Tazewell’s unincorporated communities: Midway

By Jared Olar
Library assistant

Picking up once more on our series of profiles of Tazewell County’s unincorporated communities, this week we’ll move a few miles further down the road from Normandale to take a look at the village of Midway.

John Drury’s “This is Tazewell County, Illinois” (1954), page 97, briefly describes Midway Addition and explains the village’s name as follows: “On State 29, north of the Pekin Airport, lies the small village of Midway. It is about midway between the city of Pekin and South Pekin. Near it flows Lost Creek. The Chicago & North Western Railroad runs along its eastern border.”

Drury’s 1954 description is still pretty accurate today, the only difference being that the Chicago & North Western railroad on Midway’s eastern border is now the Union Pacific.

Like Normandale Addition to the north, Midway Addition took shape as a community in the years after World War II. Midway does not appear on the Tazewell County plat book in 1945 – at that time the land that would soon become Midway was owned by Catherine Fornoff and John M. Shade. Curiously, however, the 1955 plat map of Cincinnati Township – compiled only a year after Drury had included Midway in his book – designates Midway as an unnamed “SUBDIVIDED” parcel of land.

The land that is today the village of Midway formerly was owned by John Shade and Catherine Fornoff, as shown in this detail of a 1945 plat map of Cincinnati Township.

By the time this 1955 plat map of Cincinnati Township was drawn, Midway had been established on land formerly owned by John M. Shade. “Midway” is not named on this map, however, but is instead designated merely as “SUBDIVIDED.”

A comparison of county maps from the 1950s with current maps shows that Midway’s geographical extent has not changed since the village was established. Midway’s western boundary is Illinois Route 9, while the railroad tracks mark the eastern boundary. The village consists of a northern and southern section that are not linked with each other – one must use Route 29 to move between the northern and southern streets. The northern section has only three streets: Woodford Drive (east-west), First Street (north-south), and North Street (east-west). The southern section is larger, having seven streets – three east-west streets: Garman Road, Main Street, and South Street; and four north-south streets, numbered First, Second, Third, and Fourth. The only difference between Midway’s 1950-era street layout and today’s layout is that Third and Fourth streets are now linked at their northern ends, whereas originally both streets ended in cul-de-sacs.

The fact that both Pekin and Midway have streets numbered Second, Third, and Fourth sometimes leads to confusion, since Midway is designated by the U.S. Postal Service as “rural Pekin.” It’s easy to spot the difference between a Pekin and a Midway address, though, because the street numbers of Pekin’s Second, Third, and Fourth streets never have more than four digits, whereas Midway’s have five digits.

The households in Midway are in South Pekin School District 137. Fire protection is provided by the Cincinnati Fire Protection District, volunteer fire department whose 14 members operated out of a station is on Chester L Road a short jog south of Midway.

Midway is also the home of Crossroads Full Gospel Church, located at 13895 First St. In the way of businesses, Midway’s most well-known is Watkins Marine in the southern section of the village at 13950 Illinois Route 29. Across the road from Midway’s South Street is Becks Farm. In the northern section, a tavern, Stones Midway Tap, is located at 14202 Illinois Route 29. Just north of Stones Midway Tap is Mayberry Brothers Discount Truck & Van Accessories, at 14320 Illinois Route 29, and just north of that on the west side of Route 29 is the Pekin area’s Recycling Center.

This detail of a 1957 highway map of Tazewell County shows the village of Midway.

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