Our Town history lesson

Local News

WATSEKA, Ill. (WCIA) –This town was founded in the mid 1800s, and the name is derived from a young native American girl. 

Here’s a look at how it all got started in Our Town Watseka. 

In 1865 Watseka, Illinois was founded. It isn’t exactly clear who actually established the town.

But we do know the name comes from “princess Watchekee”

She was the daughter of a Potawatomi chief. And wife of early Eastern Illinois settler Gurdon Hubbard.

There’s no doubt Watseka was once native American land. And there’s plenty of proof at the Iroquois County historical society to prove it.

“It was a swamp and when the four fathers came and they first started settling it, they settled it along the river, of course the Indians settled along the river and that’s why they did too.” 

The town recently had it’s sesquicentennial celebration. And there’s was something for everyone. From fishing clinics, to car shows, to activities for kids. 

“Right here at the historical society we had a garden walk and a garden fair on the lawn we had old tractors on one side and old cars on the other.” 

150 years later, things are pretty quiet in this small town. But people say they couldn’t imagine living anywhere but our town Watseka.

“I really like it as a place to live, a place to bring up people, bring up our families.” 


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