Larry Clark Remembers Gillespie - Macoupin County IL
©2003 Written and Contributed by Larry Clark

Larry Clark Remembers Gillespie
 Larry Clark

The Little Dog Mine was located in East Gillespie. Most mines were named after numbers, like No 2, No 3, etc, but the Little Dog was called that. My father and grandfather both worked the Little Dog and both quit to get out of the mines. It was quite dangerous and you never knew how much you would work in a year. The Little Dog closed November 1968 and was torn down a number of years ago. There are some recreation parks on the site now. I remember going out to the mine a number of times since my father hauled coal to people and used the Little Dog most of the time.

A newer mine built after the Little Dog Mine, Monterey Mine #1, is located in Brushy Mound Township northwest of Gillespie. Monterey Mine #1 is currently operating in 1997. The Behme Cemetery where I have family members buried is located on/near Monterey Coal Mine #1 land.

Gillespie was founded in 1853 and there was a Centennial Celebration in 1953. It was a big deal with many of the men letting their beards grow long for the occasion. There was a parade down main street. A big carnival was held in the City Park in the center of town. The park had a bandstand in the middle of it and the City band used to play there on summer evenings. The park was located where the present City Office Buildings are located.

Another celebration was held in 1978 celebrating Gillespie's one hundred twenty five years.

At one time, the Big Four railroad ran through the town from Hillsboro, IL to Alton, IL. The Big Four and Illinois Terminal Tracks intersected near the City Park. The Big Four railroad station was next to the park. Across and down the street was the elevator, which had a spur for grain cars. It was a fairly active railroad for a number of years.

The ITS ran from Springfield, IL, to I believe St. Louis, Missouri. You could catch the trolley from Gillespie to Springfield or St. Louis. Then General Motors came out with a better idea and we switched to buses.

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