Ashley, Illinois is a small town in Washington County with a rich history. Established in 1853, the town has seen its fair share of notable events throughout the years. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Ashley, IL.
1. Bloody Vendetta of 1876
In 1876, a feud between two families, the Earps and the Clantons, began in Ashley, Illinois. It resulted in the death of several people from both families in what is known as the "Bloody Vendetta." The feud ultimately ended at the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.
2. The Civil War
During the Civil War, Ashley, IL served as a strategic location for Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The small town was near vital supply lines that fed into the Union army. Ashley residents also played their role in the war effort by volunteering and raising money for the soldiers.
3. The Ashley Gang and the Prohibition Era
In the 1920s, the Ashley Gang was a notorious group of bootleggers who ran illegal alcohol throughout Southern Illinois. They even had their own brand of liquor named after the town. The Prohibition-era saw a rise in organized crime, and the Ashley Gang was one of the most significant groups operating in the area.
4. The Great Flood of 1937
The Mississippi River flood of 1937 was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S history. Ashley, IL was one of the towns affected by the flood, which caused massive destruction and displacement of numerous families. The rebuilding process was a long and challenging one for the town.
5. The Mine Wars of Southern Illinois
In the early 1900s, coal mining in Southern Illinois was a dangerous and grueling profession. The Mine Wars of Southern Illinois were a series of violent strikes and clashes between the miners and the mine owners. The towns near Ashley, IL were not immune to the conflict, and the area saw its fair share of violence during these years.
6. The Vintage Baseball Game of 1896
Baseball has a long history in America and was a popular pastime in Ashley, IL. In 1896, the town had an exhibition game between two of the best teams in Southern Illinois, the Ashleys and the Coultervilles. The game was played in vintage uniforms, which made for a unique experience.
7. America's First Balloon Escape
In 1863, John Wise made history by becoming the first person to use a balloon to escape from behind enemy lines. During the Civil War, Wise was imprisoned at the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. He used a hot air balloon to fly over the prison walls and make his escape. Wise eventually landed near Ashley, IL and was able to make his way back to the Union army.
In conclusion, Ashley, Illinois has a fascinating history filled with interesting stories and events. From the Civil War to the Prohibition era and beyond, the town has played a role in shaping American history. The events listed above are just a few examples of the notable moments that have taken place near Ashley, IL.
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