became more numerous during the 1910s, the interurban remained popular because paved roads remained scarce. That would change by the 1920s, when the Good Roads Movement gained traction and communities…
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The Decline and Fall of the Monmouth Depot

**Photo Courtesy of jeffrankin.medium.com Early on the morning of April 20, 1910, Halley’s comet became visible to the naked eye over Monmouth. Perhaps it was mere coincidence, but the comet ushered in a new era of Monmouth railroad history, as that was also the day of the grand opening of the new CB&Q railroad depot.…
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Beloved Veterinarian Played Santa for Decades

**Photo Courtesy of reviewatlas.com Dr. Vird Odell Cudd had as many vocations as Forrest Gump, working as a circus performer, professor, veterinarian, would-be sheriff, philanthropist and elephant caretaker, but his favorite role by far was Santa Claus. When the colorful longtime Monmouth resident died in 1964 at the age of 88, “Doc” Cudd was beloved…
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Chautauqua Drew Thousands to College Grounds

**Photo Courtesy of sandburg.org “The Chautauqua is the most distinctly American thing in this country!” So proclaimed Teddy Roosevelt, himself a frequent speaker at the phenomenon that swept the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Originating on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School…
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Renowned Sculptor Hailed from Berwick

**Photo Courtesy of jeffrankin.medium.com Just as the literary works of Ernest Hemingway and Jack London achieved their power from the writers’ personal experiences, the works of artist Benjamin Davis Cable earned him the title “the Farmer Sculptor.” Born on a farm just north of Berwick in 1865, Ben Cable showed an aptitude for drawing and…
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President Reagan’s Monmouth Memories

PRESIDENT REAGAN’S MONMOUTH MEMORIES Although Ronald Reagan only lived in Monmouth just over one year, it was an important and formative year in the life of the future president. The year 1918, when seven-year-old “Dutch” Reagan moved to Monmouth, would be a memorable time for everyone in the Maple City, let alone an impressionable young…
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Monmouth’s John Wayne Connection

MONMOUTH’S JOHN WAYNE CONNECTION If the Rev. David A. Wallace can be considered the architect of Monmouth College, then the Rev. Marion Morrison would have to be considered his general contractor. Born in Ohio in 1821, Morrison met Wallace at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where they were dormitory roommates and graduated in 1846. Ten…
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Late-Night ‘Pizza Call’ Devastated Downtown Monmouth

Story Courtesy of Jeff Rankin, Monmouth College Historian Author and Literacy Critic. When an arson fire damaged Monmouth’s Security Savings & Loan building on April 11, 1974, bank president Ralph Whiteman was probably relieved he was on an aircraft carrier in Oakland, California, performing exercises as a Navy Reserve officer. That’s because a week before…
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Pearl Harbor Anniversary Recalls Bravery Of Monmouth Men

Story Courtesy of Jeff Rankin, Monmouth College Historian Author and Literacy Critic. In the 20th century, two Monmouth men made their mark on history on a tiny Pacific island 4,000 miles from the Maple City—about two decades apart. The island was Oahu, and each of the men exhibited bravery of a unique sort near its…
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Post Office Replaced Monmouth’s Longest-Operating Hotel

Story Courtesy of Jeff Rankin, Monmouth College Historian Author and Literacy Critic. Monmouth’s first hotel, built in 1833, was a log tavern with a half-story second floor used for sleeping. Because there was minimal commerce in the early days, hotel patrons were often lawyers and judges riding the circuit to attend court in the Warren…
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Oquawka Publisher Sought Partnership with Edgar Allan Poe

Story Courtesy of Jeff Rankin, Monmouth College Historian Author and Literacy Critic. In the middle of the Bronx in New York City is a bustling neighborhood known as Fordham. In 1848, it was a sleepy rural village without even a post office, and perhaps its only claim to fame was a famous resident—the poet, author…
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The Man Behind Pi Beta Phi’s Holt House

Story Courtesy of Jeff Rankin, Monmouth College Historian Author and Literacy Critic. Monmouth has long been a Republican town, but a few of its most influential citizens during its early years were in fact Democrats. Among them were banker and industrialist Judge Ivory Quinby, newspaper publisher Alexander H. Swain, attorney James W. Davidson, plow inventor…
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