Ava, Illinois, is a small Midwestern town with a rich historical past and a cast of colorful residents. Until now, most of the town’s history has been based on folklore told from one generation to the next.
Steve Grace, a former alderman, mayor, and lifelong resident of Ava, relies on extensive research to share twelve stories about several of the town’s most memorable and impactful events. While revealing the histories behind the naming of Ava, the notorious Callahan gang, the Wallace brothers’ shooting, bank robberies, the battered barber, the post office fire, and an old factory building, Grace provides a glimpse into eras and experiences that, at times, make this small town’s history seem stranger than fiction. Included are fascinating images, court documents and the people who once lived in Ava.
It Happened in Ava, Illinois shares a collection of twelve stories that detail the compelling history and major events of a Midwestern town on the edge of the Shawnee National Forest.