Local History

Visit Galesburg, Illinois

Local History

Local History

George Washington Gale arrived in Illinois in the mid 1830s with a colony of people from upstate New York to establish Galesburg and Knox College. These serious minded people were mostly Presbyterians and Congregationalists. Once they had settled in Western Illinois, they committed themselves to establishing their schools. The education…
Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, to parents of Swedish ancestry on January 8, 1878. At the age of thirteen he left school and during his teen years worked various labor jobs. Sandburg volunteered for the military during the Spanish–American War but never saw battle. Sandburg returned to Galesburg…
Dorothea Tanning was a leading surrealist painter of the 1930s and also made significant contributions in sculpture, writing and theatrical design. She was born August 25, 1910 in Galesburg, Illinois and passed away in her Manhattan, New York home on January 31, 2012. She lived to be 101 years old.…
Lombard College was establishing in 1851, the same year the railroad arrived in Galesburg. The college was the second school to admit women on the same terms as men for collegiate degrees and was the first college to grant an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to a woman. The Lombard…
Throughout much of its history, Galesburg has been inextricably tied to the rail industry. Local businessmen were major backers of the first railroad to connect Illinois' two biggest cities at that time – Chicago and Quincy. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway is the largest employer in Galesburg and…
Galesburg has played an important part in American history and American politics. From the Lincoln - Douglas debate in 1858, Galesburg has been host to many standing presidents and even the residence of a young Ronald Reagan.
Timeline from 1826-1892 This survey of Knox College history was prepared by Grant Forssberg '09 for a special research project on College history. Click on photos to view larger images and on related links to learn more about the people, places, and events that have impacted Knox College over the…
Carl Sandburg grew up with music. His father, August, truly loved it. He bought an accordion and learned to play one tune which he repeated often. A few years later, the family purchased a pump organ which Carl's older sister, Mary, learned to play. Clara Sandburg, his mother, often sang…
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