Now a popular state park, the unassuming geological feature along the Illinois River has served as the site of centuries of human habitation and discovery.
Editor's Note: Mark Walczynski is a retired professor at Illinois Valley Community College and the current Park Historian for the Starved Rock Foundation, located at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois.
Most associate Ronald Reagan with California, but he spent his formative years in the midwest. On the centennial of his birth, a handful of small Illinois towns want a share of the limelight.
Back in 1965 Ronald Reagan published his first memoir, Where’s the Rest of Me?, borrowing the title from a line in the 1942 Warner Brothers film Kings Row.
A new picture of prairie lawyers coping with bad roads and worse inns on the Illinois frontier, drawn from David Davis’ letters
Her son had her committed. She said it was so he could get his hands on her money. Now, 130 years after this bitter and controversial drama, a trove of letters—long believed destroyed—sheds new light on it.
A newly discovered document almost certainly written by the young Abraham Lincoln shows him dismantling a shifty political rival with ruthless wit and logic
As soon as he moved to Illinois in 1830, Abraham Lincoln found himself on the opposite side of the political fence from Peter Cartwright, a well-known Methodist preacher and politician.
At the dawn of this century a new form of residential architecture rose from the American heartland, ruled by the total integration of space, site, and structure
After dinner Frank Lloyd Wright would sometimes raise a wineglass, watch the yellow candlelight refracted through the red liquid and crystal, and, quoting the Chinese philosopher Lao-tze, remark that the reality of the vessel lay in the void within, “the plac
Clues uncovered during the recent restoration of his house at Springfield help humanize the Lincoln portrait
One good measure of our apparently inexhaustible interest in Abraham Lincoln is that this year eight hundred thousand of us will be led through his house at the corner of Eighth and Jackson streets in Springfield, Illinois.
You probably haven’t seen it, but it’s out by the tracks of the Chicago & North Western
DeKalb, Illinois, our nearest city, is the site of Northern Illinois University. Some twenty-five thousand young people, mostly urban, from Chicago and environs, make Northern their home.
Visitors to Chicago have tended either to love the city or to despise it, but its bursting vitality has awed everyone. Perhaps Mark Twain expressed it best.
The first settlers marked the borders of their lives with simple fences that grew ever more elaborate over the centuries
Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Robert Frost, and he meant that fences did more than just enclose space; like his woods and roads, they bounded a social and psychological landscape.
Jack Hughes was an outstanding passer of phony bills.
From Poverty and Persecution to Prosperity and Power
In the month of February, 1846, when conditions for travel were as unpropitious as possible, the Mormons began moving out of their newly built city of Nauvoo, Illinois, in order to cross the ice-strewn Mississippi, on the first leg of a long and uncertain journey.
The tragedy of Black Hawk, who became the eponym of a war he tried to avoid
On July 4, 1838, the people of Fort Madison, in the Iowa Territory, invited an old Sauk war chief named Black Hawk to be guest of honor at their Independence Day celebration.
An artist recalls his Midwestern home town and the poet who made it famous
I always felt at home in Edgar Lee Master᾿s quarters in the Chelsea Hotel. It was all so much like a Petersburg, Illinois, law office that I might have been back in Papa Smoot’s office overlooking the courthouse square.