Saying 'Bye-Bye' to the Old 'Y'
Saying 'Bye-Bye' to the Old 'Y'
Although the "Y" had been operating in Kankakee since 1894, the Harrison Avenue building was the first structure specifically built for the organization's needs. It offered meeting rooms, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and, for many years, clean and inexpensive sleeping rooms for men passing through town.

Previously, the organization had rented space in downtown buildings. Its first location was the third floor of the Swannell Building on the southeast corner of Court Street and Schuyler Avenue. In 1894, it took over the space and furnishings previously used by the defunct Columbian Social Club.
Although the "Y" had been operating in Kankakee since 1894, the Harrison Avenue building was the first structure specifically built for the organization's needs. It offered meeting rooms, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and, for many years, clean and inexpensive sleeping rooms for men passing through town.

Previously, the organization had rented space in downtown buildings. Its first location was the third floor of the Swannell Building on the southeast corner of Court Street and Schuyler Avenue. In 1894, it took over the space and furnishings previously used by the defunct Columbian Social Club.
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Saying 'Bye-Bye' to the Old 'Y'
Saying 'Bye-Bye' to the Old 'Y'
Although the "Y" had been operating in Kankakee since 1894, the Harrison Avenue building was the first structure specifically built for the organization's needs. It offered meeting rooms, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and, for many years, clean and inexpensive sleeping rooms for men passing through town.

Previously, the organization had rented space in downtown buildings. Its first location was the third floor of the Swannell Building on the southeast corner of Court Street and Schuyler Avenue. In 1894, it took over the space and furnishings previously used by the defunct Columbian Social Club.
Although the "Y" had been operating in Kankakee since 1894, the Harrison Avenue building was the first structure specifically built for the organization's needs. It offered meeting rooms, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and, for many years, clean and inexpensive sleeping rooms for men passing through town.

Previously, the organization had rented space in downtown buildings. Its first location was the third floor of the Swannell Building on the southeast corner of Court Street and Schuyler Avenue. In 1894, it took over the space and furnishings previously used by the defunct Columbian Social Club.
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The wealthiest liveryman in Chicago came from Kankakee
The wealthiest liveryman in Chicago came from Kankakee
Sometime before 1860, young Leroy went into the livery business with a single horse and buggy. By 1865, the business had grown substantially; he erected a building on Dearborn Avenue, behind his parents' hotel, to house his livery and boarding stable. Payne and his wife, the former Clara Beebe, lived in an apartment above the stable until 1869. In that year, he sold the business to Henry C. McFall, and bought out the larger Muncey livery stable on Schuyler Avenue.

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire devastated the city 60 miles north of Kankakee. As the burned city rebuilt, many young men — including Leroy Payne — flocked there to seek their fortunes. Within a decade, Payne had achieved success, operating a large livery business on Michigan Avenue, just south of Adams Street.
Sometime before 1860, young Leroy went into the livery business with a single horse and buggy. By 1865, the business had grown substantially; he erected a building on Dearborn Avenue, behind his parents' hotel, to house his livery and boarding stable. Payne and his wife, the former Clara Beebe, lived in an apartment above the stable until 1869. In that year, he sold the business to Henry C. McFall, and bought out the larger Muncey livery stable on Schuyler Avenue.

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire devastated the city 60 miles north of Kankakee. As the burned city rebuilt, many young men — including Leroy Payne — flocked there to seek their fortunes. Within a decade, Payne had achieved success, operating a large livery business on Michigan Avenue, just south of Adams Street.
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El libertador más rico de Chicago vino de Kankakee
El libertador más rico de Chicago vino de Kankakee
En algún momento antes de 1860, el joven Leroy entró en el negocio de librea con un solo caballo y buggy. En 1865, el negocio había crecido sustancialmente; erigió un edificio en Dearborn Avenue, detrás del hotel de sus padres, para albergar su librea y su establo de embarque. Payne y su esposa
En algún momento antes de 1860, el joven Leroy entró en el negocio de librea con un solo caballo y buggy. En 1865, el negocio había crecido sustancialmente; erigió un edificio en Dearborn Avenue, detrás del hotel de sus padres, para albergar su librea y su establo de embarque. Payne y su esposa
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Captain Gougar and his Steamboat Margaret
Captain Gougar and his Steamboat Margaret
On a stormy November day in 1896, disaster — in the form of a lightning bolt — struck Capt. William Gougar. While the bolt didn't strike him directly, it started a fire that destroyed the two steamboats used in his river excursion business. Each year, from late spring until well into fall, the Minnie Lillie and the Modoc shuttled hundreds of passengers weekly between Kankakee and Gougar's large picnic grove near Aroma Park.

The Minnie Lillie was built in 1883, and began life as a towboat hauling barges of sand from nearby Aroma Park to the Illinois Eastern State Hospital construction site south of Kankakee. By 1884, when the Gougar's Grove picnic grounds opened, the Minnie was converted to carrying passengers. A decade later, the smaller Modoc was added to Gougar's fleet.
On a stormy November day in 1896, disaster — in the form of a lightning bolt — struck Capt. William Gougar. While the bolt didn't strike him directly, it started a fire that destroyed the two steamboats used in his river excursion business. Each year, from late spring until well into fall, the Minnie Lillie and the Modoc shuttled hundreds of passengers weekly between Kankakee and Gougar's large picnic grove near Aroma Park.

