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History of Nameoki, Illinois

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser




The word Nameoki (nama-ohke) is of Indian origin and means “fishing place.” The name was first given to a railroad station (due to the nearby lakes) on the Indianapolis & St. Louis railroad by A. A. Talmadge while a conductor on that road, and afterward to the township. The village Nameoki lies within the American Bottom, and is now part of Granite City.

After the building of the railroad in 1858, a station was located on the boundary lines between section 5 and 6, and given the name of Nameoki. A post office was established there in 1876, with Dr. T. J. Irish as postmaster.
                                                     1873 Map of Nameoki, Illinois

Nameoki was a small village, and in 1882 had the following businesses:
Hotel – B. F. Squires
Blacksmith Shop – Henry Pretzel
Drugstore – Dr. T. J. Irish
Physician – Dr. T. J. and E. T. Irish

Dr. Tyler J. Irish
Drs. Benjamin and Tyler J. Irish
Dr. Tyler J. Irish was a native of Livingston County, New York. He was born July 28, 1823, and was the first child of Benjamin and Sarah (Tyler) Irish. His father, Benjamin Irish, was born about 1798, and graduated in the field of medicine. He immigrated to Illinois in 1840, settling at Equality, near Shawneetown. After two years, he moved to the American Bottom, Madison County, where he engaged in the practice of medicine with great success. In 1848, the Pope Medical College of St. Louis conferred upon him the ad cundem degree. He continued to practice medicine until July 1851, when he fell victim to cholera. His son, Dr. T. J. Irish received his education in New York. In 1842 he came West, stopping for a short time at Equality, Illinois, where he engaged in teaching school. In 1844, he went to St. Louis and engaged in the study of medicine with his father. He graduated in 1848 from the Missouri State University. That same year he settled in the American Bottom, where he engaged in the practice of medicine. After the death of his father in 1848, Dr. T. J. Irish, he became heir to his father’s extensive medical practice. Those who knew him best said he was “a chip off the old block.” Dr. Irish married October 26, 1848 to Miss Lucinda Elliott, daughter of Thomas Elliott. They had eleven children. Dr. Irish rapidly accumulated a comfortable competence. He later owned upwards of nine hundred acres in the American Bottom land, and built a fine home near Nameoki Station.  He died in 1893, and is buried in the nearby Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Early Churches in Nameoki
About a mile south of Nameoki the German Lutheran Church was erected in 1881. A cemetery joined the church grounds.

Organizations in Nameoki
The Sons of Hermon built a substantial two-story building, erected at a cost of $4,400, which they occupied for their lodge purposes. The name, Sons of Hermon, was bestowed in honor of the fact that Hermon freed Germany from Roman Catholic rule. Moltke Lodge No. 15 was organized September 6, 1872, by Robert Krueger. The name was bestowed upon the lodge by Krueger, as a compliment to General Moltke, under whose command he had been a soldier. The lodge, in 1882, had 74 members, exclusively German. It was benevolent in character.

The Six Mile Lodge No. 87, I. O. O. F. was organized January 2, 1851. Charter members included S. A. Corman, E. P. Pettingill, T. J. Irish, James S. Smith, Amos Atkins, and Joseph Squires. The Six Mile Lodge owned their own cemetery, a hall, and about 63 acres of land.


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