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Native Champaign IL people meet

Native Champaign IL People Meet
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Champaign County is a part of what the early French explorers called the Grand Prairie of the West, which they described as extending from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the Wabash River. In the beginning the pioneer generally stayed close to a wooded area, along the course of a stream. There they would have wood to build a home, for fires to keep warm and for cooking, and plenty of water. As a result of this the more fertile, easily cultivated prairie stretches were long neglected. Before the county was divided into townships, many of the localities outside of the villages were deated by groves and fords and other natural features.

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In the meantime, both cities added businesses.

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It was lucky when Mr. Griggs was named the head of the committee that selected the city for this branch! It would later change its name to the University of Illinois and would grow to become one of the best universities in the nation.

The little town that began to grow was named West Urbana, after the name given to the post office there. Runnel and Mary Fielder followed a Native American trail to the area and built a cabin in a grove of trees that would become the first settlement.

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Donate Catalog. This Land Long Ago Millions of years ago, long before people settled here, this land was covered by a sea. This would save them long trips to Danville, which was the current county seat. More businesses were built, along with the assembly hall and Parkland College.

Urbana, to assure that this would not happen, tore down its ten year old courthouse, and built another one so big and fancy they would be sure to keep the county seat! The new college was called Illinois Industrial University, and it opened in with 77 students. Millions of years ago, long before people settled here, this land was covered by a sea. The cities kept on growing. The land was flatter there, they said. They tried to combine again, both in and inbut both times voters said no. They endured many hardships, like prairie fires, floods, and disease from mosquitoes that lived on the swampy lands.

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Urbana was ten miles square with a population of 36, Both cities have wonderful schools, great parks, and great libraries. Ina train depot was built, then a steam mill, stores, a church, and a post office. During the Pleistocene Era, or Ice Age, glaciers came.

The settlers celebrated the formation of their new town in a ceremony on July 4, Urbana would soon have a store, a jail which they called the Calaboose; see the drawing of it below and a courthouse, and then a blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse, and its own newspaper. They both battled big fires. In they voted to make their town into a city, and to name it Champaign. The land there was swampy, though, and the settlers decided to keep the town where it was.

Though Urbana grew, there was something slowing it down. Urbana and Champaign The area around the tracks began to be settled by others. Inthe first settlers came through the tall prairie grasses.

The rich, black soil is one reason settlers came to this area. Author Alice McGinty See her books in the catalog. Each year, the grasses grew, died, and decayed, leaving the swampy soil dark and rich. As the University grew, Champaign tried to extend its borders to claim all of the University as its own.

There were parades and celebrations. It began when a reverend from Champaign decided to build training school for ministers there. Toggle. Both cities grew, with a mile and a half of open land between them. The people of Urbana, of course, put a stop to it.

Amusement parks were built. They decided that the area between the towns would be just right for a college. What if the city of Champaign tried to take over the county seat? West Urbana grew like wildfire, until it was much bigger than Urbana.

The people of Urbana were upset, and some suggested that they move their homes to the railroad tracks. A New County As Big Grove got bigger, some of the settlers decided that they wanted to form their own county. The farmers in Urbana had to travel too far to sell their produce to other towns, and the ro were bad, sometimes too muddy to travel at all. They flattened hills, filled in valleys, and left the land flat. Four huge glaciers plowed across the land. Masks are required.

Tall prairie grasses began to grow on the flat, wet land.

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Slowly, the land rose and the sea drained away. That is why everyone in Urbana was excited when they learned that the railroad was coming their way.

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The area around the tracks began to be settled by others. By the yearChampaign measured 17 square miles and had a population of 67, people. Urbana added a new railroad line and the Big Four Shops, where trains were repaired. After finishing one huge five-story building, though, the Civil War interrupted their work, and the school was never finished.

They were ed by others, like the Busey family, who farmed the rich land by the trees in an area which they would call Big Grove.

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A steam dredge dug a lake in Crystal Lake Park and a steamboat took people for rides in the new lake. Fertile soil and flat land made it easy to farm.

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The Coming of the Railroad Though Urbana grew, there was something slowing it down. He was able to convince the committee to select Champaign-Urbana over the many other cities who wanted the college. Both cities were having troubles of their own. The people of Champaign-Urbana learned that the state of Illinois was looking for a place to build the downstate branch of a college to teach agriculture.

Still, they helped each other raise cabins and barns, had picnics together, and celebrated life with fiddle music and dancing.

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Champaign and Urbana moved into the s with spirit. The people elected Clark Griggs to the State Legislature, his main task to convince the government to select Champaign-Urbana as the site for this college.

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The pioneers worked hard to raise crops, make their own clothing and raise livestock. The First Settlers Inthe first settlers came through the tall prairie grasses. We can be proud of our history and of the many people who have built our cities! It would run from Chicago to Mobile, Alabama and would pass right through Urbana, or at least that is what the people of Urbana thought.

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The University added many subjects to those it taught. This worried the people of Urbana. Big harvests convinced the settlers to stay. Planks had been laid to make a road across the swampy land and a horse drawn streetcar took people back and forth between the cities.

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The railroad, after studying the land, decided to run the railroad tracks two miles west of Urbana, instead. Champaign built a library, and both cities began to enjoy electric power and water. A Time of Growth As the University grew, Champaign tried to extend its borders to claim all of the University as its own. The huge building, which was nicknamed the Elephant, sat empty for a time, until another idea came along for its use.

Illinois Industrial University It began when a reverend from Champaign decided to build training school for ministers there.

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Streetcars like the one pictured below took people through town, and steam dredges plowed out drainage ditches outside of town to help farmers grow more crops on the swampy land. Ask Us. As Big Grove got bigger, some of the settlers decided that they wanted to form their own county. Old wooden buildings burned down and were replaced with new brick ones.

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Our mission is to offer assistance, when asked, as a facilitator to the tribes regarding repatriation concerns, educate the public about various American Indian cultural issues, environmental issues, and build community among all people.

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