The Minnie Lillie was built in 1883, and began life as a towboat hauling barges of sand from nearby Aroma Park to the Illinois Eastern State Hospital construction site south of Kankakee. By 1884, when the Gougar's Grove picnic grounds opened, the Minnie was converted to carrying passengers. A decade later, the smaller Modoc was added to Gougar's fleet.
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El capitán Gougar y su Steamboat Margaret
El capitán Gougar y su Steamboat Margaret
En un tormentoso día de noviembre de 1896, el desastre, en forma de rayo, golpeó al capitán William Gougar. Aunque el rayo no le golpeó directamente, comenzó un incendio que destruyó los dos barcos de vapor utilizados en su negocio de excursiones fluviales. Cada año, desde finales de la prima
En un tormentoso día de noviembre de 1896, el desastre, en forma de rayo, golpeó al capitán William Gougar. Aunque el rayo no le golpeó directamente, comenzó un incendio que destruyó los dos barcos de vapor utilizados en su negocio de excursiones fluviales. Cada año, desde finales de la prima
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The amazing Emory Cobb
The amazing Emory Cobb
In the year 1857, the 26-year-old Cobb, who was manager of the Western Union Telegraph Company's Chicago office, came up with the idea of using the telegraph system as a way to transfer money. (Remember, this was in the days before there were ATMs on almost every corner.)
In the year 1857, the 26-year-old Cobb, who was manager of the Western Union Telegraph Company's Chicago office, came up with the idea of using the telegraph system as a way to transfer money. (Remember, this was in the days before there were ATMs on almost every corner.)
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El increíble Emory Cobb
El increíble Emory Cobb
En el año 1857, a Cobb, de 26 años, gerente de la oficina de Western Union Telegraph Company en Chicago, se le ocurrió la idea de usar el sistema de telégrafo como una forma de transferir dinero. (Recuerde, esto fue en los días antes de que hubiera cajeros automáticos en casi cada esquina).
En el año 1857, a Cobb, de 26 años, gerente de la oficina de Western Union Telegraph Company en Chicago, se le ocurrió la idea de usar el sistema de telégrafo como una forma de transferir dinero. (Recuerde, esto fue en los días antes de que hubiera cajeros automáticos en casi cada esquina).
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How Kankakee landed hospital for the insane
How Kankakee landed hospital for the insane
Kankakee won the hospital project in a hotly contested and politically charged battle with eight other cities: Bloomington, Champaign, Charleston, Danville, Decatur, Paris, Paxton and Pontiac. The Kankakee facility would join three other state mental hospitals, located in the northern, southern and western sections of the state.

On May 25, 1877, the Illinois Legislature approved the building of a new hospital to serve the eastern part of the state. The legislation directed Gov. Shelby Cullom to appoint a group of seven commissioners who would choose a location for the new institution. Selection of the commissioners involved regional rivalries and other political considerations; the final makeup of that group could be vital in determining which town would be chosen.
Kankakee won the hospital project in a hotly contested and politically charged battle with eight other cities: Bloomington, Champaign, Charleston, Danville, Decatur, Paris, Paxton and Pontiac. The Kankakee facility would join three other state mental hospitals, located in the northern, southern and western sections of the state.

On May 25, 1877, the Illinois Legislature approved the building of a new hospital to serve the eastern part of the state. The legislation directed Gov. Shelby Cullom to appoint a group of seven commissioners who would choose a location for the new institution. Selection of the commissioners involved regional rivalries and other political considerations; the final makeup of that group could be vital in determining which town would be chosen.
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How Kankakee landed hospital for the insane
How Kankakee landed hospital for the insane
Kankakee won the hospital project in a hotly contested and politically charged battle with eight other cities: Bloomington, Champaign, Charleston, Danville, Decatur, Paris, Paxton and Pontiac. The Kankakee facility would join three other state mental hospitals, located in the northern, southern and western sections of the state.

On May 25, 1877, the Illinois Legislature approved the building of a new hospital to serve the eastern part of the state. The legislation directed Gov. Shelby Cullom to appoint a group of seven commissioners who would choose a location for the new institution. Selection of the commissioners involved regional rivalries and other political considerations; the final makeup of that group could be vital in determining which town would be chosen.
Kankakee won the hospital project in a hotly contested and politically charged battle with eight other cities: Bloomington, Champaign, Charleston, Danville, Decatur, Paris, Paxton and Pontiac. The Kankakee facility would join three other state mental hospitals, located in the northern, southern and western sections of the state.

On May 25, 1877, the Illinois Legislature approved the building of a new hospital to serve the eastern part of the state. The legislation directed Gov. Shelby Cullom to appoint a group of seven commissioners who would choose a location for the new institution. Selection of the commissioners involved regional rivalries and other political considerations; the final makeup of that group could be vital in determining which town would be chosen.
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When Kankakee was a tourist site a cenutry ago
When Kankakee was a tourist site a cenutry ago
"Kankakee: The City Beautiful" is done in a brown sepia tone. it originally was published by the Kankakee Book Store in about 1913 or 1914, according to local historian and museum volunteer Jack Klasey.

A Kankakee City Directory reveals the then-Kankakee Book Store stood at 116 E. Court, selling "books, stationary, office and school supplies, sporting goods, fancy goods, magazines, toys, pictures and picture frames."
"Kankakee: The City Beautiful" is done in a brown sepia tone. it originally was published by the Kankakee Book Store in about 1913 or 1914, according to local historian and museum volunteer Jack Klasey.

