Already three histories of Knox county have been written prior to the president work. In each of those volumes considerable time has been spent in writing up the early history of the county and especially of the first settlers. This O is true of every township within the county and pretty full accounts of the cities and villages have been given. It seems that but little more can be said along SO that line. Galesburg is admittedly somewhat unique in its origin. A colony an> composed of refined and educated people came here for the avowed purpose of establishing a college and surrounding it with good influences from the start and -*. the history of this movement has been written and can be found not only in the former county histories but also in quite a variety of publications—especially "the Semi-Centennial of the Old First church of the city of Galesburg. That little volume states fully the persons interested in the Galesburg-Knox-college movement. The difficulties of their journey have been fully set out and there is no doubt that that feature of history pertaining to central Illinois will be preserved and will continue to be the subject of pleasing fireside conversation.

But little of this side of the question has been indulged in by the author of this volume. It occurred to him in the start that to the present generation the " accomplishments of these early settlers and their descendants should be the principal subject of investigation. ' He therefore conceived the idea of presenting to the people a careful and thorough statement of what had been actually done in this county, without particularizing very much who the actors were. It will be discovered that the principal points selected by the author are the public .buildings; and the public, social and economic movements of the people have formed the basis of that portion of the work prepared by him personally. To make this feature of the work still more prominent, he arranged with certain individuals, who are in every way qualified, to present various topics in a thorough and interesting manner along the lines which he himself has pursued. The writer earnestly hopes, for he fully believes, that this feature will be of great value and of very general interest to the reading people of this county. To be ignored specific he would call especial attention to the articles upon the various church denominations of the county. It will be found that the following out-line has been pretty generally followed. First, a full statement of belief; second, the organization of individuals sharing that belief; and third, the extent to which their hopes, based upon their belief and their church organization, have been realized. So far as this form is applicable, the secular articles have been prepared somewhat in the same way.

It has been the writer's earnest endeavor to spend but little time upon the. ornamental side of life, but rather to consider carefully everything that seems worth while and everything that could make reasonable answer to the questions, "What are you here for?" and "What are you accomplishing for the betterment of life?"

     The Writer takes a justifiable pride in the illustrations which he has secured for this work for they have served a double purpose. They are not only beautiful and add a peculiarly pleasing effect to the appearance of the work, but in no other way could he show the development of the cities and villages of the county from a primitive condition to one of prosperity and really intelligent refinement, in fulfillment of the highest hopes o f the founders. It is very difficult to arrive at a just word picture of the progress of Knox County. The time required to discover and collate the facts necessary to show such progress is altogether too great, and even if accomplished, it would then not be visible as it shown by these illustrations.

To those who have assisted in this matter, the writer hereby offers his sincere thanks and confesses in truth that without their assistance this volume would lack it's greatest charm and a very large part of its interest and benefit.                                            A. J. Perry

Galesburg, Illinois, July 10, 1912


Albert J. Perry


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