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How Onarga received its name remains a mystery. Realists believe Illinois Central Railroad land commissioner John Calhoun combined two or three consonants and added the necessary vowels to invent a nice-sounding town name. Many prairie towns in the 1850s, with the arrival of the railroads, received their names by this method. Romantics believe Onarga was named for a young Native American girl, Princess Onarga, daughter of an Iroquois Indian chief. Prior to the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad, Native Americans controlled this part of Illinois, and among the roving tribes that crisscrossed the grand prairie were the powerful Iroquois. Legend says that when a name was proposed for the new town on the railroad, none better than Onarga was given. This mystery may never be solved, but the realists and romantics agree to disagree—agreeing foremost on celebrating and preserving the rich history of Onarga.
ISBN: 9780738560601
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Illinois
Series: Images of America
Images: 206
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
The Onarga Historical Society and friends of the society have selected the best images from Onarga's archives and as a concerted effort have put together a most interesting narrative of Onarga's history. This pictorial is in celebration of Onarga's 155th birthday.
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