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Dwight in Livingston County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

A Well Connected Village

Historic Dwight

 
 
A Well Connected Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
1. A Well Connected Village Marker
Inscription.  The architecture of Dwight has always attracted Route 66 travelers. The Keeley Institute for treating alcoholism was founded here and brought the Village national attention. As the institute gained popularity, Dwight became a “model village” with paved streets, electric lights, and refined buildings.

“Gone to Dwight for the Keeley Cure”

The Keeley Institute, founded by Leslie Keeley in 1879, was the first to treat alcohol addiction as a disease rather than a vice. At its peak, 800 patients arrived here by train each week, and over 200 branches of the Institute were operating in the U.S. and Europe. The famous “Keeley Cure,” reputedly gold chloride injections, was never accepted by the mainstream medical community.

The stained glass “five senses” windows in the Keeley building were from the studio of Louis Millet, a collaborator of Architect Louis Sullivan. They express the holistic approach the Keeley Institute promoted in its treatments.

“Drunkenness is a disease and I can cure it.” – Dr. Leslie Keeley

The
A Well Connected Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
2. A Well Connected Village Marker
Dwight Historical Society building (formerly a train station) is in the background on the left
Dwight Depot


The Chicago & Alton Railroad designed Dwight in 1854 around a “depot ground” between two main streets. By 1891, the expanding town needed a new station. The railroad hired Henry Ives Cobb to design this Richardson Romanesque building. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Other Historic Landmarks

The 110-foot high Dwight Windmill was built in 1896 to provide water to the Oughton Estate. John R. Oughton was a partner and successor to Dr. Keeley. After his death, the estate became the primary facility for the Keeley Institute.

Built in 1905, the First National Bank on West Main was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Of the three banks he designed, it is the only one still in existence. Its simple yet dignified style rejected classical influences of the time.
 
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesScience & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 🛣️ series list.
 
Location. 41° 5.536′ N, 88° 25.71′ W. Marker
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is in Dwight, Illinois, in Livingston County. Marker is at the intersection of Prairie Avenue and Chippewa Street on Prairie Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 119 West Main Street, Dwight IL 60420, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. War Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1879-1979 (about 400 feet away); Pioneer Gothic Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Welcome to Dwight (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mom and Pop Motels (approx. 0.6 miles away); Full Service on Rte 66 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dwight, Illinois (approx. 0.6 miles away); Shifting Roadways (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dwight.
 
More about this marker. This is one of four "Wayside Exhibits" erected by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway group in Dwight, Illinois.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Jan. 25, 2021