Gillespie Township, Macoupin County IL

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Gillespie Township
Macoupin County, Illinois
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Towns in Gillespie Township
Cemeteries Schools
Population in 1870
1875 Atlas
1875 Atlas Names
Google Map

The population for Gillespie Township in 1870 was 1,085.

The towns in Gillespie Township are:

East Gillespie Part of East Gillespie is located in Cahokia Township Lat 390827N Long 0894844W
Gillespie Formerly Prairie Farm - Part of Gillespie is located in Cahokia Township. Lat 390747N Long 0894910W
Mount Clare Lat 390555N Long 0894934W Part of Dorchester - Dorchester Information is listed under Dorchester Township Prairie Farm

(Bayless) Information

Illinois Place Names:
BAYLESS (Macoupin). Now part of Dorchester (see state atlas, 1876).

Bayless was established before 1875. It is located in Section 33 of Gillespie Township.
The plat of Bayless is marked on a current plat map. Bayless was formerly Baylestown and before that it was known as Boylestown.

(Baylestown) Information

Illinois Place Names:
BAYLESTOWN (Macoupin). RFD Dorchester (RM58).

(Boylestown) Information

Illinois Place Names:
BOYLESTOWN (Macoupin). Listed in RM56 but not 58, RFD Dorchester. pop. 25.

(Cavendar) Information

Illinois Place Names:
CAVENDAR (Macoupin). Listed in RM 56 but not 58; RFD Gillespie. IT.

(Duncan) Information

Illinois Place Names:
DUNCAN (Macoupin).
Listed in RM 56 but not 58; RFD Gillespie. NYC.

East Gillespie Information
Lat 390827N Long 0894844W

Illinois Place Names:
EAST GILLESPIE (Macoupin). RFD Gillespie. Inc-v-3/23/1938. Pop. (1960) 208.

East Gillespie is located in both Gillespie and Cahokia Townships.
In 1970, the population was 187, in 1980, 197 and, in 1990, 205.

Gillespie Information (Prairie Farm)
Lat 390747N Long 0894910W

Illinois Place Names:
GILLESPIE (Macoupin) PO est. (ch. from Prairie Farm) 13 Feb 1854; active; RFD serves Cavendar, Duncan, East Gillespie and Henderson. Inc-c-3/301869. IT/NYC. Pop. (1960) 3,569.

Gillespie is located nine miles west of Interstate 55 at Exit 52.

Growing Up In Coal Town: Main Street - article by Victor Hicken about Gillespie Macoupin County IL during the 1920s and 1930s.

Larry Clark Remembers Gillespie

Gillespie School - 1920 Something donated for use by David Richard

Gillespie Jubilee Gypsies Band

Gillespie Pipe Band

Land in Gillespie Township Donated to Blackburn College by John Woodson

Gillespie Public Library

Annual Black Diamond Days Festival

Charles J Hutton Grocery Store

Main Street in the 1930's

John Slaughter 99 yrs old June 22, 1838 - Jul 20, 1937 - Gillespie's Last Civil War Veteran

Murder of Marguerite Slaughter

Slaughter Family pictures

Prentiss Ruyle and James Daugherty Saw Mill -1945- located west of the Gillespie Club

Howard Keel

Mount Clare Information
Lat 390555N Long 0894934W

Illinois Place Names:
MOUNT CLARE (Macoupin). PO est. 26 Feb 1929, active. Inc-v-4/16/1915. Pop. (1960) 320.

History of Mount Clare contributed for use by Edna Grosenheider

Coal Mine No. 3 Pictures

Prairie Farm Information

Illinois Place Names:
PRAIRIE FARM (Macoupin). PO est. 31 Mar 1852; ch to Gillespie 13 Feb 1854.

Howard Keel

Victor Hicken, raised in Gillespie and author of Illinois in the Civil War, said, "Howard Keel of movie fame - Showboat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie Get Your Gun, and later television - Dallas, was from Gillespie. Victor said he knew Howard as Harold Kiel in Gillespie. After the "big fight" in 1945, he went to London and became a big hit in the stage musical "Oklahoma." They still love him there, though he never got the part in "OK" in Hollywood. Still alive and was last seen in "Dallas".

Note from Becky Hargett, 3rd cousin of Howard Keel - In an issue of a TV supplement, it states incorrectly that, "Howard Keel who plays Clayton Farlow on "Dallas" was born in Gillespie. His real name was Clifford Leek, born 13 April, 1917."
Howard Keel's real name is Harry Clifford Keel b. April 13, 1919; parents Charles Homer Keel & Grace Osterkamp. I don't have all the details at my finger tips. Another cousin is doing the Keel family and has been in touch with Howard's wife.
One of the stories our family has about Howard is whenever he played the Muni Opera in St. Louis in the '60's & '70's, he would send a limo to pick up his former third grade teacher in Gillespie; transport her to a front row seat and return her to Gillespie. I don't have the name of the teacher, but can probably find out.

The Annual Black Diamond Days, Gillespie's original festival of coal. Black Diamond Days is a celebration of coal miners and coal mining which has always been a major business in Macoupin County. The festival is held annually for three days each year on the first weekend in June in Gillespie.

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