Wenona, Illinois

City: Wenona

County: Marshall

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 41.0500, -89.0500

The city of Wenona was built along the Illinois Central Railroad, with the first house constructed in the vicinity in 1852 for the railroad’s trackmen. The following year a passenger station was constructed at Wenona, and the town received a U.S. Post Office, called Wenona (Winona) Station. The Illinois Central Railroad Company laid out the town of Wenona in 1855 on one of the alternate sections of land that the U.S. Congress had granted for construction of the railroad. Four years later the town voted to incorporate. The city’s name is the Lakota (Siouan) name given to the first-born female in a family, as well as a character in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, The Song of Hiawatha.

Edward Callary, Place Names of Illinois (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 370; Henry A. Ford, The History of Putnam and Marshall Counties (Lacon, IL: Gazette, 1860), 116-17; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971 , NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1855-1865, 20a:24, National Archives Building, Washington, DC.