I have been to lots of places in the US and Canada with interesting place names. Today’s post is the first of many to show the place. In some cases, all I have is a sign. In others, there are stories to be told.
Originally settled as North Bloomington in the 1850’s, the town was the home of the first “normal school” in Illinois. Based on the French teaching schools, the term “normal” was the general name for all schools set up to be teachers’ colleges. The bill stipulated that the permanent location would be the place that offered the most favorable inducement. Jesse Fell took up the campaign for Bloomington and obtained financial backing totaling $141,000, which surpassed Peoria, the closest contender, by $61,000. Abraham Lincoln, in his capacity as an attorney, drew up the bond guaranteeing that Bloomington citizens would fulfill their financial commitments.
The town officially was called Normal in 1865, based on the school of the same name. The school eventually became Illinois State University, but the town has remained Normal ever since.
Where is Normal?