The History Of Manteno, Illinois

Manteno Illinois 60950 historyThe township of Manteno was established in 1855.  The town was named after Manteno Bourbonnais, the child of a Potowatami Indian woman and Francois Bourbonnais, Jr, the son of the man whom the town of Bourbonnais is named after. The Indian word “Manteno” is possibly Anglicization of manito or manitou, which means spirit in the Potawatomi language. In many of the books of that era the town has a wide range of different spellings. Here are a few examples from19th century books, including one written by one of the original inhabitants of the area Oliver W. Barnard:

  • Mantenau
  • Mawteno
  • Monteno

The town of Manteno was pretty unexceptional during the decades after its creation. This is true for most of the small towns in rural Illinois during that era. This history of Manteno, IL is very basic but you can find out more by visiting the links located at the bottom of this page. Manteno gained a lot of attention in 1930 when the Illinois State Hospital was built on the east side of town. The Manteno State Mental Hospital or Insane Asylum was a massive campus of buildings and it stayed open until 1985. It is listed on many paranormal web sites as one of the most haunted places in Illinois.

Manteno has enjoyed an excellent growth rate due to the large number of employers. Both Kmart and Sears have massive warehouses in Manteno and there are many other warehouses and manufacturers.

Manteno Historical Society & Museum

Manteno Historical Society museumIf you want to learn more about Manteno IL (60950) I strongly suggest visiting the Manteno Historical Society (MHS). The dedicated men and women at the Manteno Historical Society have worked hard to preserve the history of Manteno and educate anyone who is interested in learning more about this town. I am sure anyone from the MHS who reads this article will cringe at the lack of details and the likely inaccuracies.

To actually see the history of Manteno you can visit the museum. This museum contains artifacts from the earliest days of this wonderful town. This museum is an excellent place to bring your family. Here are the details for those who want to learn more:

Museum and Society Offices:

  • Address: 192 West Third Street
    Manteno, Illinois 60950
  • Phone number: Call Jackie Hammond at 815-468-6124
  • Hours: 1:00-3:00 PM on the first Saturday of each month.


41 Responses to The History Of Manteno, Illinois

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    Hello, I um, am trying to locate ANY photos of this hospital that I was admitted in, back in 1981, like around Mid July, I was a patient in the ward James2, buuut cant seem to find ANY record of it! May I ask why?Even the pages of photos DOESNT show this ward!Or the “activity” center where all patients went to play billards, listen to the jukebox,e.t.c!How can I obtain any photos of when I was there???//!!!!! Thanks Miss Kay Graham

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