News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Hub of the Wabash

Decatur is certainly a sight to behold on a spring day, with a rich history, thriving manufacturing enterprise, some surprisingly good restaurants, and above all a load of gumption that goes back 150 years.

One of the most gumptious of all the residents of the Soy City was the builder of the Old Union Depot, at the hub of the Wabash and Illinois Central rail lines. Was doing a bit of research on the the old depot, and came across the architects as "Prather, Martin and Gatling".

And yes, upon further reading Gatling is Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling, the inventor of the wheat drill, steam plow (a type of tractor which was made in Decatur at one time) and the Gatling Gun, the most effective weapon to come out of Decatur, till Bill Madlock made the big leagues.

With modified Gatling Guns still in use today by the US Air Force, Gatling is a great reminder of the ingenuity and enterprise of our good neighbors to the south.


Anonymous said...

You forgot the smell. And Bill Madlock. And Del Unser.

Whatever happened to Fans' Field?


Anonymous said...

I ate four hotdogs and tracked down a foul ball at Fans' Field one day. What a memory.


Anonymous said...

HG reached the pinnacle of Decatur living. Can anyone top his big day in Decatur? How about a Kreckel's burger?


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