Opdyke, IL

L&N Railroad

Milepost: 400.51

L&N Opdyke Depot

Opdyke L & N Depot

Larry Severs

Also known as Updyke, Opdike

Pendleton Township

Jefferson County

Northeast of the intersection of East Jefferson Avenue and East Sixth Street

Estimated GPS Coordinates: 38.260128,-88.790296

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History

In 1870, Odyke, IL was surveyed by railroad personnel. One of the men was George Opdyke. He offered to buy bells for all future churches if the new town that would be located by the railroad was named after him. The first sanctuary was built in 1870 and a bell later provided by Mr. Opdyke in 1872. An inscription states “Holbrook & Sons, East Medway, Mass. 1872”. It is displayed by the Jefferson County Historical Society at the Schweinfurth Museum in Mt. Vernon, IL.

The first depot was built in 1870 but destroyed by fire caused by lightning on May 6th, 1900 according to a newspapers.com article from the Mt. Vernon Register. The 1902 Annual Report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois reported that a new depot had been constructed in Opdike between 1896 and 1902.

J. C. Tucker established a telegraph school located over Garrison’s store that operated until around 1915 according to the February, 1963 edition of the L & N Magazine. The use of telephones to dispatch trains hastened its closing.

Sources:

A History of Opdyke, Illinois
By Mrs. Lee Ann Arnold, 1919

Opdyke Bell by Joe Ashbrook
The Jeffersonian, Fall 2014

1902 Annual Report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois
Hathitrust Digital Library

Aerial View of Opdyke 1938

Illinois Historical Aerial Photographs 1938

L & N Locomotive Arrives at Opdyke

Larry Severs

Tucker Bros. School of Telegraphy, Opdyke

Farm & Fireside, January 1, 1903

NS 1071 Opdyke, IL