McLean, Illinois

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McLean is a village in McLean County, Illinois, United States. The population was 808 at the 2000 census. It is part of the BloomingtonNormal Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

McLean is located at 40°18′54″N 89°10′14″W / 40.315°N 89.17056°W / 40.315; -89.17056 (40.315032, -89.170645).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²), all of it land.

History

Mt. Hope and the Founding of the town of McLean

The town of McLean was laid out on 22 June 1855 by Franklin Price. Price (21 February 1821 - 25 July 1908)[2] Price was born in Chester Valley, Pennsylvania. He was the brother-in-law of Bloomington real estate developer Kersey Fell. Price came to Bloomington in 1849, worked as a clerk and newspaper writer and was elected mayor of Bloomington in 1855 and again in 1856, serving to 1858. Price never lived in the new town that he founded.

McLean was laid out when the Alton and Springfield Railroad, soon to become the Chicago and Alton, was first built. through McLean County; The nearby towns of Atlanta, Normal, and Towanda were laid out at the same time as McLean. There had been an earlier attempt at town founding nearby. Mt. Hope, two miles east of McLean, was established in 1836 by the Providence Farmers and Mechanics Emigrating Society of Rhode Island. The colony and its town were not a success, only three settlers actually arrived in McLean County. When the town of McLean was founded the church building from Mt. Hope was moved into McLean. The first residents of McLean were the brothers G. L. and F.A. Wheelock, railroad employees, who moved into the new station house to conduct business. A blacksmith shop was the first business and H.H. Dillon built the first warehouse. [3] McLean was incorporated as a village on 29 May 1866.and by 1900 it had grown to a population of a population of 532. [4]

Origianal Town Design of McLean

The design of the Original town of McLean remains today almost unaltered from the first plats. It’s design was similar to other places along the Alton and Springfield Railroad including Normal, Towanda, Odell and Dwight. The Original Town was a basically square with streets aligned north-south and east-west and split diagonally by the railroad with a line of lots paralleling either side of the tracks. As in other towns along the same railroad, there was a widened rectangular area paralleling the tracks labeled “Depot Grounds;” In the case of McLean, the Depot Grounds were laid out only on the southeast side of the railroad and the depot was located here. The triangle of land on the northwest side, between the lots paralleling the railroad and remainder of the town, was designated as a public property and is still used as a park. The comparable triangle on the opposite side of the tracks was unlabeled and its intended use is unclear. This same arrangement of public land was followed at the town of Towanda. Mclean was distinctive in that there were no streets between the diagonal line of lots along the tracks and, perhaps because of this, much of the business district developed along Morgan Street, which ran east-west just north or the park or along Hamilton Street, which ran north-south, just west of the park. The line of lots paralleling the tracks and southeast of the railroad became the location of the hotel and the town jail. Later additions on the east side of the town featured additional lots which paralled the railroad as well as more conventional blocks. [5]

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