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

Village of West Belleville

Village of West Belleville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, September 8, 2021
1. Village of West Belleville Marker
For 30 years, West Belleville was an independent municipality. founder was Theodor Hilgard, A Judge from Rhenish Bavaria who immigrated here in 1835 as part of the Latin Farmer migration of intellectuals and dissidents who left Germany for a freer life in 1837. He platted the first lots of what would become the Village of West Belleville. Most of the area's residents were German Americans Caucasian male voters 21 years of age or older voted to establish a town in 1852. The form of government changed in 1874, when male voters decided to incorporate as a village.

West Belleville was one mile square extending along Main Street from Richland Creek on the east to about 22nd Street on the west. The public square on the north side of West Main at 11th Street was the site of the firehouse, with its meeting rooms for municipal officials. On the square south of main was the public scale, where vendors arriving to sell coal, hay, grain or other commodities would have the weighmaster certify the weight of their loads.

Along Main Street, dry goods, stores, groceries, saddle shops, tailors, saloons, and blacksmiths formed a commercial
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district. Von Schrader's Distillery and Western Brewery (later named Stag Brewery) were major employers but coal mining was the main occupation in West Belleville. The community had one elementary school.

The Village of West Belleville grew modestly to a population of about 3,000 but the coast of providing municipal serves proved daunting voters agreed to merge with the City of Belleville in 1882, losing some political independence but gaining some economic efficiency.

The neighborhood has been designated a Historical District on the national Register of Historical Places.
Erected 2019 by Belleville Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1835.
Location. 38° 30.914′ N, 89° 59.861′ W. Marker is in Belleville, Illinois, in St. Clair County. Marker is at the intersection of South 11th Street and West Main Street, on the right when traveling south on South 11th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4 S 11th St, Belleville IL 62220, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ebeling - Maurer House (a few steps from this marker); Washington Theatre (approx. 0.6 miles away); Reichert Business Block (approx. 0.6 miles away); Kastel Electric
Village of West Belleville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, September 8, 2021
2. Village of West Belleville Marker
(approx. 0.6 miles away); Peters Saloon (approx. 0.6 miles away); Carrie Thomas Alexander-Bahrenburg (approx. 0.7 miles away); Ruth A. Sterling (approx. 0.7 miles away); Audrey Marsh King (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belleville.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2021, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2021, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 16, 2024