Bloody Williamson: A Chapter in American Lawlessness

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Williamson County in southern Illinois is well-known by historians and crime enthusiasts as "Bloody Williamson"... a dark (and most likely not appreciated) nickname that came about in the 1920's after being the scene of a bloody massacre, brutal battles with the Klan, and a fantastic Prohibition war between battling bootleggers. Regardless of how you look at it, the moniker of "Bloody" is something that Williamson County has earned!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Angle's story of Williamson County has justifiably been called a classic, and the University of Illinois Press deserves praise for reissuing it with the helpful introduction by Southern Illinois University historian John Y. Simon."—Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society


"This small book is packed with historical details. . . . Citizens should read it for no other reason than to discover that such violence. . . can "happen"—and that it may not yet be quite finished."—Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology & Police Science


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252062339
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1992
  • Series: Prairie State Books Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 326,102
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    Shady rest

    This was such a awesome book.. I used to live down the street from where the Shady Rest once stood. I just find it so facinating that i grew up so close to something so historical.. I know live in Indianapolis were there is so much history.. that is why i wanted to learn about the history of my roots.... I highly recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2002

    Bloody Williamson review

    In 1952, Paul M. angle wrote this compelling book on Williamson County, Illinois. However, Angle in no way chose to hide the truth about Williamson County's bloody history, hence the name of the book. From deadly coal mine riots, to the Ku Klux Klan, and even into the gangster era, Angle describes this place in such detail that it makes me glad that I live in a safe community with a fine set of police officers in every community. The story begins with a lurid depiction of a coal miner's riot. As the result of a bad decision and misunderstanding, the riot brings dozens of deaths to the small town of Marion. Senseless killing and destruction plague this County for years on end. The Ku Klux Klan becomes a very powerful body only to be overthrown by gangsters. The main gangsters, the Shelton gang and Charlie Birger, run the town for a long time. Definitely a good read, highly recommended.

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