Monument unveiled to commemorate 200 years of Illinois history in Randolph County

Monument unveiled to commemorate 200 years of Illinois history in Randolph County
Published: Aug. 26, 2018 at 3:31 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2018 at 5:04 PM CDT
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Courtesy: Mike Mohundro KFVS
Courtesy: Mike Mohundro KFVS
Liberty Bell of the West sits in Kaskaskia, IL. Courtesy: Mike Mohundro KFVS
Liberty Bell of the West sits in Kaskaskia, IL. Courtesy: Mike Mohundro KFVS
(Source: illinois200.com, Arthur J. Lager Monument Company)
(Source: illinois200.com, Arthur J. Lager Monument Company)

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - Hundreds gathered together in Chester, IL to commemorate the day the first Illinois Constitution was signed in Kaskaskia 200 years ago.

The Randolph County local Chapter "Liberty of the West" of the Illinois State Organization National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled a monument between the Randolph County Courthouse and the Randolph County Museum.

The "Liberty Bell of the West" chapter was named after the historic Liberty Bell of the West that is located on Kaskaskia Island. The Liberty Bell was a gift to The Mission of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the town's citizens from King Louis XV of France in 1743.

On July 4, 1778, during the American Revolution, the bell was rung to celebrate the liberation of Kaskaskia from the British and was rung every 4th of July until 1993 when the Great Flood of '93 flooded out Kaskaskia. At that time, the bell was damaged beyond use.

Marlene Seymore, a member of the Liberty Bell of the West chapter stated that Kaskaskia and the Liberty Bell of the West means a lot to her as it personally.

"I have four Revolutionary War Patrons who lived on that island," Seymore said. "They went with George Rogers Clark to go to Vincennes to capture that camp back. So that means a lot to me."

Emily Lyons is another Liberty Bell of the West member. She states that bell had many uses and was a very important part of Illinois and helped alert people locally when they needed help.

"That was 9/11 in the 1700's. It rang for everything," Lyons stated. "It was the only way they had of communicating and letting people know there was a fire, something happening and people needing help."

The bell remains at Kaskaskia Island to mark, in part, the significance of the town as the first capital of the State of Illinois.

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