Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Tiny Illinois Towns - Arlington, Illinois.

Arlington is a village in Bureau County, Illinois. The population was 193 at the 2010 census. 
Arlington, Illinois has a history that is unforgettable. In the early 1900s, Arlington, Illinois, which was then called 'Lost Grove,' was experiencing rapid growth and development. Many companies set up shop to serve the people flocking to the jobs at the coal mines in this area of Illinois. Businesses included a mattress factory, beer brewery, numerous restaurants, a brothel, the Lost Grove cemetery and many others. 
The mayor at the time was from New York, and changed the town's name from Lost Grove to Arlington, after the town of Arlington in New York. Arlington, Illinois was about the size of Peru, Illinois. 
On November 13, 1909 the Cherry Mine, in Cherry, Illinois, employed a total of 481 men and boys. A fire in a mine shaft killed 259 miners at the Cherry coal mine which was 3½ miles south of town.
St. Paul Coal Company - Cherry, Illinois Mine.
Authorities sealed the mine to contain the fire, trapping many rescue workers inside. When the mine was opened a week later only twenty men had survived of the hundreds involved. 

The Complete Story of the Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909.

This disaster influenced early worker's compensation laws and labor practices in the coal mining industry. At the time Illinois had no laws governing working conditions for miners. Arlington's growth slowed drastically after this occurrence.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

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