A Memorial Page Dedicated to Our Beautiful City

Coxey’s Army

Decades ago, a common expression at many a Thanksgiving dinner was “Enough food to feed Coxey’s Army.” In June of 1894, it proved more than an expression for the people of Monmouth, who found themselves obliged to actually feed a faction of Coxey’s Army. For the 21st-century reader to grasp this intriguing story, a brief…
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Brown Home

Built in 1912 for the princely sum of $60,000 (which would be well over $1 million in today’s dollars), Monmouth’s John Burrows Brown house is arguably the finest home built in the city during the early 20th century. Its history has been marked by both success and sadness. Located at 700 East Broadway, the house’s…
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Loie Fuller

MODERN DANCE PIONEER LEARNED HER FIRST STEPS IN MONMOUTH Although she was a resident of Monmouth for only two years, Loïe Fuller achieved international fame, inspired generations of dancers and helped launch the career of Monmouth magician Will Nicol. Born Marie Louise Fuller in 1862 near the present-day Hinsdale, Illinois, Loïe was known to her…
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Horace Greeley

WHEN HORACE GREELEY WENT WEST, TO MONMOUTH Although Horace Greeley probably did not actually coin the slogan “Go West, young man,” he was a vocal advocate for western expansion and the completion of the transcontinental railroad. In 1859, the intrepid journalist made a celebrated overland journey from New York to San Francisco, which he chronicled…
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The Day Douglas Spoke in Monmouth

THE DAY THE ‘LITTLE GIANT’ SPOKE AT MONMOUTH Much has been written about Abraham Lincoln’s speech in Monmouth on October 11, 1858, but Senator Stephen A. Douglas’s address in Monmouth the week before has received considerably less attention. The two had been locked in a heated campaign that many assume was a race for the…
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Magician German Spy

NICOLA’S BROTHER ACCUSED OF BEING GERMAN SPY Legendary Monmouth magician Will Nicol—“The Great Nicola”—has been compared to Thurston and Blackstone for his grand illusions and to Houdini for his remarkable escapes, but even he couldn’t top the real-life escapes of his older brother, Charley, during World War I. Born in 1871 to John Nicol, a…
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Boots & Her Buddies

BOOTS AND HER BUDDIES It may seem improbable, but one of America’s first major pop culture icons was created in 1924 by the son of a Monmouth College biology professor. It was in that year that a fashionable young blonde named Boots made her debut in the newspaper comics pages nationwide. Known as “Sweetheart of…
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Monmouth’s Miraculous Mining Rescue of 1891

MONMOUTH’S MIRACULOUS MINING RESCUE OF 1891 One of Monmouth’s most successful early industries was the Monmouth Mining & Manufacturing Company, which operated between 1873 and 1920 near the current site of the city waste transfer plant on North Eleventh Street. Commonly known as the “3M” plant, he business got an unlikely start in 1869 when…
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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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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 Temporary Tabernacle

MONMOUTH’S TEMPORARY TABERNACLE SEATED 2,500 Older listeners may remember Billy Graham’s massive television revivals, but it’s difficult for anyone living today to imagine the scope of revivals held a century ago in small towns such as Monmouth. One of the earliest and most successful revivals in Monmouth occurred in April 1898, when famed evangelist Milan…
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Wolves in Warren County

WOLVES IN WARREN COUNTY In recent years, area livestock raisers have been bothered by coyotes and an occasional bobcat, but almost 200 years ago the population of timber wolves and gray wolves in the state was of such a concern that the Illinois legislature in 1822 passed an act “to encourage the destruction of Wolves.”…
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