There is nothing peculiar about the concrete bridge along Old Post Road two miles east of Crete. If a motorist were to drive past, over the trickling waters of Plum Creek on a pleasant summer day, not much would alert this passerby to the Axeman’s gruesome story. In the woods a few yards to the northeast, however, sits a rickety steel bridge, currently collapsed into the water. It is tagged with graffiti. For years, local teens imagined that this was the scene of a gruesome axe murder. The remains of a home hidden in the trees and the closure of the road leading to the steel bridge have only fueled the legend.
Although landmarks set the stage for this story, the exact history of the area is difficult to determine. According to John Drury’s photographic history, This is Will County, Illinois (1955), David Harner was the first white settler of Crete Township, and a large contingent of ethnic Germans followed. Early on in the history of Will County, the thick timberland along Plum Creek was called Beebe’s Grove. It was named after Minoris Beebe, who arrived in 1834 along with David Harner. According to an old county plat map, a man named William Vocke owned the property around Axeman’s Bridge in 1909. I have been unable to determine when this bridge closed…
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Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 3 Digital Edition
Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2009 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. Places covered in Vol. 3 include Lebanon Road’s 7 Gates to Hell, Ramsey Cemetery, Elmwood Cemetery’s Violin Annie, Manteno State Hospital, the Hatchet Lady of Moon Point Cemetery, Chanute Air Force Base, Ashmore Estates, Aux Sable Cemetery, Ax Man’s Bridge, and more. Plus, read letters from our readers, adventurer’s logs, Paranormal 101, and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues.
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