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Welcome to the TVOGlasford history page.  At the time, this page is under serious construction. I plan to do some research to take this page to the next level. The following information was taken directly from Mike Whitlow's unofficial/official Glasford website. I'd like to toss out the invitation for Glasford area historical data and photos. If you would like to share your story, please e-mailing me.

A man named Samuel Glasford founded Glasford in 1868. The location for the town is due to the railroad that was there long before the town itself. That same railroad is still there today, and it is now the main line for Toledo Peoria & Western (TP&W). Trains no longer stop in Glasford, but they travel through everyday carrying freight to and from the Mississippi River.

Today the Village of Glasford has an approximate population of 1,115 persons. The community has its own local government with a mayor and a city council. Glasford also has a post office and its own zip code (61533). Glasford maintains both water and sewer plants to serve the municipality. Telephone service is provided to the citizens by the Glasford Telephone Company. Glasford has a public library, public municipal park, and provides public safety through a volunteer fire department and a police department. Education of the citizens of Glasford is provided by an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. Glasford has numerous businesses, banks, churches, civic organizations, and all the attributes normally associated with a small but growing midwestern community.


The earliest known inhabitants of the Illinois region were prehistoric peoples who built huge ceremonial mounds, some 10,000 of which are scattered throughout the state. Between AD 1050 and 1250 the city around Monk's Mound in Cahokia may have had a population of 20,000 people, who traded with others perhaps as far away as Mexico.

In the 17th century French explorers encountered the Illinois, or Illini, a confederation of Algonquian-speaking peoples that included the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and Peoria peoples. At the same time Iroquois peoples also began entering the area. Disease and intertribal warfare reduced the strength of the Illinois, who were eventually driven away by the Iroquois, Fox, and Sioux peoples. Eventually others, including the Sac (or Sauk) and Kickapoo, inhabited the region.
The first Europeans to arrive were Frenchmen Louis Jolliet, a fur trader, and Jacques Marquette, a Catholic missionary. In 1673 they journeyed down the east side of the Mississippi River, and in 1674 Marquette started a mission among the Kaskaskia. In 1680 René-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, built a fort on the Illinois River, opposite the present site of Peoria. The town of Cahokia, on the Mississippi River, was founded as a mission in 1699, becoming the first permanent European settlement in the Illinois country.

To protect their settlements in Illinois, in 1720 the French constructed Fort de Chartres, which became the seat of the French civil and military government in the region. In 1763, at the end of the French and Indian War, France ceded the territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain. In 1774 the British Parliament designated the land north of the Ohio River, including Illinois, as part of the province of Québec, one of the so-called Intolerable Acts that sparked the American Revolution (1775-1783). During the American Revolution, George Rogers Clark of Virginia and a small band of men took the British military post at Kaskaskia by surprise and went on to capture Cahokia and other British garrisons.

After the war Great Britain surrendered the Old Northwest- of which Illinois was a part- to the United States. The area was called the Northwest Territory, and in 1809 Illinois was made a separate territory. The region included most of Wisconsin and large parts of Michigan and Minnesota. White settlement proceeded slowly and was concentrated in the southern regions of the territory. The first settlement in northern Illinois developed around Fort Dearborn, which was built in 1803 on the site of present-day Chicago.

In 1818 Illinois became the 21st state of the Union, with Kaskaskia as the state capital. In 1820 the Illinois legislature declared Vandalia the temporary state capital to encourage the development of the state's uninhabited interior, and in 1839 the capital was moved permanently to Springfield. Between 1820 and 1830 the population of Illinois rose from 55,211 to 157,445.

By 1830 most Native Americans in Illinois had been forced west across the Mississippi. However, one Sac chief, Black Hawk, and his followers returned in 1832 to plant crops. A war began between the settlers and the Native Americans, leading to the Bad Axe Massacre, in which most of the Sac were killed. Black Hawk escaped but later surrendered. Following the defeat, the remaining Sac were settled in Iowa.

The removal of the native people encouraged white settlement. In 1837 Chicago incorporated as a city of 4853 residents. However, in the early 1840s the state's largest city was Nauvoo, with a population of more than 12,000. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called Mormons had founded Nauvoo in 1839. Conflict between the non-Mormons and Mormon leader Joseph Smith led to Smith's arrest in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844. A mob killed Smith and his brother Hyrum after storming the jail. In 1846 the Mormons, led by Brigham Young, headed west, eventually settling in Utah.

By 1850, with the invention and improvement of farm tools, farmers began to cultivate the grasslands. Corn and wheat were the principal crops grown, and by 1860 Illinois led the nation in the production of both. Agricultural development was aided by improved rail and barge transportation. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, which linked the Mississippi River system with Lake Michigan, was completed in 1848 and gave Illinois farmers a direct water route to Chicago. In the 1850s Illinois grew more rapidly than any other state in the Union, and by 1860 Chicago had become the leading industrial and commercial center in the Midwest.

Before the American Civil War (1861-1865), the extension of slavery to new territories and states was the major issue confronting Illinoisans. Many settlers in southern Illinois sympathized with the proslavery cause. Northern Illinois, however, was inhabited mainly by antislavery settlers from the Northeastern states. In 1837 antislavery newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy was shot and killed in Alton, Illinois. His death stimulated the growth of the abolitionist movement throughout the country. In 1858 Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, opposing candidates in the U.S. Senate race, debated the slavery issue in a series of seven debates across Illinois. Douglas won the election, but Lincoln gained a large following and was nominated for president in 1860. He won the election and soon afterward the Civil War began. Most Illinoisans supported the Union during the Civil War. More than 250,000 men from the state served in the Union Army, including General Ulysses S. Grant. In 1865 Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which abolished slavery.

Following the Civil War, waves of immigrants from other countries arrived in Chicago. The late l9th century was also marked by widespread unrest among factory workers, miners, and railroad workers in Illinois. Labor and management had increasingly bitter disputes, and the state became known for two major labor battles, the Haymarket Riot in 1886 and the Pullman Strike in 1894.

In 1900 the population of Illinois totaled more than 4,800,000, and Illinois was one of the three leading manufacturing states in the country. During the Prohibition period (1920-1933) Chicago became notorious for its illegal alcohol smuggling and for ruthless gang warfare. Also during the 1920s Illinois built a highway system of hard-surfaced roads and the Illinois Waterway, which connected Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the state's farmers suffered from the drastic decline in farm prices and a long drought. The discovery of new oil fields near Patoka in 1937 set off a boom in oil production in the southern part of the state.


Jane Addams, Saul Bellow, Jack Benny, Ray Bradbury, Gwendolyn Brooks, William Jennings Bryan, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clarence Darrow, John Deere, Stephen A. Douglas, James T. Farrell, George W. Ferris, Marshall Field, Betty Friedan, Benny Goodman, Ulysses S. Grant, Ernest Hemingway, Wild Bill Hickok, Abraham Lincoln, Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters, Oscar Mayer, Cyrus McCormick, Ronald Reagan, Carl Sandburg, Adlai Stevenson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Wrigley.


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