A Small Waterway Which Flows Into A Main River Peotone, Manhattan, and Monee Illinois Healthcare History

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Peotone, Manhattan, and Monee Illinois Healthcare History

Originally, the area of ​​what is now Will County, Illinois was primarily covered by prairie. The inhabitants were Potawatomi Indians who lived by farming and trapping. In the late 1800s European fur traders, French as well as English, penetrated the area in search of beaver, muskrat and other pelts. Among these early settlers was Louis Joliet, who in 1673 was the first to recognize the potential for transportation in the area from the Great Lakes in the east to the Mississippi River in the west. This dream later became a reality in 1822 when Congress granted land to the state of Illinois to build a canal – the Illinois and Michigan Canal. As the fur trade took off in the early nineteenth century, the population grew as settlers arrived. The first permanent settlement of whites in the area was on the Du Page River, where the Peyton Illinois Hospital now stands. On January 12, 1836, Will County was established by an act of the Illinois Legislature, which united parts of Iroquois and Cook counties. Dr. It was named in honor of Conrad Will, who attended the first constitutional convention (but who never lived in the Will County area).

Six months after the creation of Will County, work began on the 96-mile long Illinois and Michigan Canal. This man-made waterway connected the Chicago and Illinois rivers. Opened on April 10, 1848, the I & M Canal was the final section of a continuous inland waterway from the North Atlantic Coast to the Gulf of Mexico. The project and subsequent commercial development brought a large influx of developers and laborers to the area and shifted the center of Midwestern commerce from the city of St. Louis to the city of Chicago. This trend continued into the early twentieth century, but the I & M Canal finally closed in 1915. By then the heaviest freight had shifted to railroads; Also the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the Manhattan Illinois Hospital, which opened in 1900. The importance of the I & M Canal was officially recognized by President Ronald Reagan on August 24, 1984, when he signed special legislation establishing the area. First National Heritage Corridor in the country. The original headquarters of the I & M Canal in Lockport Illinois is now the home of the Will County Historical Society.

Another boost to Will County’s economy came from coal mining in the mid-1800s and later limestone quarrying. Will County Limestone graces such structures as the Chicago Water Tower, the Norton House, Moni Illinois Healthcare; Gaylord Building and Gladys Fox Museum. Will County’s economic base changed in the early 1900s as refiners and manufacturers opened new facilities, attracted by the convenience and transportation of the sanitary canal. During World War II, military production contributed to further industrialization of the area, and population growth saw industrial and economic growth.

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