A Kankakee City Directory reveals the then-Kankakee Book Store stood at 116 E. Court, selling "books, stationary, office and school supplies, sporting goods, fancy goods, magazines, toys, pictures and picture frames."
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Cuando Kankakee era un sitio turístico hace cien años
Cuando Kankakee era un sitio turístico hace cien años
"Kankakee: The City Beautiful" está hecho en un tono sepia marrón. originalmente fue publicado por la Librería Kankakee en aproximadamente 1913 o 1914, según el historiador local y voluntario del museo Jack Klasey. Un directorio de la ciudad de Kankakee revela que la entonces tienda de libros Ka
"Kankakee: The City Beautiful" está hecho en un tono sepia marrón. originalmente fue publicado por la Librería Kankakee en aproximadamente 1913 o 1914, según el historiador local y voluntario del museo Jack Klasey. Un directorio de la ciudad de Kankakee revela que la entonces tienda de libros Ka
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How sweet it was: Myers Bakery
How sweet it was: Myers Bakery
Louie Myers fell in love one morning while making his rounds as a deliveryman for Stamm's South Side Bakery. When he stopped at one of Kankakee's downtown hotels with an order of bread and other baked goods, he noticed young Edna Hook at work cleaning a table. As related in a memoir written by his grandson, Roland "Skip" Myers, Louie "said that this was the woman he was going to marry, and he did (on) Oct. 21, 1906."
Louie Myers fell in love one morning while making his rounds as a deliveryman for Stamm's South Side Bakery. When he stopped at one of Kankakee's downtown hotels with an order of bread and other baked goods, he noticed young Edna Hook at work cleaning a table. As related in a memoir written by his grandson, Roland "Skip" Myers, Louie "said that this was the woman he was going to marry, and he did (on) Oct. 21, 1906."
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Qué dulce fue: Myers Bakery
Qué dulce fue: Myers Bakery
Louie Myers se enamoró una mañana mientras hacía sus rondas como repartidor de South Side Bakery de Stamm. Cuando se detuvo en uno de los hoteles del centro de Kankakee con una orden de pan y otros productos horneados, notó que la joven Edna Hook trabajaba limpiando una mesa. Como se relata en u
Louie Myers se enamoró una mañana mientras hacía sus rondas como repartidor de South Side Bakery de Stamm. Cuando se detuvo en uno de los hoteles del centro de Kankakee con una orden de pan y otros productos horneados, notó que la joven Edna Hook trabajaba limpiando una mesa. Como se relata en u
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Volkmann Building was the city’s tallest
Volkmann Building was the city’s tallest
Erected by the Volkmann family, whose jewelry business had been a Kankakee fixture since 1872, the building stood on the south side of Court Street, midway between Schuyler and Dearborn avenues. The Volkmann jewelry store occupied one-half of the new building's ground floor, and most of the offices on the seven upper floors were leased by physicians, dentists, attorneys and financial firms.
Erected by the Volkmann family, whose jewelry business had been a Kankakee fixture since 1872, the building stood on the south side of Court Street, midway between Schuyler and Dearborn avenues. The Volkmann jewelry store occupied one-half of the new building's ground floor, and most of the offices on the seven upper floors were leased by physicians, dentists, attorneys and financial firms.
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Volkmann Building was the city’s tallest
Volkmann Building was the city’s tallest
Erected by the Volkmann family, whose jewelry business had been a Kankakee fixture since 1872, the building stood on the south side of Court Street, midway between Schuyler and Dearborn avenues. The Volkmann jewelry store occupied one-half of the new building's ground floor, and most of the offices on the seven upper floors were leased by physicians, dentists, attorneys and financial firms.
Erected by the Volkmann family, whose jewelry business had been a Kankakee fixture since 1872, the building stood on the south side of Court Street, midway between Schuyler and Dearborn avenues. The Volkmann jewelry store occupied one-half of the new building's ground floor, and most of the offices on the seven upper floors were leased by physicians, dentists, attorneys and financial firms.
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The History of the Watseka Wonder
The History of the Watseka Wonder
The small town of Watseka, located in the northeastern corner of the state and just a few miles from the Indiana border, was just like any other midwestern farm town in the late 1800's. Little out of the ordinary occurred here --- until July 1877. It was in this month that what became known as the "Watseka Wonder" first came to prominence here.
The small town of Watseka, located in the northeastern corner of the state and just a few miles from the Indiana border, was just like any other midwestern farm town in the late 1800's. Little out of the ordinary occurred here --- until July 1877. It was in this month that what became known as the "Watseka Wonder" first came to prominence here.
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La Historia del Watseka Maravilla
La Historia del Watseka Maravilla
La ciudad pequeña de Watseka, localizado en la esquina nororiental del estatal y justo unas cuantas millas de la frontera de Indiana, era justo como cualquier otro midwestern ciudad de granja en el tardío 1800 es. Poco fuera del normal ocurrido aquí --- hasta que julio 1877. Sea en este mes que
La ciudad pequeña de Watseka, localizado en la esquina nororiental del estatal y justo unas cuantas millas de la frontera de Indiana, era justo como cualquier otro midwestern ciudad de granja en el tardío 1800 es. Poco fuera del normal ocurrido aquí --- hasta que julio 1877. Sea en este mes que
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Street smarts: What's in a (street) name?
Street smarts: What's in a (street) name?
While almost every town in Kankakee County has a Maple Street or a thoroughfare named for a U.S. president, there are streets in most communities that make you wonder, "Where did that name come from?"
While almost every town in Kankakee County has a Maple Street or a thoroughfare named for a U.S. president, there are streets in most communities that make you wonder, "Where did that name come from?"
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Street smarts: ¿Qué hay en un nombre de calle?
Street smarts: ¿Qué hay en un nombre de calle?
Si bien casi todas las ciudades del Condado de Kankakee tienen una Maple Street o una vía pública que lleva el nombre de un presidente de EE. UU., En la mayoría de las comunidades hay calles que te hacen pensar: "¿De dónde viene ese nombre?"
Si bien casi todas las ciudades del Condado de Kankakee tienen una Maple Street o una vía pública que lleva el nombre de un presidente de EE. UU., En la mayoría de las comunidades hay calles que te hacen pensar: "¿De dónde viene ese nombre?"
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Building Warner Bridge
Building Warner Bridge
The year is 1910, and you have to drive your "Tin Lizzie" (Model T Ford automobile) from your home in Essex to Bourbonnais for a visit with Aunt Mabel and Uncle Fred.

