When William McBane and James Wilcox envisioned founding a bustling city on the banks of the Ohio River, they hoped it would be a center of commerce at the gateway to the ever-expanding American West. They needed a name befitting their ambitious vision, and though it may not have matched the grandeur of its founders’ intent, Metropolis, Illinois, is the only place in the world that can claim that name as anything more than a descriptor.
Located near historic Fort Massac, Metropolis played a vital part in the booming river traffic of the 1800s and was an important manufacturer of steamboats. In addition to its pleasant small-town atmosphere and wide, expansive boulevards ready for the explosive growth that never quite made it there, Metropolis is the hometown of notable figures John Marvin Steele, the D-Day paratrooper made famous in The Longest Day, and the “Man of Steel” himself—Superman.
Highlights of Metropolis:
• Fort Massac
• River City
• The railroad
• Industry and commerce
• School, civic and social life
• Home, family and tourism
Father and son Michael E. and Jon M. Bragg, both graduates of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, have roots in southern Illinois that extend back to the mid-1800s. They compiled this book with the invaluable assistance of the Massac County Historical Society and local residents.
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