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Venice, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser

 

EARLY HISTORY OF VENICE

 

MADISON AND ST. CLAIR PLAN ROAD COMPANY
Source: Alton Telegraph, April 9, 1847
Books will be opened in the town of Venice in this county on the 11th of May next, for receiving subscriptions to the stock of the "Madison and St. Clair Plan Road Company," chartered at the late session of the legislature of this state. This road will be of great advantage to the fine country through which it is intended to pass, and we hope that the stock will be taken promptly, and the work urged forward without delay.

 

FEARFUL ACCIDENT IN VENICE
Source: Alton Telegraph, August 27, 1847
We are deeply pained to state that an appalling accident, which it is feared will result in the loss of several lives, occurred on Tuesday last in front of the dwelling and store of Joseph Squire, Esq., in Venice, in this county. It appears, according to the information which has reached us, that a man with a loaded gun in his hand was walking in front of the building, when a number of persons came up in a wagon, and as the parties were in the act of passing each other, the gun went off and wounded four of them it is supposed mortally. Those injured are William Cool, Sarah Matthews, Isaac Street, and a little girl, name unknown. How the accident happened or what was done with the man who caused it, we are unable to say.

 

VENICE - TROUBLE ON THE RAILROAD - WORKERS REVOLT
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 4, 1903
The Chicago and Alton [railroad] has had large gangs of Italians at work along the road, working as extra section gangs. One gang of about 100 worked in and around Venice, and were housed in cars. They were under contract to work for $1.30 per day. Thursday, they struck for $1.50. There was an awful shouting and a fearful jumble of language in the vicinity of the boxcars, and people became very much alarmed as they didn't know whether it was a concert of the catacombs or a funeral dirge that was going on. Roadmaster Maurice Donahue was notified, and he went to the scene of the racket. The entire force made for him as soon as he drove in sight, and knives and imprecations filled the air. Mr. Donahue backed up against a box car, and drawing a revolver pointed it at the head of the leader and began to use some language of his own. He could not understand the Italians, but they appeared to understand the look in his eyes, and they stopped. An interpreter was secured and explanations followed, but the gun was kept trained on the leader. Mr. Donahue tried to quiet the men but they wanted more money or blood, and he finally advised them through the interpreter to lay their grievances before President Roosevelt or the King of Italy, or both, and said the company would probably give the whole mob transportation to Washington or Rom if they would step down to the local office. The mob took the bait and appeared at the local office within an hour. They were met by a strong guard of police and an improvised paymaster. The latter paid them off; the former ran them out of town.

 

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