Past Event

The Warring 20s: Bloody Williamson

A Road Scholar Program by Jon Musgrave

If it takes conflict to create good drama, the 1920’s in Southern Illinois’ Williamson County–more infamously known as "Bloody Williamson County"–should win an award. A wave of violence rippled through the region in the decade or so before national Prohibition, flooding wholesome towns with vigilante justice, riots in the streets, striking miners, anti-Italian mobs, gruesome murders, well-publicized trials, a hanging in Marion’s Paradise Alley and, of course, organized crime. In the end, more than 70 men, women and children had lost their lives and mayors, policemen, and many more sentenced to Leavenworth for their crimes. In the aftermath, one gang, the bootlegging Shelton Brothers, would remain, controlling gambling and vice virtually everywhere throughout the state. Learn more about the decade’s infamous history and its impact on the state.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Becky Ault, 618.292.4793.