Looking to the Past

Old Princeton, snake bites and the ‘Mad stone’

Like so many now forgotten settlements on the Illinois prairie, Princeton (also called “Old Princeton”) once held great promise.
The land surrounding it was exceptionally fertile with plentiful fresh water and hardwood timber. It also was situated on the road (now called Burlingame) that ran from St. Louis to Fort Clark (Peoria). By the mid-1840s, the town had 200 or so inhabitants.
No later than 1826, Stephen Mallory and a man named Lewis were operating a general store. There also was a blacksmith shop. A post office opened on July 26, 1826, with Eli Redding as postmaster. Rev. John G. Bergen platted Princeton on Feb. 19, 1833.


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