Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ronald Reagan Trail: Galesburg

This is the third entry in my Ronald Reagan Trail series. In 1916 the Reagans moved to Galesburg, Illinois, a university town near Monmouth, which I wrote about in my first two posts.

From Reagan's An American Life:
After we'd been in Chicago for less than two years, Jack was offered a job at O.T. Johnson's, a big deparment store in Galesburg 140 miles west of Chicago, and we moved again, this time to a completely different world. Instead of noisy streets and crowds of people, it consisted of meadows and caves, trees and streams, and the joys of small-town life. From that time onward, I guess I've always been partial to small towns and the outdoors.
Silas Willard Elementary School
The family first lived at 1260 N. Kellogg, which Reagan described as a bungalow, but the Trail site says was an apartment. A two story home stands on the lot now, a marker notes that Reagan lived there.

But the Reagans moved again to "a larger house with a big lawn a block away," at 1219 N. Kellogg, which is pictured on the upper-right. If you are in the market for a presidential residence--then head to Galesburg--the home is for sale.

Reagan and his brother Neil, nicknamed Moon, attended Silas Willard Elementary School, which was in session when I was in Galesburg last week. Nancy Reagan has close ties to Galesburg. Her adopted father, Dr. Loyal Davis, was born there and the future first lady was a frequent guest at the home of her grandparents. Mrs. Reagan grew up in Chicago.

The author and poet Carl Sandburg was also born in Galesburg. He'll be the subject of my next post.

UPDATE June 29: I just discovered the Reagan Trail YouTube channel. This entry focuses heavily on Nancy Reagan's ties to Galesburg.

Earlier posts:
Reagan marker, 1260 N. Kellogg
Related posts:

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