A Memorial Page Dedicated to Our Beautiful City

Local Air Mail

THE DAY LOCAL PILOTS DELIVERED AIR MAIL I first heard stories about Monmouth’s remarkable role in the development of aviation from the late Ralph B. Eckley, a pioneer local pilot and early partner in the Monmouth Airport, the oldest continuing airport in Illinois. Among them were tales of how the three principal navigation systems for…
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Knox’s Nude Antics

Knox’s nude antics at Monmouth hotel sparked sensational 1907 trial Memorial Day 1907 was truly a day for remembrance in the longtime rivalry between Monmouth College and Knox College. A wet and wild Friday, May 30 would end with a splash — the entire Siwash baseball team under arrest for indecent exposure. The excitement began with the final…
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Ellison Tornado

Gone with the Wind: Death and Destruction in Ellison Near the western edge of Warren County, between Smithshire and Roseville, lies a quiet rural cemetery. Visitors have long been few, except on some Memorial Days, when members of Monmouth American Legion Post №136 would fire a salute to their post’s namesake, Marion Brent Fletcher — the first Warren…
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1921 Airplane Crash

Visionary pilot’s dreams dashed, but aviation took hold in Monmouth On Thursday, Sept. 1, 1921, a large crowd was gathered at the baseball park on South 11th Street to watch a Twilight League contest between the local M. & St. L. and Professional teams. In the third inning, with the railroad boys leading 8–0, the crowd’s…
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Fred Allen – Ultimate Outdoorsman

Monmouth’s Fred Allen: The ultimate outdoorsman Over the years, Monmouth has had its share of avid sportsmen, but none could equal the passion of Fred A. Allen, who transformed the sports of duck hunting and fishing with his numerous inventions. Known as the father of the modern duck call, which he designed in 1863, Allen…
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Double Homicide

Double homicide stunned citizens of early Monmouth Just after lunch on Thursday, Dec. 11, 1856, Monmouth College sophomore Matthew Jamison was walking on East Broadway toward the Square, when he met an agitated Mrs. William Grant in front of her house, on the southwest corner of North Second Street. She was running toward the Baldwin House…
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Mark Twain

THE NIGHT MARK TWAIN ‘VANDALIZED’ MONMOUTH Living in a college town like Monmouth has its perks—among them the opportunity to hear an impressive array of distinguished lecturers. That was certainly the case in 1869, when Monmouth College’s Quaternion Society invited bestselling author and humorist Samuel Clemens—Mark Twain—to speak in Monmouth. The lecture was held in…
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Averted Hanging

ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE PREVENTED MONMOUTH HANGING Illinois is sometimes lampooned for the injudicious actions of its legislature or governor, but a man who was sentenced to die in Monmouth in 1847 would owe his life to the unconventional decisions of both. On May 5 of that year, John Baxter stood at the bar of the Warren…
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Brown Family

MONMOUTH’S WEALTHY BROWN FAMILY WAS NOT UNSINKABLE Within the annals of Monmouth history are several rags-to-riches stories, sprinkled with an occasional riches-to-rags story. One such tale might be titled “The Prodigal Son.” Like the Biblical parable, it involved a wealthy man with two sons, the older of whom stayed in town and became one of…
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History of Water

WET AND WILD—THE COLORFUL HISTORY OF MONMOUTH MUNICIPAL WATER In today’s world, trying to attract new residents or businesses to a city that did not have running water would be a nonstarter. But 135 years ago, Monmouth residents were sharply divided on the proposition of whether or not to build a municipal water system. Monmouth’s…
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1912 Election

DELIVERING ELECTION RESULTS TO THE MASSES—1912 STYLE It was November 5—the night of the hotly contested presidential election—and hundreds of Monmouth residents were gathered around a big screen on South Main Street, intently watching returns as they were flashed from around the country. Was it 2016 and were they in a local tavern? No—the year…
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Nizie the Elephant

MONMOUTH’S MAGIC ELEPHANT SHROUDED IN MYSTERY It has been said that an elephant never forgets, but the true details concerning a celebrated elephant buried in Monmouth 83 years ago have been lost to time. A rare dwarf elephant weighing less than 1,000 pounds, Nizie was a star attraction in the magic show of Monmouth’s Will…
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