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7 Pieces Of History Near Frankfort, IL

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Located about 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, Frankfort, IL is a small village with a rich history. From the time of its settlement in the 1830s until today, the area in and around Frankfort has witnessed numerous important events that have shaped the local community and the broader region. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Frankfort, Illinois.

1. The Battle of Mokena (1832) - During the Black Hawk War of 1832, Native American tribes led by Chief Black Hawk battled against the United States Army and its allies. One of the most significant battles of the conflict took place near the present-day village of Mokena, just a few miles south of Frankfort.

2. The Wabash Railroad Crash (1903) - On October 12, 1903, the Wabash Railroad's "Cannonball" express train collided with a coal train near the town of University Park, about 10 miles east of Frankfort. The accident claimed the lives of 18 people and injured over 100 others.

3. The Lincoln Highway (1913) - The Lincoln Highway, one of the first coast-to-coast highways in the United States, was established in 1913, and it passed through the town of Frankfort. The highway played a significant role in the growth of automobile travel and tourism in the early 20th century.

4. The Frankfort Grainery Fire (1923) - On February 28, 1923, a massive fire broke out at the Frankfort grainery, destroying the structure and resulting in the loss of over 100,000 bushels of grain. The incident was a major setback for the village's agricultural economy.

5. The Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (1940s) - During World War II, the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant was built in nearby Elwood to produce ammunition for the U.S. military. The plant employed over 10,000 people at its peak and played a crucial role in the war effort.

6. The Great Tornado Outbreak (1990) - On August 28, 1990, a series of tornadoes swept through northern Illinois, causing widespread damage and claiming the lives of 29 people. One of the twisters touched down near Frankfort and caused significant destruction in the surrounding areas.

7. The Ozinga Family (20th century) - The Ozinga family, who founded a concrete and building materials company in Mokena in 1928, have been prominent members of the Frankfort community for generations. The family's philanthropic efforts have benefited many local organizations, including the Frankfort Area Historical Society.

From war and tragedy to growth and progress, the history of Frankfort, IL and its surrounding areas is rich and varied. By learning about the events that have taken place here over the years, we can gain a greater appreciation for the community we live in and the people who have helped shape it.
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