What would be the best and fastest route from Essex to Bourbonnais? Since you'll have to cross the Kankakee River, the route must include a bridge. Essentially, you have two choices: Wilmington or Kankakee, since there are no bridges in between.
The year is 1910, and you have to drive your "Tin Lizzie" (Model T Ford automobile) from your home in Essex to Bourbonnais for a visit with Aunt Mabel and Uncle Fred.

What would be the best and fastest route from Essex to Bourbonnais? Since you'll have to cross the Kankakee River, the route must include a bridge. Essentially, you have two choices: Wilmington or Kankakee, since there are no bridges in between.
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Construyendo el Puente Warner
Construyendo el Puente Warner
El año es 1910, y tiene que conducir su "Tin Lizzie" (automóvil modelo T Ford) desde su casa en Essex a Bourbonnais para una visita con la tía Mabel y el tío Fred. ¿Cuál sería la mejor y más rápida ruta desde Essex hasta Bourbonnais? Como deberás cruzar el río Kankakee, la ruta
El año es 1910, y tiene que conducir su "Tin Lizzie" (automóvil modelo T Ford) desde su casa en Essex a Bourbonnais para una visita con la tía Mabel y el tío Fred. ¿Cuál sería la mejor y más rápida ruta desde Essex hasta Bourbonnais? Como deberás cruzar el río Kankakee, la ruta
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Kankakee's 'Main Street' that disappeared
Kankakee's 'Main Street' that disappeared
While many communities named their major thoroughfare "Main Street," Kankakee's original commercial center carried the more prosaic title of East Avenue. From the mid-1850s to the early 1900s, the east side of the two blocks between Court and Station streets was lined with the town's most important stores, hotels and offices.

In the late 1960s, those two blocks were cleared of structures and became parking lots as part of a downtown redevelopment project. Today, the northern half of the site is occupied by the Miner Festival Square and fountain in front of the Kankakee train depot. A short stretch of East Avenue pavement still exists for one-half block north from Station Street.
While many communities named their major thoroughfare "Main Street," Kankakee's original commercial center carried the more prosaic title of East Avenue. From the mid-1850s to the early 1900s, the east side of the two blocks between Court and Station streets was lined with the town's most important stores, hotels and offices.

