Friday, July 08, 2011

Ronald Reagan Trail: Walnut

In the last post we were introduced to Elvin "Pud" Fordham, Eddie Wilson, and Jeff Livey, three Walnut classmates of Dutch Reagan who gave rides to Reagan and his brother Moon between the nearby village of Ohio and Eureka College in the 1922 Buick they owned co-owned.

The Reagan Trail Walnut YouTube entry includes comments from one of the drivers--I think--but it doesn't identify him. What's up with that? Whoever it is clearly is at least a nonagenarian. Since the video was uploaded last month, it's possible that one of the trio is still alive.
Downtown Walnut

According to that video, the young Reagan spent the night at least once in the Bureau County town. Bureau is the only county with three Reagan Trail stops, Whiteside County, which we will visit soon, has two.

Don Marquis, a popular New York city newspaper columnist and humorist of the early 20th century was born in the small Illinois town. According to the Marquis web site, Garrison Keillor regularly reads sketches written by Marquis on his radio show, "The Writer's Almanac." There's an historical marker commemorating Marquis in Walnut.

Joel Bass lives in Walnut and created a superb web site about his hometown.

The village of 1,500 was originally named Walnut Grove and there are many Walnut trees there.

Here's that YouTube video:

Next: A detour to the Hennepin Feeder Canal.

Earlier posts:

Ohio, Illinois
Walnut Veteran's Memorial
Peoria Heights
Washington, Illinois
The town of Eureka
Eureka College's Reagan Museum
Returning to Eureka College and the 1982 address
Eureka College
Carl Sandburg
Wyatt Earp

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