Sunday, May 28, 2023

Marker Details

The marker is located 3.5 miles west of Dixon in the rest area on the south side of IL 2 (US Alt. 30).
No coordinates identified
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Division of Highways and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
In 1828 Joseph Ogee established a ferry across the Rock River where Dixon now stands. In 1830, John Dixon, postmaster, moved to the site with his family to operate the ferry which had prospered because of its location on the trail between the Galena lead mines and Peoria. The name of the small settlement was soon changed from Ogee's Ferry to Dixon's Ferry. John Dixon --'Father Dixon' to the settlers and 'Nachusa' (white haired) to the Indians -- was a community leader until his death on July 8, 1876. Dixon became the county seat in 1839 and is today a thriving community. At the beginning of the Black Hawk War in 1832 a small fort was built on the north bank of the river. Among the men of future prominence who served here Abraham Lincoln and Zachary Taylor, U.S. Presidents; Winfield Scott, presidential nominee and famous soldier; Robert Anderson; Albert Sidney Johnston and Joseph E. Johnston, Civil War generals; William S. Hamilton, son of Alexander; Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy; and John Reynolds, Illinois governor. The statue, 'Lincoln, the Soldier, 'by Leonard Grunelle stands on the site of Fort Dixon. In 1837 Alexander Charters obtained a tract of land three miles north of Dixon's Ferry. He named his estate Hazelwood and entertained such notables as William Cullen Bryant, Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and General Philip Kearney. Charles Walgreen who lived in Dixon as a youth and later founded the Walgreens drugstores, purchased Hazelwood in 1929.

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