Macoupin County IL
|Towns in Gillespie
The towns in Gillespie Township are:
The towns in Gillespie Township are:
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. There was no post office named in the book, Illinois Place Names. It states that Bayless "is now part of Dorchester." Bayless was formerly Baylestown and before that it was known as Boylestown.
From the Illinois Place Names book,
East Gillespie was incorporated as a village 23 Mar
1938. It is located in both Gillespie and Cahokia
Townships. In 1970, the population was 187, in 1980,
197 and, in 1990, 205. Postal service is served by
Gillespie as RFD.
Information (Prairie Farm) Lat
390747N Long 0894910W
From Illinois Place Names book, Prairie Farm post office was established 31 Mar 1852 and was changed to Gillespie. Gillespie post office was established 13 Feb 1854. Gillespie was incorporated as a city 30 Mar 1869. The RFD mail served the areas of Cavender, Duncan, Henderson and Prairie Farm.
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
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
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 welcomes visitors in a big way with parades, contests, prizes, a carnival, Mine Rescue Demonstration, Fun Run and Five K Run, Arts and Crafts, Concessions and much more.
Gillespie is located nine miles west of Interstate 55 at Exit 52.
materials contained on these pages are furnished
for the free use of individuals engaged in
researching their personal genealogy.