Thomas Beard was a young man of 24 years who was determined to find a place on the Illinois River where he could build a town and make a living. There were no roads, only Indian paths, so it is a wonder that he found his spot. If he had traveled by river, it would have been much easier as the waterway was already a main artery from St. Louis to Chicago. If Beardstown's elevation had been 40 feet higher, away from possible flooding, the town could have been a candidate for the state capital.
All of the supplies and produce for central Illinois came through Beardstown and Meredosia. Beard was fortunate to have capable and willing friends who helped develop the town. Some of the early pioneers were Enoch C. March, Horace Billings, Sylvester Emmons, John A. Arenz, and John's brother Francis Arenz, the founder of Arenzville.
Highlights of Beardstown include:
• The River—Friend and Foe
• Beardstown and Its People
• Festivals and Events
• Schools and Churches
• Local Servicemen
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.
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