“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shawneetown in Gallatin County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Black History of Shawneetown, IL

Black History of Shawneetown, IL Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, August 11, 2020
1. Black History of Shawneetown, IL Marker
(top left:)

1930 Federal Census
Shawneetown Pop. 1440
Black families 55
Family members 192

Occupations listed as
Minister • Teacher
Carpenter • Farm labor
Hotel porter • Laundress
Sawmill labor • Private maid
Sand & gravel labor
Mechanic • Stave mill labor

(top right:)

In those early years the black population played a vital part in the growth of the city and farming community. A majority of the black families gradually moved away, mostly for education and economic reasons. Two of the original families remain: Steve Green, the local plumber & his son, Steven Michael Green (deceased) who returned in 2004. Ruebena Newsom, widow of Ivory Newsom. They remain highly respected for their lives of integrity and their contributions to the community.


This monument stands on the site where the Dunbar School was relocated with the moving of the town in 1939-40. Integration concepts & economic conditions caused the school to be closed in the 1950's & was torn down in 2000.

The Gallatin County
Monument side image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, August 11, 2020
2. Monument side
Click or scan to see
this page online
History Book, Vol. 1, 1812-1988 provides additional information on the Dunbar School. The teachers and children who attended and other families of the area

[the other side is a monument]

This monument is a tribute to the original group of black families who moved from Shawneetown on the river, to Shawneetown three miles inland, where they would start life anew, after the devastation caused by the 1937 flood.

The following is a street map of their new location with street names and block numbers

Block 1 - Washington Drive

Ivory & Ruebena Newsom
Jim Thrailkill, Robert Keetch
John McKinney, Paul & Ann Hundley

Block 2 - Dunbar Drive East (now Green Drive)

Oscar & Jesse Payne Lue Robertson
Guy & Mary Jacobs, Earl & Josephine Coefield
Grace Buckman, Ellen McClester
Carrol & Sara Rudd, George & Louise Green
Crusher & Mable Thrailkill, Mattie Green

Block 3 - Dunbar Drive West

Oscar & Fanny Roberson, Dona McCarthy
Steve Anderson, Uyles Keetch, Hobert Ellis
Susie Portee, Tuttle Johnson
Harm Conway, Ralph Givens

Erected 2010 by Annie Ruth Green.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans
Black History of Shawneetown, IL Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, August 11, 2020
3. Black History of Shawneetown, IL Marker
Looking west on IL Route 13. Sign leads to marker (where red arrow points)
DisastersSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 37° 42.825′ N, 88° 11.48′ W. Marker is in Shawneetown, Illinois, in Gallatin County. Marker is at the intersection of McLean Road and Illinois Route 13, on the right when traveling south on McLean Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10155 State Highway 13, Shawneetown IL 62984, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Harrison Wilson (approx. 0.2 miles away); General Michael K. Lawler (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Spirit of Shawneetown (approx. 3.3 miles away); General Logan's Marriage (approx. 3.3 miles away); Marshall House (approx. 3.3 miles away); Lewis & Clark Expedition (approx. 3.3 miles away); Lewis and Clark in Illinois (approx. 3.3 miles away); Kaskaskia-Shawneetown and Goshen Trails (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shawneetown.
More about this marker. Marker was dedicated on June 12, 2010. One notable figure who attended the ceremony was Sheila Simon (daughter of former Illinois Senator Paul Simon), who was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois later in 2010.
Regarding Black History of Shawneetown, IL. Steven Green passed away on November 16, 2010 (five months after the marker was dedicated). Reubena Newsom died on January 27, 2018.
Also see . . .  Black families of Shawneetown honored with monument. Article from the Harrisburg Register,
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published June 14, 2010, talking about the dedication ceremony of the marker. Annie Green (husband of Steve Green, mentioned on the marker), a member of the Shawneetown Historical Society, was behind the whole research of the marker, as she proudly paid tribute to African-Americans who were once residents of Shawneetown. (Submitted on August 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 270 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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May. 18, 2022