Wilsonville History, Dorchester Township - Macoupin
©1997 Edna Grosenheider
contributed for use by Edna Grosenheider
Village Named Woodrow Wilson First
Excerpted from the Litchfield News Herald (1936). In 1936, Wilsonville's population was 1,350.
".....Instructor Romero Giagnoni is the busiest man in the little mining village. His school has become so crowded that he must meet alternate classes on alternate evenings. The night school teaches reading and writing and simple arithmetic in addition to a rather illustrative course in American history. That's natural in a village which sent so many of its alien born sons to fight for their adopted country in 1917.
Wilsonville was founded in 1917 when Superior Coal Co. Mine No. 4 was sunk there. This is the most modern mine in the Superior field. At that time, the little settlement which grew up around the mine was called Wilson, but when it was incorporated.......(rest of sentence is missing.)
A busy village governing body takes care of its affairs. Heading the executive list which is sponsoring a number of Works Progress improvements is Mayor Thomas Finnegan. The village clerk is George Margherio, Barney Oberto, Thomas Pollock, Martin Tira, Joseph Lucca, Opal Snodgrass and Frank Profiri are members of the village board.
The backbone of the village in industry, commerce and daily back fence chats is the mine. Rearing its head in the rear of the village proper, it presents a clean and active appearance--far, far more imposing than the average mine. It is one of the largest of the Superior string.
Mine No. 4 employs 500 men at present. Closed for several years, it was reopened this spring and is running with full shifts. John H. Johnson is mine manager. Members of the mine committee affiliated with local number one of the progressive Miners union and handling the shop employees, are Mike Pomatto, Martin Tira, and Elmer Hayes.
The village, like the man from it took its name, Woodrow Wilson, is interested in its school. A large modern school building contains eight grades. A. W. Pirley is principal, and besides him, there are seven teachers. Members of the school board are Barney Oberto, president, Frank B. Calovini, Stanley Goshinski, B. L. Pavey and Cecil Presnel. Graduates attend Gillespie community high school.
Wilsonville's post office is in charge of Postmaster Armand Rossi. There are nine stores in the village of which a Red and White store served by the Litchfield unit is owned by Julio Florini. A Tri-county league team representing the town is managed by James Fenoglio.
The village at present supports but one church of its own, St. Mary's
chapel, served by Rev. George Powell, pastor of St. Mary's church at Bunker
Hill. A community Protestant church, organized several years ago and served
by members of its own congregation, was abandoned recently."
Wilsonville was incorporated as a village 28 May 1919. The post office at Wilsonville was established 25 Jun 1924. In 1980, the population of Wilsonville was 608 and, in 1990, the population was 609. Wilsonville is located on Route 138 in Sections 3 and 10 of Dorchester Township.
Asst County Coordinator Kathleen Mirabella
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