1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Galesburg

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GALESBURG, a city and the county-seat of Knox county, Illinois, U.S.A., in the N.W. part of the state, 163 m. S.W. of Chicago. Pop. (1890) 15,264; (1900) 18,607; of whom 3602 were foreign-born; (census, 1910) 22,089. It is served by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé, and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railways. Knox College (non-sectarian and coeducational), which was chartered here in 1837 as the “Knox Manual Labor College” (the present name was adopted in 1857), was opened in 1841, and had in 1907–1908, 31 instructors and 628 students, of whom more than half were in the Conservatory of Music, a department of the college, and 79 were in the Academy. Lombard College (coeducational; Universalist), which was chartered as the “Illinois Liberal Institute” in 1851, was known as Lombard University (in honour of Benjamin Lombard, a benefactor) from 1855 to 1899; it includes a College of Liberal Arts, the Ryder Divinity School (1881), and departments of music and domestic science, and in 1907–1908 had 18 instructors and 117 students. Here also are Corpus Christi College (Roman Catholic), St Joseph’s Academy (Roman Catholic) and Brown’s Business College (1874). There is a public library, founded in 1874. The industries consist mainly of the construction and repairing of steam railway cars (in the shops of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railway) and the manufacture of foundry and machine-shop products, vitrified brick, agricultural implements and machinery. The total value of the factory product in 1905 was $2,217,772, being 52.9% more than in 1900. Galesburg was named in honour of the Rev. George Washington Gale (1789–1862), a prominent Presbyterian preacher, who in 1827–1834 had founded the Oneida Manual Labor Institute at Whitestown, Oneida county, New York. Desiring to establish a college in the Mississippi Valley to supply “an evangelical and able ministry” to “spread the Gospel throughout the world,” and also wishing to counteract the influence of pro-slavery men in Illinois, he interested a number of people in the project, formed a society for colonization, and in 1836 led the first settlers to Galesburg, the “Mesopotamia in the West.” Knox College was founded to fulfil his educational purpose. Galesburg was an important “station” of the Underground Railroad, one of the conditions of membership in the “Presbyterian Church of Galesburg” (the name of Mr Gale’s society) being opposition to slavery; and in 1855 this caused the church to withdraw from the Presbytery. Galesburg was chartered as a city in 1857. On the 7th of October 1858 one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates was held in the grounds of Knox College.