Also Known As Boxtown
— Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail —
The town of Kidd was named after Robert Kidd, who had been a soldier serving under Colonel George Rogers Clark. Kidd was in the original group of settlers who came to what is now Monroe County in 1782 with the intention of permanently settling here.
While others in the group chose locations near the present City of Waterloo and in the American Bottoms near Moredock Lake, Robert Kidd chose to settle in this area north of Fort de Chartres.
His house was under the bluff at the head of Kidd Lake which still bears his name. He died there in 1849.
Most of the tracts of land in this area are parallel, long and narrow areas that stretch from the bluff to the river as a result of the “Renault Grant” that gave Revolutionary War-era militiamen land,although many of the mercenaries who were granted land sold the tracts to other locals for profit. Sometimes referred to as “long lots” these plots of ground provided the owners with a high spot near the bluff to build a home, rich and productive floodplain soil and ready access to the benefits of the Mississippi River.
This layout of the land hadanother benefit. Because the fields were so narrow, the French settlers would all start farming in the same place and farm side-by-side, and then they would only have to look in one direction in case of attacks by Native Americans.
Kidd Lake State Natural Area is an example of the once expansive wetlands of the Mississippi River floodplain known as the American Bottoms. The marsh was historically part of an 800-acre lake bed, and was once home to a variety of wetland birds, some now rare in Illinois. It is an important rest stop for migrating waterfowl and continues to provide critical habitat to a diverse range of birds, amphibians and reptiles.
Kidd, the town, was later given the nickname “Boxtown” because the whole town was “boxed up” around the intersection of Kaskaskia Road and Stringtown Road.
Several one-room schools were located in the vicinity of Boxtown. One was District 40, the Stringtown School that opened in 1879 with Anna Pew as the teacher. It closed in 1951 with Lowell Harris and Carmelita Sensel as the teachers. The other was the Liddy School District 53, sometimes called the Boxtown District 59. It opened in 1911 with Charles Nottmeier as the first teacher, and it closed in 1951 with Rosa Huch as the last teacher. Other teachers included Harry Lenhardt, Olga Hartmann, Adam Hoffmann, Jr., M. M. Siegfried andHelen Kipping. Average annual attendance at the school was 50 students, and records indicate that in 1934, teachers were being paid $115 per month.
A Post Office was established in Kidd on January 12, 1887, but it was discontinued on April 15, 1907. Postmasters were Charles Doerr and Silas Winn. One of the established businesses in the community was J. W. Harbaugh Feed Service and Grocery. For many years the local telephone exchange switchboard was located at the Harbaugh property.
Several taverns were also located in the town, including Roy McClenahan's Tavern and Restaurant,known for serving the best fried chicken dinners for miles around.
Erected 2000 by Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail Coalition.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Education • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 38° 7.012′ N, 90° 10.382′ W. Marker is near Fults, Illinois, in Monroe County. Marker is at the intersection of Stringtown Road (Illinois Route 155) and Kaskaskia Road, on the left when traveling west on Stringtown Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1056 Stringtown Rd, Prairie du Rocher IL 62277, 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. Lewis and Clark in Illinois (approx. 2.2 miles away); Welcome to Fort de Chartres State Historic Site (approx. 2.2 miles away); Fort de Chartres In The Illinois Country (approx. 2.3 miles away); Fort de Chartres (approx. 2.4 miles away); Ste. Anne's Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); Pierre Laclede at Chartres (approx. 3 miles away); Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish War Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); In Memory of Robert Kidd (approx. 3.9 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 29, 2020, by Sarah Deutch of Waterloo, Illinois. This page has been viewed 46 times since then and 13 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on December 29, 2020, by Sarah Deutch of Waterloo, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A closeup photo of the marker. • Can you help?