Western Illinois could have been part of 'Forgottonia'


By Tom Emery

In recent news, a measure will appear on the ballot in California to divide the Golden State into three separate entities. Every so often, someone in Springfield introduces legislation to break off Chicago from the rest of Illinois.

Fifty years ago, parts of western Illinois could have become their own state – though whether the move was fact or fantasy is somewhat unclear.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, pockets of a movement arose to create “Forgottonia,” composed of 16 counties of western Illinois, as its own municipality. The name was a play on the belief that t...

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