In the late 1960s, those two blocks were cleared of structures and became parking lots as part of a downtown redevelopment project. Today, the northern half of the site is occupied by the Miner Festival Square and fountain in front of the Kankakee train depot. A short stretch of East Avenue pavement still exists for one-half block north from Station Street.
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La calle "Main Street" de Kankakee que desapareció
La calle "Main Street" de Kankakee que desapareció
Si bien muchas comunidades nombraron su principal vía principal "Main Street", el centro comercial original de Kankakee tenía el título más prosaico de East Avenue. Desde mediados de la década de 1850 hasta principios de 1900, el lado este de las dos cuadras entre las calles Court y Station se
Si bien muchas comunidades nombraron su principal vía principal "Main Street", el centro comercial original de Kankakee tenía el título más prosaico de East Avenue. Desde mediados de la década de 1850 hasta principios de 1900, el lado este de las dos cuadras entre las calles Court y Station se
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'An unusually thrilling experience'
'An unusually thrilling experience'
Last week's column on aeronaut Nels Anderson generated an email containing a newspaper clipping about an Ashkum man's "unusually thrilling experience." That man was Theodore Anderson, brother of the aeronaut; the "experience" was a February 1930 carjacking and wild, high-speed automobile ride across the Illinois prairies.
Last week's column on aeronaut Nels Anderson generated an email containing a newspaper clipping about an Ashkum man's "unusually thrilling experience." That man was Theodore Anderson, brother of the aeronaut; the "experience" was a February 1930 carjacking and wild, high-speed automobile ride across the Illinois prairies.
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'An unusually thrilling experience'
'An unusually thrilling experience'
Last week's column on aeronaut Nels Anderson generated an email containing a newspaper clipping about an Ashkum man's "unusually thrilling experience." That man was Theodore Anderson, brother of the aeronaut; the "experience" was a February 1930 carjacking and wild, high-speed automobile ride across the Illinois prairies.
Last week's column on aeronaut Nels Anderson generated an email containing a newspaper clipping about an Ashkum man's "unusually thrilling experience." That man was Theodore Anderson, brother of the aeronaut; the "experience" was a February 1930 carjacking and wild, high-speed automobile ride across the Illinois prairies.
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St. Rose was Kankakee’s 'Mother Church'
St. Rose was Kankakee’s 'Mother Church'
If you were a Catholic in Kankakee in the mid-1800s, there was no question about where you would attend Sunday Mass. You would be worshipping at St. Rose of Lima. Often referred to as the "Mother Church" of Kankakee, it was the only Catholic church in the city for many years.
If you were a Catholic in Kankakee in the mid-1800s, there was no question about where you would attend Sunday Mass. You would be worshipping at St. Rose of Lima. Often referred to as the "Mother Church" of Kankakee, it was the only Catholic church in the city for many years.
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Santa Rosa era la 'Iglesia Madre' de Kankakee
Santa Rosa era la 'Iglesia Madre' de Kankakee
Si eras católico en Kankakee a mediados del siglo XIX, no había dudas acerca de dónde asistirías a la misa dominical. Estarías adorando en St. Rose of Lima. Conocida a menudo como la "Iglesia Madre" de Kankakee, fue la única iglesia católica en la ciudad durante muchos años.
Si eras católico en Kankakee a mediados del siglo XIX, no había dudas acerca de dónde asistirías a la misa dominical. Estarías adorando en St. Rose of Lima. Conocida a menudo como la "Iglesia Madre" de Kankakee, fue la única iglesia católica en la ciudad durante muchos años.
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The Great Flood of 1957
The Great Flood of 1957
The flood centered on Soldier Creek, a normally placid and shallow waterway that runs diagonally across the city from northeast to southwest. The creek crosses Illinois Route 50 north of the Armstrong floor tile plant, then proceeds west until turning south just before it reaches Schuyler Avenue. It parallels Schuyler, passing beneath two railroad embankments, to a point just south of Mulberry Street. The waterway then angles southwest, flowing through a viaduct under the Illinois Central Railroad tracks near Locust Street. From that point until it reaches Washington Park (at the northeast corner of Entrance Avenue and Chestnut Street), the creek runs underground through a man-made tunnel. West of Entrance, it emerges for a final three-block stretch, emptying into the Kankakee River just north of the Court Street bridge.
The flood centered on Soldier Creek, a normally placid and shallow waterway that runs diagonally across the city from northeast to southwest. The creek crosses Illinois Route 50 north of the Armstrong floor tile plant, then proceeds west until turning south just before it reaches Schuyler Avenue. It parallels Schuyler, passing beneath two railroad embankments, to a point just south of Mulberry Street. The waterway then angles southwest, flowing through a viaduct under the Illinois Central Railroad tracks near Locust Street. From that point until it reaches Washington Park (at the northeast corner of Entrance Avenue and Chestnut Street), the creek runs underground through a man-made tunnel. West of Entrance, it emerges for a final three-block stretch, emptying into the Kankakee River just north of the Court Street bridge.
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The Great Flood of 1957
The Great Flood of 1957
The flood centered on Soldier Creek, a normally placid and shallow waterway that runs diagonally across the city from northeast to southwest. The creek crosses Illinois Route 50 north of the Armstrong floor tile plant, then proceeds west until turning south just before it reaches Schuyler Avenue. It parallels Schuyler, passing beneath two railroad embankments, to a point just south of Mulberry Street. The waterway then angles southwest, flowing through a viaduct under the Illinois Central Railroad tracks near Locust Street. From that point until it reaches Washington Park (at the northeast corner of Entrance Avenue and Chestnut Street), the creek runs underground through a man-made tunnel. West of Entrance, it emerges for a final three-block stretch, emptying into the Kankakee River just north of the Court Street bridge.
The flood centered on Soldier Creek, a normally placid and shallow waterway that runs diagonally across the city from northeast to southwest. The creek crosses Illinois Route 50 north of the Armstrong floor tile plant, then proceeds west until turning south just before it reaches Schuyler Avenue. It parallels Schuyler, passing beneath two railroad embankments, to a point just south of Mulberry Street. The waterway then angles southwest, flowing through a viaduct under the Illinois Central Railroad tracks near Locust Street. From that point until it reaches Washington Park (at the northeast corner of Entrance Avenue and Chestnut Street), the creek runs underground through a man-made tunnel. West of Entrance, it emerges for a final three-block stretch, emptying into the Kankakee River just north of the Court Street bridge.
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Emergency Hospital was Kankakee’s first
Emergency Hospital was Kankakee’s first
On Tuesday, March 30, 1897, Mike Andrews achieved a place in Kankakee history (although he probably would have preferred to avoid that honor). Andrews was injured in an accident and rushed to Emergency Hospital for treatment. When admitted to the hospital and treated by Dr. G.H. Lee, Andrews became the first-ever hospital patient in Kankakee County's history.

Emergency Hospital, which had opened only two days earlier, was the community's first hospital. In those days, injuries and illnesses were dealt with at a physician's office or in the patient's home (doctors routinely made "house calls" to treat their patients).
On Tuesday, March 30, 1897, Mike Andrews achieved a place in Kankakee history (although he probably would have preferred to avoid that honor). Andrews was injured in an accident and rushed to Emergency Hospital for treatment. When admitted to the hospital and treated by Dr. G.H. Lee, Andrews became the first-ever hospital patient in Kankakee County's history.

