Merci Train - Illinois

Illinois Merci boxcar Illinois Flag


Illinois boxcar on display at the State Fairgrounds at Springfield in May of 1949. Photo courtesy of the Indiana University Archives, Charles W. Cushman Collection (P4363).

It is strongly believed that the Illinois Merci boxcar was abandoned at the old Railroad Fairground in Chicago in 1950 and burned by workmen preparing the fairground site for the present day McCormick Convention Center. No actual proof of this has yet come to light, however; anyone having knowledge of documents that could prove this are encouraged to let us know about it through contacting this website's author (email address on home page). The fate of one of the Illinois Merci Train gifts is presented below.



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Miss Millicent Hill in her wedding gown in 1950.

Miss Millicent Hill in her wedding gown in 1950



But what are the gown's origins?

Letter from J. Monaghan

Miss Hill receives a response from J. Monaghan to her query about a wedding gown from the Merci Train to be presented to the bride of a WW2 veteran who fought in France.

Letter from Adlai Stevenson

Then Illinois Governor Adlai Setevenson informs Miss Hill she will be the recipient of the gown.



The wedding announcement of Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Dudley of Cary, Illinois

The wedding announcement of Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Dudley of Cary, Illinois.

Mrs. Theodore Dudley

Mrs. Theodore Dudley.


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