In a new WMBD segment titled “What’s Your Story,” we take a dart, throw it at a map of Central Illinois, and find a special story in the town where it lands.
Our next stop was to Lewistown, Illinois where our reporter tried to get to the bottom of a decade’s old question: “Is it ‘Lewiston’ or ‘Lewistown’?
“I’m 70 years old- I say ‘Lewiston’. My wife of 52 was born here and she says, ‘Lewistown’.” said Ed Emig, resident of Lewistown.
It’s the big question everyone thinks they know the answer to…
“Oh there’s a huge debate everywhere you go.” said Dominique Schilling.
It regards the small town of Lewistown with a population of just 2400. But a place that’s none the less rich with history.
“The town itself i think it’s a hidden treasure. Get away from the big city come here, and breathe the fresh air.” said Elmer Littlefield, Mayor of Lewistown.
But with years and years of stories in Lewistown, how has something as simple as a town name, been so complicated?!
“I dont know.. it’s an odd thing to think about.” said Jason Westerfield, owner of 2 Cousins Restaurant.
Odd, indeed. Confusing? Even more so..
I think the hillbillys like me say ‘Lewistown’.. or rather, ‘Lewiston..’
Wait, did he just say it wrong?!
“..because it’s too drawn out.. ‘Lewistown’, it takes too much time.” said Ed Emig.
“It just depends on the day i guess. I’ve said both, i know my kids say both..” said Shawn Parker, resident of Lewistown.
But i still wasnt convinced by the responses, so i put my investigative skills to the test. Take a look at this picture. Now zoom in closer. Where’s the W?!
“So many many years ago ,, so was that mispelled?” said Emig.
Did someone, somewhere along the way decide to make life difficult? Or, is it the story of how Ossian Ross founded the town in 1821?
“He named the town after his son, which was Lewis Ross and he wanted to call it right then, he called it Lewis’ town.” said Cindy Goddard.
So it’s a coin toss..
“Apparently only you people in peoria do because i dont think anybody here pays any attention whether it’s ‘Lewiston’ or ‘Lewistown’.
Our next stop for our segment, “What’s Your Story”, will be to Manito, Illinois.