Emergency Hospital, which had opened only two days earlier, was the community's first hospital. In those days, injuries and illnesses were dealt with at a physician's office or in the patient's home (doctors routinely made "house calls" to treat their patients).
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Hospital de Emergencias fue el primero en Kankakee
Hospital de Emergencias fue el primero en Kankakee
El martes 30 de marzo de 1897, Mike Andrews logró un lugar en la historia de Kankakee (aunque probablemente habría preferido evitar ese honor). Andrews resultó herido en un accidente y corrió al Hospital de Emergencia para recibir tratamiento. Cuando fue admitido en el hospital y tratado por el
El martes 30 de marzo de 1897, Mike Andrews logró un lugar en la historia de Kankakee (aunque probablemente habría preferido evitar ese honor). Andrews resultó herido en un accidente y corrió al Hospital de Emergencia para recibir tratamiento. Cuando fue admitido en el hospital y tratado por el
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Train robbery and shoot-out at Kankakee
Train robbery and shoot-out at Kankakee
The robbery took place shortly after Illinois Central Train No. 2, northbound from New Orleans, left the Gilman depot. The gunmen, who had boarded the train at Gilman, stepped into the rear Pullman coach and announced the holdup.

"No monkey business," one of the masked robbers shouted, as he pointed two revolvers at the passengers. The second robber seized railroad flagman L.R. Rowe and directed him to begin collecting cash and other valuables from the passengers. He followed Rowe through the coach, receiving the loot as it was gathered.
The robbery took place shortly after Illinois Central Train No. 2, northbound from New Orleans, left the Gilman depot. The gunmen, who had boarded the train at Gilman, stepped into the rear Pullman coach and announced the holdup.

"No monkey business," one of the masked robbers shouted, as he pointed two revolvers at the passengers. The second robber seized railroad flagman L.R. Rowe and directed him to begin collecting cash and other valuables from the passengers. He followed Rowe through the coach, receiving the loot as it was gathered.
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Robo en tren y tiroteo en Kankakee
Robo en tren y tiroteo en Kankakee
El robo tuvo lugar poco después de que el Illinois Central Train No. 2, en dirección norte desde New Orleans, saliera del depósito Gilman. Los pistoleros, que habían subido al tren en Gilman, se subieron al autocar Pullman trasero y anunciaron el atraco. "No hay negocios de monos", gri
El robo tuvo lugar poco después de que el Illinois Central Train No. 2, en dirección norte desde New Orleans, saliera del depósito Gilman. Los pistoleros, que habían subido al tren en Gilman, se subieron al autocar Pullman trasero y anunciaron el atraco. "No hay negocios de monos", gri
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Rails across the river: Kankakee’s IC Bridges
Rails across the river: Kankakee’s IC Bridges
Want to see what is most likely the oldest man-made structure in the city of Kankakee? At the intersection of River Street and East Avenue, look at the section of stone wall that is part of the railroad embankment on the northwest corner. The large limestone blocks that form the wall were laid in place during the early summer of the year 1853, months before there was a city (or county) of Kankakee.

The stone, from a quarry several miles downstream near the mouth of Wiley Creek, was used to construct the piers and abutments for the first Illinois Central Railroad bridge across the Kankakee River. When the first steam engine arrived at the north bank of the river on July 4, 1853, it literally was at the end of the line: There was no bridge, yet. Nor was there any sign of a town; the earliest building to be erected — a general store owned by a man named Hicks Clark — was not completed until August.
Want to see what is most likely the oldest man-made structure in the city of Kankakee? At the intersection of River Street and East Avenue, look at the section of stone wall that is part of the railroad embankment on the northwest corner. The large limestone blocks that form the wall were laid in place during the early summer of the year 1853, months before there was a city (or county) of Kankakee.

The stone, from a quarry several miles downstream near the mouth of Wiley Creek, was used to construct the piers and abutments for the first Illinois Central Railroad bridge across the Kankakee River. When the first steam engine arrived at the north bank of the river on July 4, 1853, it literally was at the end of the line: There was no bridge, yet. Nor was there any sign of a town; the earliest building to be erected — a general store owned by a man named Hicks Clark — was not completed until August.
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Rails across the river: Kankakee’s IC Bridges
Rails across the river: Kankakee’s IC Bridges
Want to see what is most likely the oldest man-made structure in the city of Kankakee? At the intersection of River Street and East Avenue, look at the section of stone wall that is part of the railroad embankment on the northwest corner. The large limestone blocks that form the wall were laid in place during the early summer of the year 1853, months before there was a city (or county) of Kankakee.

The stone, from a quarry several miles downstream near the mouth of Wiley Creek, was used to construct the piers and abutments for the first Illinois Central Railroad bridge across the Kankakee River. When the first steam engine arrived at the north bank of the river on July 4, 1853, it literally was at the end of the line: There was no bridge, yet. Nor was there any sign of a town; the earliest building to be erected — a general store owned by a man named Hicks Clark — was not completed until August.
Want to see what is most likely the oldest man-made structure in the city of Kankakee? At the intersection of River Street and East Avenue, look at the section of stone wall that is part of the railroad embankment on the northwest corner. The large limestone blocks that form the wall were laid in place during the early summer of the year 1853, months before there was a city (or county) of Kankakee.

