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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy


Jesse Weldon Fell was born November 10, 1808 in Pennsylvania.

Proportedly, he found the treeless prairies of the Midwest so bleak that he became the greatest tree planter in the area, supplying thousands of them from his own nursery.

He was an educator and founded Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. A friend of Abraham Lincoln, it was Jesse who proposed the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Jesse Fell was the great-grandfather of Adlai Stevenson and was described by Stevenson as his "favorite ancestor".

Fell died February 25, 1887 and was buried in the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.


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