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Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

“They Took Our Farm” and other first-person accounts of the impact of a new WWII Army Camp in rural Illinois (1942–1945)

Personal documents, books, and oral histories tell the story of the impact WWII Army Camp Ellis had on rural Illinois in the 1940s.

Camp Ellis more than doubled the population of the farming community of Fulton County, Illinois between 1942 and 1945. It brought a diverse group of soldiers and support personnel which sometimes created challenges. More than 170 farm families were displaced. New railroad lines offered direct trains to Chicago and St. Louis, and thousands of jobs were added to the depressed economy of the agricultural area. Much like the fabled Brigadoon, Camp Ellis all but disappeared by the late 1940s.

Session Handouts

Camp Ellis Sources (©2021, Julie Chenoweth Terstriep)

They Took Our Farm (HCA2021)-Camp Ellis Sources–©2021 Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

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Notice to Landowners of Establishment of Military Project (U.S. War Department, Office of Chief of Engineers, Construction Division, Real Estate Branch, Land Acquisition Office, February 11, 1943)

They Took Our Farm (HCA2021)-1943 Feb 1-Notice to Landowners–©2021 Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

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Option for Purchase of Land (U.S. War Department, Office of Division Engineer, Great Lakes Region, February 11, 1943)

They Took Our Farm (HCA2021)-1943 Feb 11-Option for Purchase Veras 40–©2021 Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

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Change in Date of Vacating (U.S. War Department, Office of Division Engineer, Great Lakes Region, February 11, 1943)

They Took Our Farm (HCA2021)-1943 Feb 11-Change in Date of Vacating–©2021 Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

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Approval to Move Buildings (State of Illinois, Department of Public Works and Buildings, Division of highways, March 11, 1943)

They Took Our Farm (HCA2021)-1943 March 11-Approval to Move Buildings–©2021 Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

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Julie Chenoweth Terstriep

Julie Chenoweth Terstriep has studied and researched WWII Army Camp Ellis from the time her grandparents told her the story of how their farm was taken by eminent domain. Recently she worked to preserve her family’s vast collection of first-person documents related to the Camp, the community, and the people who were impacted by it.

Terstriep.wordpress.com

facebook.com/CampEllisIL

Instagram: @CampEllisIllinois