The stone, from a quarry several miles downstream near the mouth of Wiley Creek, was used to construct the piers and abutments for the first Illinois Central Railroad bridge across the Kankakee River. When the first steam engine arrived at the north bank of the river on July 4, 1853, it literally was at the end of the line: There was no bridge, yet. Nor was there any sign of a town; the earliest building to be erected — a general store owned by a man named Hicks Clark — was not completed until August.
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Nels Anderson, Ashkum's 'Aeronaut'
Nels Anderson, Ashkum's 'Aeronaut'
On Aug. 30, 1894, at the age of 26, Anderson made his first aerial trip during a Harvest Picnic event in the neighboring town of Danforth. A veteran balloonist, M.M. Forsman, of Peoria, had been hired by Danforth businessmen to provide an ascension. "At about five o'clock," wrote an eyewitness, Forsman "introduced N.J. Anderson and informed the astonished multitude that he was to make his first trip to the clouds that day."
On Aug. 30, 1894, at the age of 26, Anderson made his first aerial trip during a Harvest Picnic event in the neighboring town of Danforth. A veteran balloonist, M.M. Forsman, of Peoria, had been hired by Danforth businessmen to provide an ascension. "At about five o'clock," wrote an eyewitness, Forsman "introduced N.J. Anderson and informed the astonished multitude that he was to make his first trip to the clouds that day."
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Nels Anderson, Ashkum's 'Aeronaut'
Nels Anderson, Ashkum's 'Aeronaut'
On Aug. 30, 1894, at the age of 26, Anderson made his first aerial trip during a Harvest Picnic event in the neighboring town of Danforth. A veteran balloonist, M.M. Forsman, of Peoria, had been hired by Danforth businessmen to provide an ascension. "At about five o'clock," wrote an eyewitness, Forsman "introduced N.J. Anderson and informed the astonished multitude that he was to make his first trip to the clouds that day."
On Aug. 30, 1894, at the age of 26, Anderson made his first aerial trip during a Harvest Picnic event in the neighboring town of Danforth. A veteran balloonist, M.M. Forsman, of Peoria, had been hired by Danforth businessmen to provide an ascension. "At about five o'clock," wrote an eyewitness, Forsman "introduced N.J. Anderson and informed the astonished multitude that he was to make his first trip to the clouds that day."
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The Swannells: A century on Court Street
The Swannells: A century on Court Street
Growing up in London, England, in the 1840s, brothers William and Frederick Swannell likely had no idea their family name would some day be strongly identified with a place called Kankakee, Ill. (Kankakee, in fact, didn't even exist at that time: the city and the county were not established until 1853.)

Nonetheless, from the late 1850s to the late 1960s, the Swannell name was prominently visible on storefronts along Court Street in downtown Kankakee. The two brothers and their descendants operated businesses as varied as a drugstore, a dry goods (clothing and household furnishings) store and a "hardware department store" (the forerunner of today's home improvement retailers).
Growing up in London, England, in the 1840s, brothers William and Frederick Swannell likely had no idea their family name would some day be strongly identified with a place called Kankakee, Ill. (Kankakee, in fact, didn't even exist at that time: the city and the county were not established until 1853.)

Nonetheless, from the late 1850s to the late 1960s, the Swannell name was prominently visible on storefronts along Court Street in downtown Kankakee. The two brothers and their descendants operated businesses as varied as a drugstore, a dry goods (clothing and household furnishings) store and a "hardware department store" (the forerunner of today's home improvement retailers).
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The Swannells: A century on Court Street
The Swannells: A century on Court Street
Growing up in London, England, in the 1840s, brothers William and Frederick Swannell likely had no idea their family name would some day be strongly identified with a place called Kankakee, Ill. (Kankakee, in fact, didn't even exist at that time: the city and the county were not established until 1853.)

Nonetheless, from the late 1850s to the late 1960s, the Swannell name was prominently visible on storefronts along Court Street in downtown Kankakee. The two brothers and their descendants operated businesses as varied as a drugstore, a dry goods (clothing and household furnishings) store and a "hardware department store" (the forerunner of today's home improvement retailers).
Growing up in London, England, in the 1840s, brothers William and Frederick Swannell likely had no idea their family name would some day be strongly identified with a place called Kankakee, Ill. (Kankakee, in fact, didn't even exist at that time: the city and the county were not established until 1853.)

Nonetheless, from the late 1850s to the late 1960s, the Swannell name was prominently visible on storefronts along Court Street in downtown Kankakee. The two brothers and their descendants operated businesses as varied as a drugstore, a dry goods (clothing and household furnishings) store and a "hardware department store" (the forerunner of today's home improvement retailers).
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Building the state hospital
Building the state hospital
For the first quarter-century of its existence, the hospital grew steadily in both physical facilities and patient population. The first patient was admitted on Dec. 4, 1879; by Jan. 1, 1880, the patient population was 33. The patient population had risen to 2,300 by 1903, with more than 700 people (including eight physicians) providing treatment and support services.
For the first quarter-century of its existence, the hospital grew steadily in both physical facilities and patient population. The first patient was admitted on Dec. 4, 1879; by Jan. 1, 1880, the patient population was 33. The patient population had risen to 2,300 by 1903, with more than 700 people (including eight physicians) providing treatment and support services.
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Construyendo el hospital estatal
Construyendo el hospital estatal
Durante el primer cuarto de siglo de su existencia, el hospital creció constantemente tanto en instalaciones físicas como en población de pacientes. El primer paciente fue ingresado el 4 de diciembre de 1879; para el 1 de enero de 1880, la población de pacientes era de 33.
Durante el primer cuarto de siglo de su existencia, el hospital creció constantemente tanto en instalaciones físicas como en población de pacientes. El primer paciente fue ingresado el 4 de diciembre de 1879; para el 1 de enero de 1880, la población de pacientes era de 33.
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The history of the Kankakee County Fair
The history of the Kankakee County Fair
The first fair in the then-new county of Kankakee was held in the late summer of 1856. The event was located in a grove of trees south of River Street and east of Harrison Avenue, known as "Cobb's Woods." A temporary board fence was erected to enclose the grounds, and an admission fee of 25 cents was collected from each visitor.

