Historical Marker Dedication—Robert Prager Lynching Site
Prager Memorial Committee and the Illinois State Historical Society
An historical marker noting the location of the Robert Prager lynching in 1918 will be dedicated at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, 2020 at the entrance to St. John Cemetery, St. Louis Road at National Terrace, Collinsville.
On April 5, 1918, German immigrant Robert Prager was hanged by a mob at this site. Prager’s lynching was the high-water mark of the anti-immigrant and anti-German hysteria that gripped the nation during World War I. Persecution, in the guise of patriotism, was especially severe in the Southern Illinois coal fields. Eleven men accused of the murder were promptly acquitted. For generations there was remorse in Collinsville over the town’s failure to stop the mob and the lynching. One witness later said: “Nowhere appeared a sober, clear-headed man to say ‘no’ and make it stick. And so came violence, death, tragedy and shame.”
The historical marker is sponsored by the Prager Memorial Committee and the Illinois State Historical Society.
We will practice proper social distancing, but masks are also encouraged for those attending.
St. John Cemetery Entrance
St. Louis Road at National Terrace
Collinsville, IL (Map)