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Sean Lisitza and Sara Allen
CANTON, Ill. (WMBD) — One Canton man started to get interested in the city’s history when his family lived in the infamous Orendorff house on Elm Street for 33 years.
Mike Walters is a historian in Canton.
Walters knows about many of the historical figures of Canton, including William Orendorff and William Parlin, who are known for starting the P&O Plow Company in Canton, which was later bought by International Harvester in 1919.
“If it wasn’t for the Cooks, the Orendorffs, the Parlins and the Ingersolls Canton might not be everything it is today,” Walters said.
He said it is important for kids to learn about Canton’s rich history.
“We were the town in Illinois, there’s no doubt in my mind with Parlin & Orendorff Factory employing 2,500 people here at one time, and we’ve got 500 houses here in 1911, that’s unusual, and I think the younger generation needs to know,” Walters said.
Walters also puts together a cemetery walk in September that attracts 500 to 700 people. He said it’s interesting to learn the stories of those who have passed on and be able to share them.
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