Bourbonnais, Illinois

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Bourbonnais is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,256 at the 2000 census. It is part of the KankakeeBradley Metropolitan Statistical Area and the ChicagoNapervilleMichigan City, IL-IN-WI Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The village is named after Francois Bourbonnais, Sr., a fur trapper, hunter and agent of the American Fur Company, who arrived in the area in 1830. It was known as Bourbonnais Grove until 1876, when it became the Village of Bourbonnais.[1] The town was the site of a major train wreck in 1999, the Bourbonnais train accident.

In 1928 a child from a wealthy family was kidnapped for ransom and held at Sicilian gangster / bootlegger Andrew Cappellano's farm house near Bourbonnais by the Black Hand, later known as the Mafia. During the trial one witness lost his life and a dozen others were threatened by death, including a judge. The Black Hand defendants were found not guilty. Several years later the mother of the child, the one who went to the authorities died as a result of self poisoning. The incident, reported in the newspapers across the country, was known as the Ranieri kidnapping.

Geography

Bourbonnais is located at 41°9′54″N 87°52′43″W / 41.165°N 87.87861°W / 41.165; -87.87861 (41.165040, -87.878486).[2] According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12.0 km²).

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