Broadwell, Illinois

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Broadwell is a village in Logan County, Illinois, United States. The population was 169 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Broadwell is located at 40°4′3″N 89°26′34″W / 40.0675°N 89.44278°W / 40.0675; -89.44278 (40.067366, -89.442710).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²), all land.

History

The Village of Broadwell was platted in 1856 by William Broadwell and Jacob Eisiminger, which occurred in conjunction with the construction of the railroad linking Chicago and Springfield.

Prior to the plat of the village, there was an inn three-quarters of a mile east of the present site, called "Tantivy" or "TAN-TI-VY". The name apparently derives from an old English hunting cry. Tantivy Lodge was in existence from about 1840 through the early 1950s; tradition states that Abraham Lincoln stopped there while traveling from Springfield to the Logan County courthouse at Postville (today a part of the newer City of Lincoln, Illinois) while Lincoln rode the judicial circuit as a lawyer. It is recorded (with greater certainty) that the (later) Central Illinois cattle and land baron, John Dean Gillette, proposed marriage to his future wife, Lemira Parke, at the Tantivy cabin c. 1840. It is likely that Tantivy was relocated by about one-eighth of a mile (from east to west) at least once during its existence[citation needed].

When Jacob Eisiminger was offered the honor of having the village named after him, he declined, stating that the new village would be handicapped with such an unusual name; accordingly, it was named Broadwell. William Broadwell (of the city of Springfield) had very little further connection with the village, and he later moved to Kansas; the Eisiminger family, however, were long-time merchants, postmasters and schoolteachers in the village (the last member of the family bearing this name died in early 2006).

Broadwell became a shipping point for hogs, corn, wheat and later soybeans. The village and township has never known any great period of economic boom or bust. The surrounding Broadwell Township features some of the very finest productive agricultural soils in North America and the world.

The Village was located directly on historic Route U.S. 66, from 1926 to 1978; today the limited-access Interstate 55 is located on the western edge of the Village. Happily, there is a full interstate exit for the Village and Township. The former northbound lane of U.S. Route 66 remains intact and it also still serves the Village as a major local road and tourist magnet.

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