Vermilion Advantage is a county economic development group supported by our tax dollars. Its website provides statistical data and highlights to help attract businesses to Vermilion County. I salute its mission and efforts.
However, I was disappointed to pick up a brochure called, “Let’s Walk Vermilion County.” The brochure’s front page lists the county’s communities with its founding date, history and interesting facts. Unfortunately, the brochure fails to list Rankin and East Lynn. Yes, these communities are small but no smaller than Belgium, Fithian, Muncie, and others listed.
Rankin’s history rivals that of others. Did you know Mr. Carter, a Rankin farmer and former state legislator, bequeathed his farm in the 1920s to the University of Illinois in perpetuity? His generosity was the first of its kind and held the record as the biggest land bequest to the U of I until the mid ‘80s. Also, did you know about Rankin’s critical role in our country’s transportation network with its rail depot and Robert Todd Lincoln’s interest in the land that created Rankin?
What about Rankin’s past robust commercial district where today the remnant buildings still stand but have architectural interest? I am certain data on East Lynn’s farm production is interesting as well.
Since I am confident tax dollars support Vermilion Advantage and the brochure — there are corporate sponsors listed on the brochure who may want to ensure its sponsorship of a document is complete — I hope it will correct this oversight and reprint the brochure to include Rankin and East Lynn’s history. In addition, these two communities should be included on the website; they are important to Vermilion County, particularly during the tax season and county elections.