Only one cash premium was paid to an exhibitor at this fair: $5 was awarded for the best sample of wheat (although no record of the winner's name has survived). Paper certificates, or "diplomas" were awarded in most other categories. One winner was Mrs. Helen Paddock, for the best roll of butter; another was Mrs. Anna Warner, for her sewing entry, a suit of clothes for a boy. A highlight of the fair was an exhibition by Bourbonnais horseman Seymour Delonais, driving his trotting horse, Blackbird.
The first fair in the then-new county of Kankakee was held in the late summer of 1856. The event was located in a grove of trees south of River Street and east of Harrison Avenue, known as "Cobb's Woods." A temporary board fence was erected to enclose the grounds, and an admission fee of 25 cents was collected from each visitor.

Only one cash premium was paid to an exhibitor at this fair: $5 was awarded for the best sample of wheat (although no record of the winner's name has survived). Paper certificates, or "diplomas" were awarded in most other categories. One winner was Mrs. Helen Paddock, for the best roll of butter; another was Mrs. Anna Warner, for her sewing entry, a suit of clothes for a boy. A highlight of the fair was an exhibition by Bourbonnais horseman Seymour Delonais, driving his trotting horse, Blackbird.
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The history of the Kankakee County Fair
The history of the Kankakee County Fair
The first fair in the then-new county of Kankakee was held in the late summer of 1856. The event was located in a grove of trees south of River Street and east of Harrison Avenue, known as "Cobb's Woods." A temporary board fence was erected to enclose the grounds, and an admission fee of 25 cents was collected from each visitor.

Only one cash premium was paid to an exhibitor at this fair: $5 was awarded for the best sample of wheat (although no record of the winner's name has survived). Paper certificates, or "diplomas" were awarded in most other categories. One winner was Mrs. Helen Paddock, for the best roll of butter; another was Mrs. Anna Warner, for her sewing entry, a suit of clothes for a boy. A highlight of the fair was an exhibition by Bourbonnais horseman Seymour Delonais, driving his trotting horse, Blackbird.
The first fair in the then-new county of Kankakee was held in the late summer of 1856. The event was located in a grove of trees south of River Street and east of Harrison Avenue, known as "Cobb's Woods." A temporary board fence was erected to enclose the grounds, and an admission fee of 25 cents was collected from each visitor.

Only one cash premium was paid to an exhibitor at this fair: $5 was awarded for the best sample of wheat (although no record of the winner's name has survived). Paper certificates, or "diplomas" were awarded in most other categories. One winner was Mrs. Helen Paddock, for the best roll of butter; another was Mrs. Anna Warner, for her sewing entry, a suit of clothes for a boy. A highlight of the fair was an exhibition by Bourbonnais horseman Seymour Delonais, driving his trotting horse, Blackbird.
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She was Kankakees History Lady
She was Kankakees History Lady
To a generation of Kankakee schoolchildren growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Fannie Still was "the History Lady." She was the person who told them stories about people with names such as Noel LeVasseur or Sha-wa-na-see or Capt. Billy Gougar, and showed them the interesting and, sometimes, strange "treasures" stored away on the shelves of the Kankakee County Historical Society's Museum.

Still served as the curator from the day the museum opened its doors in October 1948, until her death in 1970. For her, being the curator wasn't just a job; it was a mission to gather and preserve as much of Kankakee County's history as she could, and to tell the story of the county to anyone who would listen. She almost never turned down an item offered for the museum's collection, or declined to conduct a tour or speak to a group.
To a generation of Kankakee schoolchildren growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Fannie Still was "the History Lady." She was the person who told them stories about people with names such as Noel LeVasseur or Sha-wa-na-see or Capt. Billy Gougar, and showed them the interesting and, sometimes, strange "treasures" stored away on the shelves of the Kankakee County Historical Society's Museum.

Still served as the curator from the day the museum opened its doors in October 1948, until her death in 1970. For her, being the curator wasn't just a job; it was a mission to gather and preserve as much of Kankakee County's history as she could, and to tell the story of the county to anyone who would listen. She almost never turned down an item offered for the museum's collection, or declined to conduct a tour or speak to a group.
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She was Kankakees History Lady
She was Kankakees History Lady
To a generation of Kankakee schoolchildren growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Fannie Still was "the History Lady." She was the person who told them stories about people with names such as Noel LeVasseur or Sha-wa-na-see or Capt. Billy Gougar, and showed them the interesting and, sometimes, strange "treasures" stored away on the shelves of the Kankakee County Historical Society's Museum.

Still served as the curator from the day the museum opened its doors in October 1948, until her death in 1970. For her, being the curator wasn't just a job; it was a mission to gather and preserve as much of Kankakee County's history as she could, and to tell the story of the county to anyone who would listen. She almost never turned down an item offered for the museum's collection, or declined to conduct a tour or speak to a group.
To a generation of Kankakee schoolchildren growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Fannie Still was "the History Lady." She was the person who told them stories about people with names such as Noel LeVasseur or Sha-wa-na-see or Capt. Billy Gougar, and showed them the interesting and, sometimes, strange "treasures" stored away on the shelves of the Kankakee County Historical Society's Museum.

Still served as the curator from the day the museum opened its doors in October 1948, until her death in 1970. For her, being the curator wasn't just a job; it was a mission to gather and preserve as much of Kankakee County's history as she could, and to tell the story of the county to anyone who would listen. She almost never turned down an item offered for the museum's collection, or declined to conduct a tour or speak to a group.
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