Fithian [Illinois]: A Diary of a Small Town [2 volumes]


Dr. William Fithian established Fithian in 1870 as a shipping station for his cattle ranch. “One of the findings of this study is that the origin and function of Fithian as shipping station gave a distinct character to the new community. …This location, between two giant livestock ranches, shaped the new settlement in ways both positive and negative.” This book preserves the detailed history of Fithian, Illinois, complete with the names of residents, events, and memories, from its earliest days as a muddy, dusty depot, to its transformation into an active center of commerce, and finally, Fithian’s evolution into the quiet residential community that exists today. This well-documented study captures a sense of place and community for the village of Fithian with additional data gleaned from surrounding townships that contributed to Fithian’s development. Original documents pertaining to Fithian are scarce. Early official village records (1870-1910) were destroyed in a fire, and Fithian received scant coverage in the Danville newspapers from 1870-1910. The records that have been unearthed are included in thirty appendices. Information was also gleaned from interviews (taken 1913, 1970 and in the 1990s), and ledgers and account books of early merchants. Numerous maps and illustrations enhance the text.

Richard Cannon

(2002, 2007), 2013, 8½x11, paper, 2 vols., 608 pp.

ISBN: 9780788421839