Halfway (II) History

There were two Halfways in Williamson County. The second Halfway was located in section 36 of Herrin Township, just west of State highway 37. There was a country store and a post office. The records of Halfway were destroyed in 1940 and we do not know the dates of its existence. We do know it was not between 1895 and 1911 or after 1916, for there was another Halfway in Illinois at those dates, and the store and post office were gone by 1916.

Marion voted to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in its limits. Then three saloons were built at Halfway. One saloon was run by a man named Johnson, another by Baxter Calbert and the third man is not known. Thomas Priest was the policeman for the saloons. There was a streetcar that ran from Marion to Halfway every hour on the hour and left Halfway on the half hour. The fare was free. There was also a path that was a shortcut from Whiteash to Halfway. The saloons had large crowds well into the night and some customers all night.

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that prohibited the sale of liquor was proclaimed January 29, 1919. Then the saloons closed. Two buildings were torn down. The third was bought by Charley Birger. It became a bootlegging joint and gathering place for gangsters and criminals for a few years during prohibition days. Today all trace of this Halfway is gone.

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(Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois, by Glenn J. Sneed, published 1977)